Charlotte Ann Brockhard O’Brien
September 21, 1943 – May 3, 2020
Charlotte Ann Brockhard O’Brien, 76, of Albemarle Beach died peacefully with her son and best friend by her side on Sunday, May 3 after a long and courageous battle with Lewy Body Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. She fought so very hard all the way until the end.
Charlotte was born on September 21, 1943, in Plymouth, NC to Elenora Serena Brockhard and Morrison “Pete” Lako Brockhard, who had recently relocated to Plymouth from Richwood, WV along with many others to start up what would later become the Weyerhaeuser Paper Company. She grew up in the “Little Richwood” neighborhood area of Plymouth with so many that were part of that era in Plymouth’s history. She treasured her family’s West Virginia roots and her family here and the ones that stayed behind in Richwood.
Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents, Elenora and Pete Brockhard, and her husband, Garland Merritt O’Brien Sr. She is survived by her only child, Garland (“Gary”) Merritt O’Brien, II and “second son” Duane Thompson of Beltsville, MD, and one brother, Douglas Lee Brockhard of Columbia, SC. She is also survived by her best friend and caregiver, Barbara M. McAdoo of Plymouth.
Charlotte was a graduate of Plymouth High School and was married to Garland on December 2, 1962. She was a longtime member of the Plymouth Church of the Nazarene. She began work at a young age for the “old” Washington County Hospital, and the “new” Washington County Hospital in Plymouth until the late 70’s. She loved her time at the hospital with all of the doctors of the time and “hospital family” and especially her time with Dr. Garrett and Dr. Williams. She loved to tell her stories of her time with Dr. Ferguson, Dr. Jeter, and Dr. Papineau. Later, she and her husband along with her son Gary and his best friend Mickey and her best friend Barbara owned and operated O’Brien Office Supply in downtown Plymouth where they all had a lot of laughs and fun.
Charlotte loved her flowers, Christmas, and her antiques. She worked for years at the Plymouth Antiques Mall. She relished her time with Ray Stocks, the owner of the mall roadtripping to wherever they could go to explore and find antiques and whatever else came their way, to go into the mall to sell. At home on the Albemarle Sound, you could very easily find her in one of her 500 flower beds weeding or planting something new while chasing the neighborhood dogs out for peeing on her flowers. She was so funny to watch doing that. She loved Christmas the most of all of these, and we can attest to that with the 5000 Santa Clauses that still adorn the home on the sound.
Charlotte was not only a Mom to Gary, she was a second Mom to so many of his friends. “Miss Charlotte” is how she was known by so many who loved her. Her home on the sound was a place so many came to enjoy the water, good company, and chicken salad to die for. She was the best mother a woman could be, and that bond with her son that started at his birth endured until her last breath and still will carry on with him. She made certain her love carried on with her son passing that on to those around him. He loved her and stood for her when she could not. “Miss Charlotte” will be missed by so many.
Many thanks to her best buddy, Barbara McAdoo for showing her a best friend’s love and for being there for her for many years and through this final battle until the very end. Thanks to Ashley Hux for always making Miss Charlotte look so good and keeping her spirits up through this. Also, thanks to the many loving and loyal caregivers that went the extra mile for her during this last journey and showed her special attention. You know who you are. Her son, Gary, thanks and loves each and every person in his life and hers that have shown him support and love as he traveled for many years with his mom on this journey.
There will be a visitation Friday, May 8 from 5: 00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Bryan Funeral Service in Plymouth, and other times people are welcome to stop by the sound and safely chat in the yard or by the water.
A graveside service at the Windley Cemetery will be held on Saturday, May 9 at 11:00 AM where she will be laid to rest with her family.
Flowers are welcome or a donation, in her honor, can be made to the Eastern North Carolina Chapter Alzheimer’s Association in at www.alz.org/nc
Arrangements are by Bryan Funeral Service at Hampton Academy, Plymouth.
To plant a tree in memory of Charlotte Ann (Brockhard) O'Brien, please visit our tribute store.
Eastern North Carolina Chapter Alzheimer's Association