Anne-Marie O’Brien entered the next phase of her unending life within the life of God on January 18, 2022.
Child of Clara E. and James G. Gardiner, she was born on July 15, 1953, in Kingston, New York. Anne-Marie completed her studies at Kingston High School and went on to study at Wellesley College. As a young adult she became a novitiate in the Order of St. Ursula which championed the empowerment of women, and she was honored to minister with Mother Theresa. Although Anne-Marie never took her final vows as an Ursuline nun, she lived her life as a servant of God, the church, and humankind. For years, she taught elementary school and, to the end of her days, absolutely adored children. Her love of learning propelled her to complete several master’s degrees.
Baptized as an infant and nurtured through many years at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, in 2013 Anne-Marie became a member of the Old Dutch Church where she enthusiastically welcomed friend and stranger, sharing God’s own hospitality with every person she met. She also participated in the fellowship ministries, served as worship liturgist, assisted with the annual Living Nativity, and with preparations for the celebration of the sacraments. Anne-Marie—also known by other names over her lifetime—will be remembered for her inimitable style and class, her childlike exuberance and energy, her great courage, deep faith, and robust imagination. Simply by being who she was and by the way she lived her life, Anne-Marie was a masterful teacher. She loved well and was well-loved. Anne-Marie is survived by two biological brothers, all of her cherished siblings at the Old Dutch Church, and many, many friends in Kingston, England, and Italy.
Cremation and memorial arrangements are under the guidance of the Joseph V. Leahy Funeral Home, Inc. 27 Smith Avenue, Kingston. www.jvleahyfh.com. All are welcome to celebrate Anne-Marie’s life in a Memorial Service at the Old Dutch Church on Sunday, February 13, 2022, 10:30 a.m. Attendees are encouraged to don their most lavish apparel in honor of this woman who changed us for good. Burial will take place in the Church Cemetery following the Service. Our celebration and remembrance of Anne-Marie’s person and life will continue with a reception in the Church’s Hall.