In Memory of




Obituary for Robert Francis O'Brien

Robert Francis O’Brien, born February 5th, 1937; passed away peacefully at the Stratford General Hospital on January 30th, 2022, at 84 years of age.

He is survived by his beloved children, Terry (Theresa), Todd (Lori), and Shelly; but his pride and joy were his grandchildren, Quinn (Cassandra), Lexi (Greg), Delayna (Tyler), Hudson (Meghan), and Bennett (Emma). Bob is also survived by his brother Austin (Marilyn) and many nieces, nephews, step-grandchildren, and step-great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Donna O’Brien, his infant son, Timmy, his sister, Helen, and brothers Bernard, Joe, Bill, Ed, and son-in-law Chris Smith.

“Bob the Barber”, a long-time Seaforth resident, was a passionate sports enthusiast, avid member of the Seaforth Legion and the Optimist Club, dedicated member of the St. James Parish, and all-around great guy. He worked hard and played hard, welcoming customers to his barbershop with a broad smile and a ready joke. He had a long and successful career as a barber because he lived by the saying “the only difference between a good haircut and a bad one was three days.” He also welcomed guests to his backyard barbecues with a slap on the back and a cold beer. Bob loved playing cards and camping, making friends wherever he went.

In the early 1970s, Bob moved his young family to Wiarton, Ontario, where he bought and ran “Crystal Springs”, a small hotel and campground. People initially stayed at Crystal Springs because of its proximity to the Tobermory ferry, but after meeting Bob, the same people would return year after year, simply because it was so fun to be around him. Everyone who met Bob has at least one good “Bob” story to tell.

Bob was a resident of the Seaforth Long Term Care Home for several years, breaking out regularly to ride his scooter up to visit Donna two blocks away, where he would sit in his old chair and converse with her as usual, until a staff member came knocking on the door to lead him back. Bob’s family would like to thank the staff for the exceptional care they took of Bob, and for always returning him home at the end of the day.

Bob will be missed by many, but we hope you will remember him with a smile on your face, a “Bob” story in your heart, and a cold beer in your hand.

Cremation has taken place and a funeral Mass, followed by a Celebration of Life will be held in the spring for everyone to celebrate Bob’s life and share a story or two.

Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer Society of Huron County directly, at, or the Seaforth Lions Club, where donations will be going towards the Splash Pad Initiative. Donations to the initiative will be accepted through e-transfer to or by cheque through the James A. Rutherford Funeral Home, 804 Ontario Street, Stratford. 519-271-5062.