Dolores J. Cannon O'Brien

Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 13, 2021

1929 - 2021

DOLORES J. O'BRIEN August 20, 1929 - January 9, 2021
Dolores Joan O'Brien, 91, of Annapolis, died peacefully
on the morning of January 9, 2021, at Anne Arundel
Medical Center.

Dolores was born on August 20, 1929, in Washington,
DC. A first-generation Irish American, she was the
daughter of Patrick Cannon, a native of County Mayo,
Ireland, and Lydia Augusta Cannon, of Baltimore, who died during World War II, when Dolores
was 15; and the granddaughter of prominent Washington saloon keeper and distiller, Patrick
Cannon, Sr.

Dolores was a very proud native of Brookland, in NE Washington, DC, and a graduate of
Anthony's High School (1947),
from which she maintained many lifelong friendships.

In 1947, Dolores married the love of her life, Bobby O'Brien, who passed away in 1992, after
45 years of marriage. With Bobby, she shared a profound love of family, a deep Catholic faith,
an enthusiasm for the Washington Football Team, and, amazingly, a birthday. After raising her
four children, Dolores went to work for the Prince George's County Early Childhood Programs,
working under her dear friend, the late Judy Hoyer.

In 1994, Dolores settled happily in Heritage Harbor, Annapolis, where so many of her
Brookland friends were her neighbors, including her beloved sisters-in-law, Helen Nolan,
Carol O'Brien and Rose O'Brien.

After her retirement, Dolores took to the stage. She loved to sing and had a voice that was
rich and deep. Under the guidance of the impresario of Heritage Harbor, her sister-in-law
Mary Ellen O'Brien, she performed prominent roles in numerous musicals, including Annie in
"Miss Hannigan's School for Girls" and Rizzo in a Grease parody called "Crisco," all to great
acclaim. Rehearsals and performances consumed the entire fall season, but it brought her
great joy. Dolores was an accomplished storyteller and even her story's villains were always
given their humanity. She really could see the good in people. Dolores loved to travel. She
visited Ireland twice, Rome, and many beautiful places across America. She loved wine,
chocolate, Irish Coffee and ice cream. And yet she was always very tiny.

Dolores is survived by two daughters, Janet O'Brien Lynn of Mt Airy, MD, and Patricia O'Brien
of Annapolis, and two sons, Tommy O'Brien of Pompano Beach, FL, and Jim O'Brien (Terri),
of Oakland, CA; three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; and scores of nieces and
nephews who loved her dearly. To many of them, she was simply Dory. As well as her
husband Bobby.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Patrick Cannon of Rockville, sisters Ruth Dean of Mt
Ranier, MD, and Sister Francis Augusta Cannon, OSB, of Elizabeth NJ, as well as her
grandson, Kristopher Owens, of Mt. Airy.

There will be a viewing at Kalas Funeral Home, 2973 Solomons Island Road, Edgewater, MD,
on Sunday, January 17, 2021, from 3 to 6 p.m.

A funeral mass will be held on Monday, January 18, 2021, at 10:30 a.m., at St John Neumann
Catholic Church, 620 N. Bestgate Road., Annapolis.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the funeral will also be livestreamed online at

The family is planning to have a memorial mass and celebration of Dolores's life in late