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OBITUARIES

Kathryn O'Brien Lawrence

Kathryn O'Brien Lawrence, a former owner of two Petaluma restaurants, didn't take the doctors' advice to place her first husband in a care facility after he lost his sight during surgery.

Instead, she cared for him at home and helped his rehabilitation with guitar lessons, square dancing and sculpting.

Lawrence died Monday at her home in Petaluma after battling Parkinson's disease. She was 86.

Her family called her a woman determined to care for those she loved.

Lawrence instilled in her children the idea, "If you don't have family, what do you have?" said her daughter, Colleen Bent of Healdsburg. "I'm really proud to be her daughter."

A native of Aitkin, Minn., Lawrence moved to Santa Monica during her freshman year of high school. She went on to graduate from UCLA and become a home economics teacher in Monterey.

In 1954, she married Daniel O'Brien. In 1960, the couple moved to Petaluma where her husband and his brother had purchased an A&W Drive In. The O'Briens later moved the business from Wilson and East Washington streets to Edith Street and East Washington.

In 1974, the O'Briens leased out the A&W restaurant and took over the Old Adobe Room restaurant at the Petaluma Inn. In both restaurants, the couple's five children helped with the operations.

Summer vacations for the family included water skiing trips to the upper Sacramento River, Lake Shasta and Clear Lake.

But when Daniel O'Brien lost his sight during surgery, Lawrence insisted on caring for him, and the family rallied. Colleen Bent recalled how her sister, Timaree O'Brien of Santa Rosa, and her late brother Patrick O'Brien returned home for many months to help their mother run the Old Adobe Room.

Even so, Lawrence was the driving force for the care of her husband. Her sister-in-law, Joan O'Brien of Petaluma, said "It was her determination to get Dan rehabilitated."

Daniel O'Brien lived another 10 years after the surgery and died in 1994. Two years later, Lawrence married Petaluma farmer William Lawrence, who died in 2003.

Lawrence's activities included the Epicureans AAUW, Petaluma Golf and Country Club, Adobe Squares, Petaluma Parkinson's Disease Support Group and several bridge groups.

Other survivors include daughter Bonnie Johnston and son Jamie O'Brien, both of Santa Rosa, and six grandsons and three granddaughters.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Petaluma United Church of Christ. The family prefers memorial contributions to the Parkinson's Support Group of Sonoma County, 1717 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa 95405, or Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St., Petaluma 94952.

-- Robert Digitale

Jerry Vale, 1950s crooner

LOS ANGELES -- Popular 1950s crooner Jerry Vale has died at his California home. He was 83.

A family attorney said that Vale died Sunday morning at his home in Palm Desert. Harold Levy said Vale had been in declining health.

Born Genaro Louis Vitaliano, Vale started performing in New York supper clubs as a teenager and went on to record more than 50 albums.

He was known for his high tenor voice and romantic songs, including his signature tune "Al Di La."

His recording of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in the 1960s was played at sporting events for years.

He also appeared as himself in the movies "Goodfellas," "Casino" and the TV series "The Sopranos."

Vale is survived by his wife of 55 years, a son and a daughter.

-- Associated Press

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