CALVIN (“CAL”) ROSS O’BRIEN passed away peacefully after a long, extremely brave battle against cancer on Friday, February 18th, 2022 at the age of 74.
He was born to Delman and Martha O’Brien on March 6th, 1947, in Lethbridge, AB. Many of his earliest memories were of life on the research station.
He attended Catholic Central High School and was an excellent athlete. He played baseball, football, hockey, and basketball. He won the CCHS athlete of the year award in 1967.
Upon graduation he attended the University of Lethbridge where he received his Bachelor of Education and in later years his Masters in Education.
His first teaching job would take him to Canmore, AB where he taught and coached, making life-long friends with teachers and students alike. The beautiful mountains and people of Canmore always held a special place in his heart.
Cal and his family returned to Lethbridge in 1976 where he began a 42-year career at CCH as a teacher, administrator, and coach. He coached numerous teams and went on to coach his high school students at the University of Lethbridge. He was so proud as the ladies 1985 Pronghorns team was inducted into the U. of L. Sports Hall of Fame only weeks ago. He graciously accepted his own Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame award in 2015.
During his teaching career, Cal travelled to many places with students. Included in these travels were trips to Europe, trips to the Cuernavaca Centre for Intercultural Dialogue on Development, in Mexico and student exchange visits to St. Ursula’s school in Sendai, Japan.
Upon retirement he loved to winter in Palm Springs and was always up for a competitive game of pickleball. He had a long-time love of golf and was a member of the Lethbridge Country Club.
He always looked forward to his weekly restaurant meetings with neighbours, the “Wingnuts”, and Saturday morning coffee with friends. When friends could not gather in enclosed places in the last few years, he welcomed coffee with friends in his open-air garage. Cal loved to meet new people and would often say “they seem like a real quality human being.” He loved life and touched the lives of all who knew him.
He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara Whaley, his brother Colin O’Brien (Shirley) and the mother of his children Lynne O’Brien. His children Lisa O’Brien (Chris), Michael O’Brien (Cathy), Tracey Stroeve (Dennis), and stepchildren Richard Moberg (Joanna), Geoffrey Moberg, and Bradley Moberg as well as two children of Lisa O’Brien and Chris Palinkas, his grandsons Justin and Jorden Palinkas. He will be greatly missed by his two pups: Tucker and Sadie.
He leaves behind so many friends, it is impossible to list them all. A special mention must go to the great colleagues and staff at Catholic Central who were instrumental in his life and a source of strength and determination during these last 4 years of his battle with cancer.
Many thank yous to the kind and caring staff at the Jack Ady Cancer Centre who became like family and so many doctors and nurses who did everything they could to support him through this journey.
A Prayer Service will be held at ST. MARTHA’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, 355 Columbia Blvd West, Lethbridge, AB, on Friday, May 27, 2022 at 7:00 P.M. with Francis & Cybele Noronha officiating.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at ST. MARTHA’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, on Saturday, May 28, 2022 at 11:00 A.M. with Father Roque Pereira celebrating.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Catholic Central Academic Awards Program (c/o Catholic Central High School, 405 – 18 Street South, Lethbridge, AB, T1J 3E5) or the Lethbridge Humane Society (2920 – 16 Avenue North, Lethbridge, AB, T1H 5E9).