Barbara Louise O’Brien was born in Lenox Hill Hospital, Manhattan County, NY, on November 27, 1940, to John Thomas O’Brien and Louise Antoinette Guarnera and suddenly passed away in her home on September 1, 2021. She attended public schools in Brick Township and New Jersey. In Houston, Texas, she was a member of the first Freshman Class of Bellaire High School, and graduated from the Graded - The American School São Paulo, in São Paulo, Brazil, while her father was the Office Manager for M.W. Kellogg. After graduating from high school, Barbara enrolled in the Methodist Hospital of Houston’s School of Nursing and received her Cap on May 29, 1959, and graduated on July 21, 1961. She began her nursing career as a Registered Nurse at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in what was referred to as the “Pink Palace” in a Cancer Research Unit. Barbara then decided to continue her Nursing Education and received a Bachelor in Science of Nursing at The University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston).
At some point in the mid-1960s while living in Oakland, California, and working as a Nurse at John Muir Health, Walnut Creek Medical Center, in Walnut Creek, California, she decided to try to see the world by joining the U.S. Air Force as a Nurse. While Barbara was hoping for an interesting overseas assignment, after three weeks of training at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, AL, she was commissioned as an officer, as a 1st Lieutenant (1st Lt) assigned to The 812th Medical Group, serving as a Nurse in the base hospital at Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, NM, and claimed that she never knew anything about any “little green men.” She then served for a shorter amount of time at McCoy Air Force Base, Orlando, Florida, before receiving her Honorable Discharge.
Barbara and Thomas E. “Tom” Menn were married on September 17, 1970, and enjoyed many years of marriage, 16 days short of 51 years.
Barbara is preceded by her parents, John Thomas O’Brien and Louise Antoinette Guarnera O’Brien, a grandson Joshua Thomas Lambropoulos, and a granddaughter Sophia Alexandra Menn. Surviving Barbara are her husband, Thomas E. Menn; brother, John B. O’Brien (Gail); daughters, Lori L. Bruns (Scott) and Linda L. Rhodes (Graham); sons, James W. Menn and Michael S. Menn (Nora). She is also survived by eight grandchildren, Samuel O. Rhodes, Alexandra L. Lambropoulos, Abgail L. Rhodes, C. Zachary Lambropoulos, Noah S. Lambropoulos, Marin O. Rhodes, Luke L. Lambropoulos, and Michael T. Menn. Also surviving are three nephews, Bennett, Daniel, and Casey O’Brien.
A visitation will be held prior to the service from 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Sunday, September 5, 2021 at the Martin Luther Lutheran Church of Carmine, TX.
A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, September 5, 2021 at the Martin Luther Lutheran Church of Carmine, TX, with Pastor David Tinker officiating. Interment followed at the Mayer Cemetery in the Winedale area.
Pallbearers will be Scott Bruns, Alex Lambropoulos, Noah Lambropoulos, Luke Lambropoulos, Graham Rhodes, Sam Rhodes, Abbie Rhodes, and Marin Rhodes, with Michael T. Menn as an Honorary Pallbearer.
In lieu of Floral Donations, Barbara’s Family suggests that memorials be given to Martin Luther Lutheran Church of Carmine, TX, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the American Heart Association, or the Mayer Cemetery Association.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main Street, Brenham, TX 77833.
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