Evelyn H. (Vesneski) O’Brien, 91, of Fredonia, died peacefully at home on Thursday, January 16, 2020. Evelyn was born on December 7, 1928 in Salamanca, NY, to Anthony and Helen (Ranus) Vesneski. She married James C. O’Brien on September 24, 1955, and together they had four children before his untimely death on May 6, 1993.
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Evelyn graduated from Salamanca High School and worked as a telephone operator for AT&T in the Salamanca office for 18 years. In the days of rotary phones and having someone say, “Number please” when one placed a call, it was Evelyn's warm, bright voice that countless people heard. She truly enjoyed her work and was frequently asked to be the acting supervisor on her shifts.
Evelyn is remembered by all for her faith, strength, humor, and pleasure in the small but important things in life. She had strong religious conviction, ended every day by reading her Bible or an inspirational piece, and believed that when a cardinal appeared in her yard it was bringing a message of hope and promise from above. One of her favorite sayings was, “I’m not stubborn, I’m determined.” She loved roses, and they were always on display beside her home. Her favorite season was Spring because “everything blooms.” She enjoyed going to her favorite restaurants, the Parkview in Westfield, Rocco’s in the Village, and the White Village in Van Buren Point, and we will always remember fondly her passion for the “sweet” things in life: she would never turn down an offer for a treat like Wegman’s tres leche cake, cookies of all varieties, Irish scones, candies, ice cream, or chocolate in its many forms.
Evelyn greatly enjoyed her daily phone calls and visits from friends and neighbors and felt very blessed by these relationships. On the evening before she passed, she spoke with two dear friends, Mary Ann Nordstrom and Alvina Monahan. She will be sadly missed by all, but at the same time remembered and loved for the joy she brought to our lives.
Evelyn is survived by her children Deborah A. O’Brien (David Marshall) of Wichita, KS, Michael E. (Debbie) O’Brien of Clarence Center, NY, James L. O’Brien of Fredonia, NY, and Marc S. (Uma) O’Brien, of Hong Kong; her grandchildren Hannah, Caitlin, Neive, Michael, Zachary and Chloe O’Brien; her two brothers, Edward Vesneske of Rochester, NY, and James Vesneski of York, PA; and several nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be Thursday, January 23, 2020 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. at the Larson-Timko Funeral Home, 20 Central Avenue, Fredonia, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at Holy Trinity Church, 1032 Central Avenue, Dunkirk, at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be at St. Anthony's Cemetery.
Flowers are gratefully declined. Memorial contributions in Mrs. O’Brien’s memory may be made either to Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels, 196 Newton St., Suite 5, Fredonia, NY 14063, (716) 366-8822, dfmealsonwheels.org (click “Random Acts of Sharing” on home page), or to Operation Smile, 3641 Faculty Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23453, (888) 249-3797. On-line condolences may be made at larsontimkofuneralhome.com.
Arrangements by David J. Dengler, Larson-Timko Funeral Home, (716) 679-9000.