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James V. "Shimo" O'Brian, 78, of Lighthouse Point, Fla., a former Buffalonian, died Sunday (March 29, 1998) in Veterans Medical Center, West Palm Beach, Fla., after a two-month illness.

Born in Buffalo, he grew up in the Old First Ward and attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help School. He served in the Army during World War II and received the Purple Heart after he was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge.

He was a fireman with New York Central Railroad and later with Penn Central and Conrail, retiring in 1982. After spending his winters in Florida for several years, he moved from South Buffalo to Lighthouse Point in 1989.

He was a life member of Paul J. Schifferli Chapter 150, Disabled American Veterans, and a member of South Buffalo Post 721, American Legion, and of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Lighthouse Point.

He was a brother of the former syndicated newspaper columnist Jack O'Brian, who wrote "The Voice of Broadway."

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, the former Rita Dumas; four sons, James of Kansas City, Mo., Daniel of Oakley, Kan., Michael of East Aurora and Paul of Arvada, Colo.; a daughter, Peggy McLane of Boca Raton, Fla.; his brother, Jack of New York City; 16 grandchildren; and two great-grandsons.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday in St. Paul the Apostle Church, Lighthouse Point. Entombment will be in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Margate, Fla.

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