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News & Press: OTF News

Passing of Bob O'Brien

Tuesday, November 03, 2015   (0 Comments)
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It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Mr. Bob O'Brien. Mr. O'Brien passed on Sunday, November 1st surrounded by loved ones.

O'Brien, along with his brother Don, founded Century Equipment in 1950 as a lawn and garden retail and maintenance business. Since then, it has grown into a major distributor of Toro and other products in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Few have had as big of an impact on the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation as Bob O'Brien. In addition to being one of the organization's founding fathers, O'Brien along with Jim FitzGibbon (Lesco) were the driving force behind the success of the OTF Conference and Show. 

When it was decided to have a conference and show in 1967, the two agreed to purchase nearly all of the available booth spaces to display their products and kindly encouraged their suppliers to participate as well. Because of their efforts, all booth spaces were sold out for the first show and the OTF Conference and Show has grown into one of the largest of its kind in the country.

Century Equipment continues to be one of the largest contributors to OTF and the Ohio Turfgrass Research Trust in large part because of the legacy started by Mr. Bob O'Brien. We are forever grateful for his leadership and dedication to the turfgrass industry. 

Mr. O'Brien was President of OTF in 1971 and was honored as an OTF Lifetime Member in 2001. Additionally, Mr. O'Brien served as a Director of the Ohio Turfgrass Research Trust.


Family and friends may visit Wednesday, November 4, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. with a Rosary at 7:00 p.m. at the Walker Funeral Home, 5155 Sylvania Ave. (west of Corey Rd.). A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated on Thursday, November 5, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. at Christ the King Church, 4100 Harvest Lane, Toledo, Ohio, with Fr. Ronald Olszewski. Interment, with Military Rites, will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Toledo, Ohio.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Francis de Sales High School, 2323 W. Bancroft St., Toledo, OH 43607; Lourdes University, 6832 Convent Blvd., Sylvania, OH 43560; or the Ohio Turfgrass Research Trust, 2710 North Star Road, Columbus, OH 43221.

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