After a year and a half of careful consideration, contemplation, and discussions, along with another year and a half of logistics and paperwork, I have sold our family funeral home (O’Brien Funeral Home) to John Reen of Brighton.  John owns and operates his family’s funeral home in Brighton.  He worked for Jack when he was here, and for me in South Boston for more than 20 years.


This was not an easy decision. Stepping away from the full-time operations of the O’Brien Funeral Home has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make – both personally and professionally.  However, I continue to struggle with ongoing issues with my sight and overall well-being; my children need me to be more available. So, it has become evident that it is something I have to do.   My father was a true son of South Boston.  We have always been proud to work and live in this community that is like no other. I proudly represented South Boston on the ice as a kid; being able to support youth sports as a business owner has given me great joy.  

 I have been honored to have had the opportunity to help so many of you over the years. I am most proud of my family, and how they have served the families of South Boston for the last 112 years. I will be forever grateful to the families of South Boston who trusted us to help them through the most difficult times in their lives. For these reasons, I thank each of you. 

John Reen and I had planned to make a more formal announcement after we had an opportunity to talk to each of you who have participated in our Pre-Arrangement Trust Fund. You have my word that you will receive the same level of service from John that you are used to from my family.  It will still be the same funeral home, the same community, and the same level of service to which you have become accustomed.   Since 2017, I’ve battled eye issues that have required medical attention with not much progress. So, when a loss of your loved one does occur, I felt that I could no longer provide the exceptional service and attention to detail that is the hallmark of this profession and also what the O’Brien Funeral Home is known for.   John Reen is a friend and has worked for my family for years. John has deep roots in his own community. He and his wife are raising four sons who someday may be in the business. His cousins and uncles already work for me; I guarantee that John and his family members will become familiar faces to all of you.   

It was very important to me that 146 Dorchester Street remains a family-owned and operated funeral home. As I take this step back, I remain a part of the operations of the funeral home – just not in a full-time capacity.   I am not on social media but I do know there have been some posts and comments about the recent sale. There’s a nice picture of my father and lots of comments about the good work he did for our community. There will never be another Jack O’Brien but John Reen has my complete confidence.  I hope you will show him the same respect and support you’ve always shown me.  After a lengthy process and the approval of the MA Licensing Board, we are in the process of notifying all of our customers who have Funeral Trusts and Insurance with us about the sale by registered mail.

I know John will continue the good work that started with John F. O’Brien in 1910, and then continued for 112 years with Edward F. O’Brien, John F. O’Brien, and Edward J. O’Brien.  It will definitely continue with this next chapter of the O’Brien Funeral Home of South Boston, under the direction of John F. Reen.  I love South Boston, and I am humbled that we have been honored to serve you all of these years.   Mitchell Newcomb, I have no words to express how vital you were in keeping us going when you did.  Your youth and maturity are amazing. I hope you know how much you are loved. 

  South Boston, thank you for my second chance!!! I will never forget it.  Mom, Julie, Maureen, and Peter, thank you for all you do and have done.  Grace, Jack, and David, I’d be nothing without you; Dylan and Delilah, thank you – I love you.  And to my son, Jack O’Brien, by my side when I suffered from sleepless nights, guilt over the sale (Irish Guilt), and the time it consumed, along with some of myself in the process.   I am so blessed.  

Kind Regards,

Edward J. O’Brien