Joan O'Brien SP

Jun 20, 1921 – Jan 15, 2016

Joan OBrien       SP obituary image 1





(Sister James Albert)

Sister Joan O’Brien, age 94, a Sister of Providence for 74 years, died January 15, 2016, at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle, WA.  Vigil Service:  Monday, January 25, 2016, at 7:00 PM, and Funeral Mass:  Tuesday, January 26, 2016, at 11:00 AM, both at St. Joseph Residence, 4800 37th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA.  Burial at Calvary Cemetery, Seattle, WA, follows Mass and reception.  Bonney-Watson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Joan O’Brien was born June 20, 1921 to James Albert O’Brien and Bernadette Lamontagne in L’Assomption, Quebec, Canada.  She was given the name in baptism of Marie Jeanne d’Arc, and was the ninth of 11 children in an Irish and French-Canadian family.  At age 8, when her mother died, she and her younger sister lived in a Sisters of Providence orphanage.  July 17, 1940 was when she entered the Sisters of Providence in Montreal, Quebec, and subsequently became a novice on January 18, 1941.  On July 19, 1942, she professed first vows and received the name Sister James Albert.  Shortly afterwards, she came to Seattle, WA.  On July 19, 1945 she professed final vows.

In 1942 Sister Joan first served as a companion in the infirmary at Mount St. Vincent, Seattle, and from 1943-1945 she worked as a cook at St. Catherine School, Seattle and St. Michael School, Olympia.  In 1951 Sr. Joan received a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Seattle University. She was the Nursing Supervisor at various hospitals from 1951-1969; in Oregon:  Medford - Providence Medical Center (Sacred Heart Hospital); Portland - St. Vincent Medical Center; and in Washington: Vancouver - St. Joseph Hospital; Everett - Providence Hospital; Olympia - St. Peter Hospital; and Seattle - Providence Medical Center.  

Then from 1970-1994 Sr. Joan served as a spiritual coordinator and provided pastoral care in several Providence hospitals.  She helped form the Pastoral Care Department at Providence Hospital, Seattle, and served in the department for 13 years.  She began volunteer ministry at Vincent House, Seattle, and was a staff member for 3½ years.  Then she continued her pastoral visiting at Vincent House and also, did the same at St. Joseph Residence.  During these years she received certification from the Pastoral Institute for Chaplains, Washington, D.C.; and participated in the CREDO sabbatical program at Gonzaga University, Spokane.  In July 1974 Sr. Joan was honored and named Employee of the Year by Providence Seattle Medical Center. 

When she retired in May 1994 at St. Joseph Residence she continued her spiritual and pastoral care to all while enjoying and sharing time with the sisters, taking walks, knitting, crocheting and listening to music.   

Sr. Joan is preceded in death by her parents and siblings.    She is survived by her grandniece, Marie Carriere, Brossard, Quebec, Canada. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Providence Retirement Fund, 1801 Lind Avenue SW, #9016, Renton, WA  98057-9016.

To view Sr. Joan’s obituary and picture and to sign her memory book, please visit the website for Bonney-Watson Funeral Home at

January 19, 2016


This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.