Resident Spotlight: Patricia O’Brien

March 8, 2018

Patricia O’Brien: A Life of Many Seasons

Patricia O’Brien has led a multifaceted life, living in different climates, countries, and circumstances – from young Navy wife to entrepreneur to retired European explorer.

Patricia O'BrienOnce the children reached adulthood and left the home, a new life season began. Tilt accepted an assignment in Alberta, Canada, and he and Patricia made a home there for 5 years. “Sixty degrees below zero was the coldest we ever lived through there. It wasn’t near that temperature most of the time. There was also a lot of sunshine and long summer days,” Patricia recalls. While Tilt worked, Patricia enrolled in various college courses, studying accounting, French, and painting. These courses laid the foundation for their next phase. When Tilt retired, the couple moved to San Jose and Patricia created her own business, the Yarn Studio, and ran it for 10 years. Patricia tells me, “When I had the shop, Tilt said one day, ‘If you ever sell the shop, I’d like to live in Europe for a while.’ Sure enough, the shop sold a month later!”

The couple then embarked on their European adventure. Patricia recalls, “We happened to be in Germany the day the wall came down and Germany was reunited. I remember people lined up at the post office wanting to get the first printing of the new unified stamps.”

Upon returning to California, Patricia put her accounting knowledge to work and started a career as an Enrolled Agent, preparing income tax returns for her neighbors and, later, a full book of clients. During this time, Tilt participated in an active retirement club where he planned group sightseeing trips around the world. “We visited places like Rome and the Greek Isles. It was a wonderful opportunity,” Patricia says.

Now at Sterling Court, Patricia finds herself in a new season of life. She still enjoys painting and recently displayed several of her works in the Sterling Court community art show. Staying connected to family also remains important to Patricia, and her circle has grown exponentially over time to now include 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Closer to home, her sister, Arlene, lives just across the hall. Speaking of her sister, she smiles, “We get along very well. We spend a lot of time together, but we also make a point to meet other people here.”

Read this article and more in our March newsletter.

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