Betty Maxine (Fry) O'Brien

January 20, 1931 ~ August 3, 2018 (age 87)


Betty Maxine (Fry) O'Brien passed away on August 3, 2018, in Fairfield, Ohio. 

She was born Jan. 20, 1931, to Frank Lawrence and Ruby Iline (Timbrook) Fry in Maud, Mo., the oldest of 4 children.  On her 14th birthday her family moved to Shelbina, Mo., where she finished her schooling and met her beloved husband James William “Bill” O'Brien whom she married Dec. 25, 1949. 

Betty was a 1949 graduate of Shelbina High School.  She captained and played on the girls' basketball team.......despite her 5' 1", 98 lb. petite physique.  She was a secretary for the MFA company in Shelbina, Mo., until she and Bill started their family.  Afterwards she worked for the General Adjustment Bureau in Peoria, Ill., and Cincinnati, Oh., as well as The Dow Chemical Company in Atlanta, Ga.

Our mother spent her younger years devoted to raising her family.  She loved gardening (her homemade ketchup and muscadine jelly was the best), sewing, golf, reading, and dancing and clogging with her husband.  She also enjoyed baking and entertaining.  Her famous red cake was always a Christmas treat and everyone knew that get togethers at the O’Brien house would mean delicious homemade goodies.  But, most of all, she was a very loving mother and wife who devoted her life to her family -- supporting them and loving them through all of life's challenges.   

Betty is the loving mother of George (Mary) O'Brien, Diane (Rick) Shaffer, Lesa (Rick) Kathman, and Linda (Antonio) del Valle; grandmother of Peggy O'Brien, Michael (April) O'Brien, Katie (Corey) Fagin, Matthew England, Sarah (Jeremy) Daniels, Anna Kathman, Vanessa (Matt) Kiepura, Adriana (John) Hummel and Isaac del Valle; great grandmother of MacKenzie, Madelyn, Tyler and Lucas O'Brien, Connor, Cohen and Kinley Fagin, Paisley and Matthew Daniels, Elena Kiepura, Baby Hummel, step grandchildren Aiden and Henry Daniels and Alex and Troy Kathman.

Betty joins her husband, her parents, her brother Charles Fry and her grandson Matthew England in heaven.  Her sister Joan Webb of Shelbina, Mo., and brother Don Fry of Columbia, Mo., survive her.

Betty will be greatly missed by her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews and a host of other family members and friends. 

The family invites you to join them for a funeral mass that will be held for Betty & Bill on Nov. 10 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 307 E. Chestnut Street, Shelbina, Mo., with burial in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, followed by a luncheon and celebration of their life together at the Father Buhman Center (across the street from the church). 

You are also invited to share your memories with the family by visiting Betty's on-line tribute page at

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to the St. Mary's Catholic Church, Stained Glass Project, 307 Chestnut Street, Shelbina, Mo., 63468.

© 2019 Avance Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS