Karen Lee Jones Thompson O'Briant
May 17, 1952 - April 27, 2012
Karen O’Briant, beloved wife of Mickey O’Briant, passed away on Friday, April 27 at 2:30 p.m. in Richmond, VA after a long and arduous battle with breast cancer. Karen and her husband Mickey had been in Virginia Beach attending a class at Atlantic University when Karen became severely ill from sudden complications due to her cancer. Karen was 59 years old and she has been a long time resident of Sweetwater, TX.
Karen was born in Denver, Colorado on May 17, 1952 to Ada Glenell and Richard Wesley Jones who are now both deceased. She is survived by her husband Mickey and ex-husband Barry Thompson. She has two brothers, Gary Jones and Paul Jones of Denver and one half-sister, Betty Ferraro of Irvine California. She has two sons by her previous marriage, Jeff Thompson, currently residing in Colorado and Jon and wife Kristie Thompson who lives in Georgetown, TX. She has two step sons, Michael O’Briant and Paul O’Briant of Waco and three granddaughters, Malee, Lana and Layla Thompson.
She attended high school in Arvada, Colorado and attended Mesa Junior College in 1970-1971. After college, she worked as Senior Secretary for the Colorado Heart Association in Denver until marriage in late 1971 to Air Force Sergeant Barry Thompson. During the next eight years, Karen traveled to Guam, Idaho, Texas and Louisiana, gave birth to two sons, and served a Red Cross Case Worker for the Air Force Family Services at each base. Her husband finished his time with the Air Force in 1979, and they settled down in Central Texas in 1979.
In 1979, Karen was hired by Dr. Dudley Baker as the Educational Coordinator for the Ob/Gyn Department at Scott & White Hospital/Texas A&M University College of Medicine when the Charter Class began in 1979. She was promoted within two years to become the Residency Coordinator and the CME Coordinator for the Ob/Gyn Department. Karen was also instrumental in the role of Executive Director of the Texas Association of Ob/Gyn (TAOG).
She married Mickey O’Briant in 2002, and moved to Sweetwater, Texas. In 2002, Karen agreed to be the director of both TAOG and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Texas Section. Karen performed both roles incredibly well from her home. In 2007-08, Texas became its own district of ACOG, and the administrative aspects were handled by Karen. In 2010, an ACOG district office was established in Austin, TX and Karen mentored and collaborated with the newly appointed executive director of ACOG. Karen has maintained her role as executive director of TAOG.
She was honored at the Joint TAOG/ACOG Texas District Annual Meeting in October 2011. She was presented with an official State of Texas Proclamation for her dedicated service and she was also presented with a Texas flag that had flown over the state capital in Austin. Karen was also inducted into the prestigious TAOG Hall of Fame for her many years of dedicated service and support to the ob/gyn doctors who practice across the State of Texas. Although retired, Karen continued to handle the TAOG affairs as a transition to an Austin office was being formulated.
During Karen’s lengthy battle with breast cancer, she was a champion to many others who are battling this disease through her support and positive uplifting in several online cancer support groups. Her positive sunshine attitude has helped many who are battling this terrible disease and who are enduring the often ‘not so pleasant’ treatment protocols that are often used to treat cancer’s various conditions. Her desire and message to those still in this battle is to remain positive and to never give up. Karen was also well known throughout the Big Country’s music community as an entertainer, vocalist and keyboardist for bands such as The Screaming Moon Dogs, Desert Ethic, Brazos, Moe and Keli and Static Pulse. Karen was loved by all she came into to contact with. She was a truly a spiritual person who loved God and His Son Jesus and she did her part to promote this love to all who knew her. Heaven has become brighter by her presence and she is now the true angel that she has emulated while being here among us. We will indeed miss her love and light here on this earth.
Memorial services for Karen will be held on Saturday, May 12 starting at 1 p.m. at the Trinity Baptist Church in Sweetwater, Texas. Trinity Baptist Church is located at 1503 Crescent at the corner of Sante Fe and Hailey.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org , by phone at 1 (800) 227-2345, or by check to The American Cancer Society, 3402 N. First Street, Abilene, TX 79603.