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Memories & Candles

“Joe was the finest human being I ever had the good fortune to know at a very difficult time for my son and me. Joe was not only perfectly...Read More »
1 of 30 | Posted by: Arlene DePhillippo - Needham, MA

“My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort. ”
2 of 30 | Posted by: Nora J Gerardi

“Beth and O"Brien Family :I am so sorry for your loss.......I knew Joe was ill and did not know of his passing. I have known Joe for quite sometime...Read More »
3 of 30 | Posted by: Gary McNeill - Needham, MA

“he always had a smile for me ”
4 of 30 | Posted by: Elizabeth Hayes - Franklin, MA

“Beth and the entire O'Brien family, I had the pleasure of working with Joe for several years and all I can say is that he was "One hell of a...Read More »
5 of 30 | Posted by: Bob Rinn

“Dear Beth and the entire O'Brien Family:Having worked together, as well as knowing Joe personally, I can certainly say that we have lost "one of the...Read More »
6 of 30 | Posted by: Paul Buckley - Port Charlotte, FL

“To Beth and family, we are so sad to learn of your loss of Joe. Thinking of him makes me smile. Fond memories of good times at Falmouth. Our...Read More »
7 of 30 | Posted by: Nina and Ron Bernard - Concord, MA

“Please accept my condolences to both the O'Brien and Nickerson families. Joe was a viberant and wonderful person. He leaves an empitness and sense of...Read More »
8 of 30 | Posted by: Roy Johan - Wellesley, MA

“My best to Beth and the rest of Joe's family. He was one of the most interesting, funny guys I have ever had the pleasure to be around. May he rest...Read More »
9 of 30 | Posted by: Pat Nock - Framingham, MA

10 of 30 | Posted by: KELLEY - OH

“I have been so privileged and honored to have taken care of Joe. I enjoyed each story he told, getting to know his beautiful wife Beth, and family,...Read More »
11 of 30 | Posted by: Tracey Slaven - Beverly, MA

“I'm so saddend to hear of Joey's passing. I will always remember his smile and beautiful personality, not a day without a laugh while working with...Read More »
12 of 30 | Posted by: Claire O'Neil - Medfield, MA

“Dear Beth and Family,So very sorry for your loss. Joe was a great guy and always had a good story to listen to. He will be greatly missed. My...Read More »
13 of 30 | Posted by: Peggy Santos - Holliston, MA

“To the O'brians, I'm very sorry for your loss. Uable to make it up I wanted to pass along some thoughts. Growing up with Joe was a lot of fun. We...Read More »
14 of 30 | Posted by: Bill Bergin - Virginia Beach, VA

“My heart goes out to the entire O'Brien family. Joe was one in a million. He will be missed. Such an amazing man that was taken too soon. ”
15 of 30 | Posted by: Erin Zielinska - Falmouth, Ma

“So sorry to hear of Det. O'Brien's sickness and passing. He was always a gentleman and very courteous. He worked hard and was very proud his son who...Read More »
16 of 30 | Posted by: Laura George - Stoughton, MA

“Joey was a good friend, He always made me smile He will be missed ”
17 of 30 | Posted by: Elizabeth Hayes - Franklin,, MA

“>Holding You In The Light< ”
18 of 30 | Posted by: Mark O'Brien - MA - Brother

“Beth, I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you & your family. Katie ”
19 of 30 | Posted by: Katie Kennedy

“Beth I have been praying for you and his children and grandchildren Your Mom has kept us posted She is very proud of you You are a very...Read More »
20 of 30 | Posted by: Dorothy Whitney - norwood

“I worked with Joe for many years at the Needham police department He was a dedicated investigator who never gave up on trying to solve a crime ...Read More »
21 of 30 | Posted by: Bruce Bolio The Villages Florida

“Our thoughts and prayers are with you all!! Love always- the Behnke Family ❤❤ ”
22 of 30 | Posted by: Amy Behnke - Walpole

“Dear Beth, We are so sad to read about Joe's passing - Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. Love, Pete and...Read More »
23 of 30 | Posted by: Peter & Sandy Brooks - Brewster, MA

“Tommy and family, you are all in my heartfelt thoughts and prayers. ”
24 of 30 | Posted by: Diane McCarthy - Mansfield, MA

“Dear Beth and Family, We are thinking of you and sending our prayers to you at this sad time. May your memories and years of love together bring...Read More »
25 of 30 | Posted by: Bernie & Linda Ryan - Natick, MA

“To the entire O'Brien Family ~ You are all in our thoughts & prayers. Joe was one in a million and will never be forgotten. Please accept our deepest...Read More »
26 of 30 | Posted by: Siobhan & Matt MacDonald - Dedham, MA

“Beth, my deepest sympathies to you and your family. I know your memories will give you strength. My thought and prayers will be with you.Bobbie ”
27 of 30 | Posted by: Bobbie McKim - North Attleboro, MA

“My heart and prayers go to O'B, his beautiful family, and the entire NPD at this sad and tragic time God bless ”
28 of 30 | Posted by: Mark Lavelle - Needham, MA

“Our deepest heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to Beth and family, in the untimely loss of such a wonderful husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother,...Read More »
29 of 30 | Posted by: A friend

“Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel about the loss of Joe. We are here to support you in your grieving process. With sincere...Read More »
30 of 30 | Posted by: Lauren Mahoney - MA - Friend

Police Emblem

Detective Joseph G. O'Brien, 62, Needham Police Dept. (retired), Needham native and Holliston resident, died peacefully at home Sunday, December 18th, after a courageous six-month battle with cancer. His wife, Beth (Nickerson) O'Brien, was by his side.
He was born in Boston and was a long time Needham resident, and served as a detective on the Needham Police Department for 34 years. During his career in law enforcement, Joe also served on the NORPAC anti-crime drug task force, was a staff instructor for the Norwood Police Academy, was a member of the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council Special Weapons and Tactics Team, and served on numerous other local and regional task forces.
During his career, Joe was recognized with many awards and commendations. The most notable awards include: the National Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) National Law Enforcement Award; the Department of Massachusetts VFW Law Enforcement Gold Award; a Commendation for Valor for Acts of Outstanding Personal Bravery; the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council Award presented for outstanding efforts in the Teardrop Bank Robbery case; the Outstanding Investigative Award for his actions with Metro-LEC Bank Robbery Task Force; and most recently, the United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York, an Appreciation Award for Joe's dedication and investigative efforts.
Upon retirement, Joe found a second career as Assistant Harbormaster for the town of Duxbury. Joe's love of the ocean and dedication to public service made him a perfect match for this position.
Joe loved spending time with his family and friends, was an avid Red Sox and Bruins fan, and found the most pleasure out of the simple things in life- whether it was a trip to the beach or relaxing in his backyard with his wife and three beloved Labrador Retrievers.
Son of the late James B. and Sally V. (Torpie) O'Brien. Devoted husband of Beth M. (Nickerson) O'Brien. Survived by his three children: Joseph G. O'Brien Jr. and his wife Amy, of Dedham; Kelly J. Fritts and her husband Chris, of Medway; and Thomas E. O'Brien and his wife Lindsey, of Needham. Devoted grandfather to five grandsons and five granddaughters. Brother to James O'Brien (Barbara), of Dover; William O'Brien (Annette), of Centerville; and Mark O'Brien, of Natick. Beloved uncle to numerous nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours Wednesday, December 21st 4:00-8:00pm at the Eaton Funeral Home, 1351 Highland Ave, Needham. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life service Thursday, December 22nd 11:00am at Christ Episcopal Church, 1132 Highland Ave, Needham, followed by burial at Needham Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of Joe, to support cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via