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Eldon Sanford O'Brien

Father of 10, devout Catholic, private investigator, semi-pro baseball star

Eldon Sanford O’Brien died August 17 at age 93.

He was born November 13, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, and grew up in San Jose, California. He graduated from Bellarmine Prep in San Jose and from the University of Notre Dame in 1948.

He married Catherine Kiely in 1950. They lived in Eureka and Los Gatos, California, where he worked as an insurance adjuster. In 1966 he moved his family to Claremont, where he worked as a private investigator.

In 1976 he began publication of Verdictum Juris and O’Brien’s Evaluator, a legal newspaper and book, both tracking civil jury trials throughout Southern California. He and Ms. Kiely moved to Lake Arrowhead, California in 1988 where they were very active in their parish, Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church.

They retired in Upland and finally, Rancho Cucamonga. Mr. O’Brien was a man of great faith, profound integrity, kindness and courage, his family shared. He was an excellent baseball player, a pitcher (nicknamed “Lefty”) from childhood throughout college. He pitched for the Navy during World War II. He passed on a pro career in order to focus on starting a family.

He was known for his wisdom, Irish humor and the ability to make anyone feel special and loved, his family shared.

He is survived by his loving wife, Cathy; children, Jim O’Brien, Tim (Deirdre) O’Brien, Mary (Dan) Lamb, Margie (Ted) Robinson, Therese (Frank) Mistretta, Jr., Sharon O’Brien, Mike (Anena) O’Brien, Pat O’Brien, Tom (Diane) O’Brien and Beth (Drea) Solan; 25 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren, with two on the way...for now! 

A funeral liturgy will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 23 at Our Lady of Assumption Church, 435 N. Berkeley Ave., Claremont. An interment will take place at 2 p.m. at Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery, 3520 E. Washington St., Loma Linda.

“May their days be long and full of happiness; may their children be many and full of health; and may they live in peace...and freedom.”

From John Ford’s

The Quiet Man (1952)