Obituary: Douglas Raymond O’Brien

Douglas Raymond O'Brien

Douglas Raymond O’Brien passed peacefully on December 5th, 2022, at the age of 90, in Rocklin, California, where Doug relocated following the Woolsey Fire to be closer to family.

Born October 15th, 1932, to Raymond Luke and Hazel Agatha (Deneka) O’Brien in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles. Doug graduated from Venice High School, where he developed his affinity for woodworking. In 1952, along with nine of his high school classmates, Doug joined the United States Navy, where he was a Torpedoman’s Mate aboard the USS Greenfish (SS-351) based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, during the Korean War.

Following his naval service, Doug joined the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1954 until taking a service pension in 1980. He spent his last 18 years as a fireman at Crash 80s working Airport Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) at Los Angeles International Airport. When Doug was a first year fireman at Station 63 on Venice Blvd, he often visited Curries Ice Cream shop just a few blocks away. It was here that he first met Dorothy “Dottie” Driscoll. They married in 1958 and celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary this past June.

In 1972, the O’Brien family moved to a home built by Doug in Malibu’s Zuma Canyon. Soon after Doug moved his family to Malibu, he began 27 years of volunteer service to Malibu youth, coaching Little League and Pony League baseball. 

When the State of California planned to remove the two baseball fields at Malibu Lagoon, Doug, along with several other Malibu residents, was instrumental in building the two baseball fields and one football field (now soccer) at Bluffs Park. In 1994, Doug was honored by the Malibu Times as a Dolphin Recipient for his years of service to the youth of Malibu.

Doug helped built boats for C/S/K Catamarans. He helped crew the 1968 Transpac record-setting crossing from San Pedro, CA, to Honolulu, HI, on Seasmoke, which was commissioned to be built by James Arness. Doug also helped build and sail several Buddy Ebsen-owned boats in California and Florida.

His lifelong love of woodworking took Doug from the lots of MGM Studios to the boat yards of Marina Del Rey to his oversized garage, where Doug could be found daily after going to the “office” at Lily’s Café, building cabinets and furniture for many homes in Malibu.  

Douglas is survived by his wife, Dorothy. Loving father of Kelly Barcus, Shannon (Randy) Hudson, Patrick (Susan), and Michael (Anita). Proud grandfather of sixteen grandchildren Kenna Narducci, Jennifer, Ailesh and Garrett Barcus, Jessica Connors (Eric), Aric Hudson (Natalie), Christopher, Patrick, Matthew, and TJ McNulty, Patrick, Brooke, and Dylan O’Brien, Sean, Jake, and Samantha O’Brien. He is also survived by six great-grandchildren, Isaac and Emmalee Connors, Gabrielle, Jane, and Ayla Hudson, and Cash “Big Bucks” Narducci.

A celebration of life will take place in Malibu on July 8th, 2023.