Gavan O’Brien (SPC 1965-68, PY1969)
February 14, 2023
Old Collegian Gavan O’Brien (SPC 1965-68, PY1970) passed away on November 14 2022, aged 71 years.
Gavan lived at Lake Boga and his funeral mass was held at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Swan Hill on 21 November 2022, officiated by Fr James Kerr (SPC 2000-05).
Kevin was a parishioner of the Holy Family Parish Northeast Mallee as a resident of Lake Boga and earlier life spent in Culgoa.
Gavan was a boarder at SPC from Culgoa and completed his Form 2 through to his intermediate studies in Ballarat.
In Gavan’s eulogy, given by friend and cousin Paul Bowler, Gavan was described as “… an incredibly authentic and genuine fella”.
“Down-to-earth and never complained about his own physical maladies. He loved his family unconditionally and was a dedicated, besotted husband – and that proved to be his best choice; Teresa. They were inseparable.
“Gav may have been unlucky with some aspects of his life but he was fortunate enough when it came to love. Their journey started when they were young and over the years their friendship, love, respect and connection with each other never waned. They honoured their “until death do us part” vow. Gavan and Teresa’s relationship was a great example that even through adversity, true love conquers all.
“Gavan’s faith was important to him and he and Teresa attended mass regularly. The ultimate aim of being a good Catholic is to be more ‘Christ like’ in our everyday dealing and interactions – showing humility, compassion, understanding, caring, sincerity and generosity of spirit. All qualities Gav had in spades and displayed on a daily basis.
“I’m not sure if ‘barracking for the underdog’ is part of the Catholic value set, but if Father James here will grant us a little poetic licence, perhaps we can squeeze it in under the “Stand up for the downtrodden” clause, in which case Gav should receive some extra credit from St Peter.
“Gav died with rosary beads in both hands and a medal pinned to him that he’d got from Father Payne as a child. Gav’s final words on this earth were to his beloved life partner Teresa – He simply said “I love you”.
“We know Gav is now in heaven with his mum and dad and his horse mates Brownie, Nev and Frank. He’ll be teaching Phar Lap to pick up his hat and putting Pale Face Adios through his paces and teaching Lassie how to fetch a beer.
“Albert Einstein once said “Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life”. “Besides Teresa, Gav will live on in James and Kerrie – his children – and between them Leah, Ellie, Grace, Indi and Gyp and the third generation just over the horizon. But Gav will also live on through the wonderful personal legacy he leaves in each of our hearts.”
Thank you to Gavan’s family for their assistance with this tribute