In Our Care

Dawn Marie O'Brien

07/13/1963 - 08/15/2022


Obituary For Dawn Marie O'Brien

Dawn Marie O'Brien, of Annapolis, Maryland, peacefully passed away on August 15, 2022, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Dawn was born on July 13, 1963 and raised in Warren, Rhode Island. After graduating from Warren High School, Dawn completed her Bachelor's degree at Boston University in communications. Her career began in the non-profit sector, first with the Cancer Society of Boston and then the Arthritis Foundation in Providence, kickstarting her passion for giving and charity work. Although Dawn went on to work in a variety of different roles, she remained dedicated to making the world a better place by supporting local charities dear to her heart.

Avid lover of the outdoors and the arts, Dawn spent time enjoying the serene beauty in nature. If she was not attending one of her favorite live music events, she could be found sailing on the Chesapeake Bay or playing 18 holes of golf. Her love for the outdoors and music were only surpassed by the love she had for family and friends. Dawn's caring and generous heart could be felt by anyone she came in contact with.

Dawn is the daughter of the late Richard O'Brien and Janet O'Brien; daughter of Honor Margo Mello; sister Erin Ivy and her late husband Lucky Ivy; brother Patrick O'Brien and his wife Lori O'Brien; sister Kerri Vining and her husband Keith. Dawn is also the caring and doting aunt to her nieces Gillian O'Brien and Olivia Vining. There are numerous aunts, uncles and cousins that will miss her dearly.

Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2022, from 6-8PM at Smith Funeral & Memorial Services, 8 Schoolhouse Rd., Warren.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 25, 2022, at 9AM from Smith Funeral & Memorial Services, 8 Schoolhouse Rd., Warren, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10AM in St. Mary of the Bay Church, 645 Main St., Warren.

Burial will follow in St. Mary of the Bay Cemetery, for a graveside blessing, Vernon St., Warren.

Information/On-Line condolences please visit-

Photos & Video

Add New Photos & Video


  • 09/08/2022

    I am so sorry to hear of Dawn's passing. The day she and Kerri visited the Yardarm was a special one--two Warren girls coming into a Cape Cod restaurant with a Warren girl bartending--serendipity! And my birthday is July 12th. I am so glad I got to spend an afternoon with Dawn, and with Kerri as well. Hugs to all who mourn this loss. Janet Amaral

  • 08/25/2022

    My condolences to Dawn's family and friends. I was lucky enough to meet Dawn on, aptly, a sailboat, and was fortunate to be able to share many sails with her as part of Tom's Annapolis sailing crew. I was shocked to hear of her passing, as I last saw her at a concert in April where she enthusiastically shared the news of her remission. Sadly I did not see her after that, and will forever regret missing another chance to hang out. I will always remember and miss her friendship, incredibly positive outlook (even when facing daunting odds), her smile, and her infectious laugh. The boat will feel empty without her. Mike Burgess

  • 08/24/2022

    Every now and then, a person comes into your life with whom you just click. The rapport is instantaneous - its as if you are both attuned to what the other is thinking and feeling. Before you know it, you're completing each other's sentences and you start laughing at what the other is about to say, even before they say it, because you know where they are going and you can completely relate. 40 years ago at Boston University, I was lucky enough to have that connection with Dawn. We met in a history class discussion group and went to see the Big Chill together and our excited post movie dissection, which led to hours of discussion on anything and everything, stays with me still. Dawn recently wrote me about that night and "the feeling that we had walking back up we'd discovered the secret of the universe." Unfortunately, Dawn was a year ahead of me and after that semester, we no longer shared a class and we lost touch as we went about living our separate lives. Then in March of this year, again thanks to the Big Chill, we found each other. William Hurt's passing made me think of the movie which, in my memory, is inextricably linked with Dawn and I was able to find her on LinkedIn, amazingly living just an hour's drive away from me. We chatted, texted, shared what we had been doing for the past 40 years and met for a shared birthday lunch on July 12th since mine was on the 11th and Dawn's was the 13th. And it was as if BU were yesterday. We re-clicked as if no time had passed and it was wonderful and I was so looking forward to getting to spend more time with her now that we were more settled in life. Dawn told me about her battle with cancer of course, but she was relentlessly optimistic and convinced she had it beat. Or so she told me. She was making plans to redo her bathrooms and go to Portugal and I was planning to go down and visit her in Annapolis at the end of the summer. So, like so many others, I was absolutely devastated to hear that she had passed away so suddenly. I miss you Dawn. I wish we had more time together, but I am so thankful for the memories of those times we did have and for the camaraderie we shared. You will always be special to me. My thoughts and prayers are with Dawn's family and friends during this difficult time. May the memories of her sweet smile comfort you when you need it the most. I know that's what she would have wanted.

  • 08/24/2022

    Dear Erin and family, So sorry for your loss. Dawn was a special lady. I had the pleasure of meeting her and I was blessed to be around her. May your memories bring you comfort. Thinking of you now and always. I love you. Lena

  • 08/24/2022

    Dear Erin and family , we are so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful sister ! Dawn was a wonderful person - may your cherished memories get you through the most difficult times! With all our love ~ Stacey & Curtis Davis

  • 08/23/2022

    Dawn was a special person!! Her light always shined bright and she had a smile for everyone she met! She was a good friend and an amazing woman! She will be missed!! My thoughts and prayers are with the entire O'Brien family.

  • 08/23/2022

    Dear Janet and family i am so sorry for your loss of Dawn. My prayers and sympathy are with you. May she rest in peace with the Lord. Sue Wills

  • 08/22/2022

    Dear Margo and family I am so so sad over the heartbreaking loss of your Dawn. No words can ever assuage the sadness felt by all who knew and loved her. I can only offer my prayers and sympathy and hope this may give you some comfort. Fran Sotolongo

  • 08/22/2022

    Dawn has touched my heart these many years in many ways! I will always cherish our friendship.

  • 08/20/2022

    Dear Kerrie and family Dawn came into our family through my cousin Mark and we loved and welcomed her instantly. I have many special memories of her and how she was so great with my young children. I will always remember her enthusiasm and love for life. I have many wonderful pictures and will cherish them. She was a great achiever and wonderful person. Carmella Farrell

  • 08/20/2022

    My condolences to all Dawn's family and friends. We shared many conversations about politics, family, religion , and life. She was truly a good soul. And I hope heaven welcomed her with a great band because she loved a good upbeat music. Grant Zeigenfuse

  • 08/19/2022

    Dawn was truly a bright light. Throughout all of our school years and beyond, Dawn was never without a smile and made friends with everyone. Our deepest condolences to the entire O'Brien Family. Rest in peace Dawn and fly high with the angels my friend. You will be missed. 🙏🏻🙏🏻

  • 08/19/2022

    Dawn always had the most amazing smile and positive energy. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

  • 08/19/2022

    So very sorry for your family's loss. Deb C

  • 08/19/2022

    Thoughts and prayers go out to the entire O'Brien family during the difficult time , Dawn may you Rest In Peace ! Kris Collins

  • 08/19/2022

    Dawn's light will forever live in all who made her acquaintance. Thank you Dawn safe travels and you will live forever in my heart. May these memories comfort the family. May her memory be everlasting

  • 08/19/2022

    Dawn was one of my closest friends. We stayed in touch through the years and got together whenever we could. Dawn loved people and was a truly good person. I will miss her.

  • 08/19/2022

    Patrick and family so sorry for your family's loss . You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • 08/19/2022

    My sincere condolences to the O'Brien family. May she rest in peace.

Add a Candle

Click a candle below to add a candle to your message.