ORVDA executive director passes away

Joseph P. O’ Brien, former general manager of Dave’s Claremore RV and executive director of the Oklahoma RV Dealers Association (ORVDA), passed away in his home in Claremore, Oklahoma, on July 27. He was 82.

O’Brien was instrumental in growing Dave’s Claremore RV, owned by Dave and Gloria Pierce for 39 years. Under his leadership, the dealership grew from five employees selling just a few unit a month to 75 employees selling more than 800 units a year.

O’Brien is also credited with putting procedures in place to ensure all departments would run efficiently and cooperatively, giving customers a high-quality experience.

He was born in Hackettstown, N.J., on Oct. 2, 1935. He joined the United States Air Force during the Korean War. O’Brien served 10 years as a flight engineer with duty both in the U.S. and Europe, followed by an honorable discharge in 1962.

He then entered into the RV industry, holding various positions, including ownership in RV dealerships and a hitch business, in Dallas, Texas and Tulsa, Oklahoma. After a short retirement, he purchased Littlefield’s Steakhouse in Claremore and operated it for six years, as J.P. O’Brien’s Steakhouse and Pub. Not content with retirement again, he then joined Dave’s Claremore RV.

O’Brien also enjoyed traveling to other dealers around the country, while operating his consulting business, J.P. O’Brien and Associates.

He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Janice Brown O’Brien, son, Pat O’Brien, daughter-In-law, Tamara O’Brien, granddaughters, Kaylin and Riley O’Brien, all of Tulsa, and stepson, Michael Zacharias of Claremore.

Burial is to be in the Fort Gibson National Cemetery, Fort Gibson, Oklahoma.

Ronnie Wendt

Ronnie Wendt

Ronnie Wendt has been a writer/editor for more than 25 years, working in law enforcement, aviation, supply chain and the RV industry. She's not a stranger to RVs, however. She grew up camping, and still camps as many weekends as she can every year. She is the owner of In Good Company Communications and can be reached at ingoodcompanycommunications@gmail.com.

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