Judith Jean O'Brien

March 10, 1942 ~ January 6, 2021 (age 78)


Judith Jeanne O’Brien passed away on January 6th, 2021 from complications suffered after a fall. She was born Judith Jeanne Ferrari to Louis (Tubby) and Lucile Ferrari and grew up in Willow Glen. The oldest and only daughter, she began to hone her feisty wit at an early age thanks two her two younger brothers Richard (Dick) and Gerald (Gerry) Ferrari. She attended St. Mary’s grammar school in San Jose and graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1960. She went on to attend San Jose City College, where she first met her future husband William (Bill) O’Brien in the early 1960’s. While working at Memorex in the early days of what would become the Silicon Valley, she enjoyed many trips with girlfriends to her favorite California destination Lake Tahoe. She was an avid skier, and it was in Squaw Valley during New Years of 1966, where she and William began their love affair that lasted 52 years. Together they welcomed two sons Scott and Matt and settled in Willow Glen. Judy stayed home to raise her boys and returned to work in 1984, as a school nurse for San Jose Unified School District. She retired in 1997.

She and Bill welcomed their first of seven grandchildren in 2004, and her world found a new rotation as she became ‘Noni.’ The last 16 years of her life revolved around her grandchildren. Frequent visits, cards and small gifts for every holiday, and of course her specialty of Mickey Mouse pancakes with chocolate chips. She beamed whenever all her grandchildren were together which often happened on annual trips to Sunriver, OR. She never missed the opportunity to document the trip with a family picture and of course, every photo was complete with themed t-shirts or outfits for the grandkids, complements of Noni.

Judy was a master entertainer and lover of all things Christmas. She never let a holiday pass without celebrating amidst numerous decorations in the house, down to the properly themed nutcracker and cocktail napkins. Her love of cooking came from her mother, and she was the keeper of family recipes and enforcer of holiday traditions. She was all about Christmas Day, with family carols, anchovy pizzas, and of course the signature Ferrari ravioli and gravy. You could always count on hearing Jimmy Buffet playing regardless of holiday or season.

She will be remembered for her undying love of family and her feisty spirit. She will be missed dearly. Services are currently being planned, along with a larger memorial celebration once the current pandemic subsides.

She is survived by her love of 52 years, William; her devoted sons Scott O’Brien (Lara) of Los Altos, CA and Matt (Jennifer) of Bozeman, MT. Her Grandchildren Sammy, Charlie, Whitney, and Max O’Brien of Los Altos, CA and Will, Ole, and Louis O’Brien of Bozeman, MT. Her Brothers Dick Ferrari (Karen-d.) and Gerry Ferrari (Robin) both of San Jose. Numerous nieces, nephews, and countless friends.

In lieu of flowers, please direct any offerings of support to the Women of Impact Fund at Notre Dame High School or the Louis and Lucile Ferrari Memorial Endowment Fund at Bellarmine College Preparatory.

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