Isabel M. O'BrienMay 1, 1937 ~ November 24, 2017 (age 80)
Isabel M. “Belle O’Brien” passed away peacefully on Nov. 24th with her son and daughter by her bedside. Born in Pittsfield, May 1, 1937, she was the widow of the late Eugene T. O’Brien and the daughter of the late Clyde A. Moon and Gertrude Martin Moon Pavelka. Educated in the local schools, she was a 1955 Pro Merito graduate of Pittsfield High School. She also attended Berkshire Community College in the Continuing Education Program.
Belle began her administrative career right out of high school as a secretary to vice president, Peter Van S. Rice at the former A.H. Rice Company. In 1956, she joined General Electric Co. as a secretary in the Marketing Dept. She left GE in 1966 to enter the Pittsfield School Dept. in order to spend more time with her children. She worked at both the former Russell School and Highland School, now Capeless Elementary. Belle served as the President of the Pittsfield Educational Secretaries Association and negotiated the first contract for the 40 week secretaries.
In 1976, she returned to General Electric and began her career as Secretary to the Human Resources Department with assignments in Payroll, Personnel, Safety, Community Relations ad Union Relations Departments. She then began her career in Employee benefits in the former Power Transformer Dept. transferring to the Naval Ordnance when Transformers was sold to Westinghouse.
Belle retired in 1993 from the Ordnance Dept.’s Human Resources Dept. as the sole Benefits Specialist for the local department.
After retiring in 1993 and the death of her husband Eugene T. O’Brien, Belle obtained her real estate license and became a Realtor with Les Poincelot and then later with Signature Realty. Realizing that she did not want another career, she began an extensive career volunteering for several non-profit organizations. She served as President of the local Women’s Club of the Berkshires, Inc. for many years. She also volunteered on the Boards of the Pittsfield Beautiful as secretary and treasurer, the Christian Center as treasurer and most recently, as the Board Secretary for the Whitney Center for the Arts, (formerly the Women’s Club home) as well as volunteering for Co-Act/Community ReStart working on fund raising events in order to open a transitional home for homeless women. This effort led to the 2015 opening of a home on Francis Ave. known as “Barbara’s House”.
Belle loved her family, her home, her dog, Pumpkin and her cat, Seamus. She was an avid gardener and nothing gave her more pleasure than working in her gardens. She loved music, especially selections form the American Songbook: the music of Frank Sinatra and Michael Feinstein and more recently, Michael Buble’. Coming from a musical family, she sang country music with both her brothers, who played guitar from an early age. She continued to enjoy country music throughout her life including the music of Alan Jackson and George Strait. Belle supported the local arts community through her attendance at Barrington Stage, Colonial Theatre, Stockbridge Playhouse and Tanglewood. Her love of the historic Thomas Colt House, home of the Women’s Club of the Berkshires, was her first love, serving on the Board for many years and as President of the Board for more than several terms. She oversaw the sale of the building 2011 and the dissolution of the Club in 2013.
One of her favorite vacation places was Ogunquit, Me. where she spent her annual summer vacation. She also loved to go to her timeshare on Anna Maria Island, Fl. on the Gulf of Mexico and visited there as often as possible. Her love of animals, children, the ocean and music filled her life for many years after the death of husband, Gene. She also enjoyed all sports, especially watching the Boston Celtics, the Dallas Cowboys and the Patriots as well as viewing golf and tennis.
She is survived by son, Winthrop D. Kie, Jr. of Pittsfield her daughter, Donna E. Kie-Pompi (Mark), of Pittsfield, her brother Richard P. Moon (Pauline) of Pittsfield, three step-children, Eugene P. O’Brien (Maria) of Boston, James P. O’Brien (Kim) of Pittsfield, and Mary Kate Cyre (Fern) of Portland, Me., three grandchildren, Laurie Kie of Port St. Lucie, Fl., Karen Kie-Meja (Omar) of Palm City, Fl., & Eric Pompi of Boston, seven great grandchildren, Breana, Alexa, Emma, Omar,Jr., and Amia Meja and Gracie and Aiden Pompi, her former husband, Winthrop D. Kie, Sr. of Pittsfield and her brother-in-law, David A. Norton of Pittsfield.
Belle wishes to acknowledge the support and loving friendship of her niece, Deborah Kuni, especially after the death of Debbie’s mother, Betty Norton who was Belle’s sister.
Belle was predeceased by her parents, Clyde and Gertrude Martin Moon Pavelka, her husband, Eugene T. O’Brien, her step-father, James Pavelka, her brother, Robert A. Moon, and her sister, Elizabeth V. Norton.
O’Brien, Isabel M. “Belle”, died Nov. 24th. The Celebration of her Life will begin Wednesday morning at 10:00 am at the DEVANNY-CONDRON FUNERAL HOME followed with a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 11:00 am at St. Charles Church with the Rev. A. Peter Gregory, pastor emeritus of St. Charles church, officiating. At Belle’s request, burial will take place at a later date in St. Joseph’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either the Women’s Club Fund or to the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation to support annual grants and scholarships for women.