Thomas “OB” Gene O’Bryan

Thomas “OB” Gene O’Bryan, age 72, went home to be with the Lord on Friday, January 20, 2023.  Born July 12, 1950, he grew up in Detroit, Michigan, but had lived in the Hampton Roads area up until 2016 when he moved to Dinwiddie, VA. 

OB joined the Air Force in 1968 and retired after 20 years of service.  After retiring from the Air Force, OB worked as a deputy for York County for 12 years, and attended Saint Leo University, earning a bachelor’s degree.  Following getting his degree, he worked security for NASA, retiring from there as well.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Robbie L. O’Bryan, parents Marcellus (Pat) O’Bryan and Lola Mearl O’Bryan, and son Gregory E. Mitchell.  OB is survived by his children, Thomas E. O’Bryan, Donna M. Torrey, Lisa M. Barnhouse, and Nathaniel “Scott” Mitchell and their families; 14 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; sister Galena Fulkerson; and brother Joseph O’Bryan.

Many who knew Thomas called him “OB” and “OB” never meet a stranger.  He enjoyed good conversation and loved being around family and friends.  He was a hard worker and always found great joy in buying others a meal.  OB was loved by many and will truly be missed.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2023, at Smyrna Baptist Church, 18971 Carson Rd., Dinwiddie, Virginia.  The burial will be private.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.


  1. Angela Dyke

    Ob was a great guy. We worked at Badge and Pass at NASA for 23 years. We had some many good times. He was Dallas Cowboys and I was Redskins. He was really a blessing to so so many. Very much missed my friend and brother in Christ. Prayers for the family!!!

  2. Marilyn Adams

    Mr. OB was one of my favorite residents when he lived at Spring Oak ALF, but he was not just a resident he was a friend. One of the first things he told me when we met was that he does not call anyone a stranger, and after talking with him, and getting to know him over the past few years, I can see exactly why no one was ever considered a stranger.
    During his stay at Spring Oak he always had a smile and a hello for everyone, and he loved to treat the staff, especially with a meal and with presents on Christmas. If you ever had a chance to meet him consider yourself lucky unless you weren’t a fan of the Dallas Cowboys.
    Rest well Mr. OB. YOU will always be remembered.

    The Final Flight
    Every small and random kind act
    Makes me feel quite ready for the flight
    That final flight on the seagull’s back
    Far away towards heavens filled with light

    The small kind act’s will stay back each
    Bringing peace for all on life’s beach
    I will see them laugh and run and dance
    Inspiring to each tenderness, sweet romance

    And from the bird’s back, that joy I will see.
    It will give me close absolute certainty
    That my long and final trip will bring me
    To a place of utmost bliss and serenity

    Audience Zophy

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