Penelope Ann O’Brien

Penelope “Penni” Ann O’Brien, 71, of Shawnee, KS passed away Saturday, March 10, 2018 from complications following pancreatic cancer. 


She was born on January 29, 1947 in Akron, Ohio to her parents, Vernon and Mary Musser.  She was a member of Rittman High School class of 1965 and graduated from Wittenberg University with a degree in psychology in 1969.  She married the love of her life, Jeffrey A. O’Brien, in 1969.  The O’Brien’s moved from Mansfield, Ohio to Shawnee, Kansas in 1987, where Penni taught at Trailridge Middle School for 30 years.  Prior to Trailridge, she taught seven years in Ohio.  During her career Penni had many teaching honors.  These honors included: 7 Friends of SPED Awards, 2 Crystal Apple Award nominations, 2001 NW Area District Certificate of Appreciation, sponsor of TREND Organization for 2 years (drug free program), Honorary Life Member of KS Congress of Parent and Teachers, The Resilience – Building Strength for Life by National Association of School Psychologists, and the 20-year teaching pin. 


After Wittenberg University, Penni also studied at Ashland College and College of Wooster in Ohio; Utah State University, Baker University, University of Kansas and Mid-America Nazarene University.  She retired in 2011 and dedicated her remaining years to traveling and attending her 9 grandchildren’s activities.  She participated in the following activities and organizations:  Delta Kappa Gamma (Alpha Upsilon Chapter), P. E. O. Chapter GD, Water Lilies at Element Fitness, JCARSP, NEA, KNEA-R, and XYZ, and Lunch Bunch at Atonement Lutheran Church. 


Penni is survived by her husband of 48 years, Jeffrey Allan O’Brien; her 3 awesome sons and daughters in-law, Brandon O’Brien and wife Becca; Brett O’Brien and wife Kassi; Bart O’Brien and wife Mandy; nine grandchildren, Cody , Andy, Collin, Madison, Eoin, Eilis, Eamon, Ellery, and Emerly. 


Jeff and Penni were members of Atonement Lutheran Church for 30 years.  Her strong Lutheran faith sustained her throughout her life. 


Visitation and Services

The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 13, 2018, Atonement Lutheran Church, 9948 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, KS 66216 with funeral services following at 11 a.m. at the church.  Penni will be laid to rest at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Johnson County Memorial Gardens in Overland Park. 

Memorial Contributions

The family suggests memorial contributions be made in lieu of flowers to the church or The University of Kansas Cancer Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, 2330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Ste. 305; Westwood, KS 66205

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Posted in Kansas City Obituaries, Obituaries | on Sunday, Mar. 11th 2018 | 3 Comments »

3 Comments on “Penelope Ann O’Brien”

  1. Cathy Brewster Says:

    So sorry to hear of Penni’s passing. God blesss all of you during this difficult time. She was a wonderful woman. Heaven is brighter now that she is there. Sincerely, Cathy Brewster.

  2. Rita Hessidence Hornlein Ratti Says:

    As I am saddened, my heart goes out even more to the O’Brien family. Penni was a loving friend who brought out the best in others. After years of no contact, a phone conversation would pick up as if we’d just been together. She was funny, fun and yet, serious about what was important.

    I look forward to reuniting with her someday when we’re both whole.

  3. Kathie Heppert Says:

    Penni was a very special cousin to the Heppert family. She will join her cousin Bob who went to the Father 3 years ago. I never saw her without a smile or a good word for anyone. I would think she was a special teacher. Jeff and boys, I am so sorry to hear she passed. Bless you all.

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