Antique Vintage 05

Francis (Frank) O'Brien

April 17, 1960 ~ May 9, 2022 (age 62)


Francis William O’Brien, 62, of Wake Forest passed away after a five-month battle for his life. Frank was a man who enjoyed the simple things in life, a good glass of scotch or whiskey, reading a great urban fantasy or western book, often reading out loud to his wife, a relaxing comedy on television like The Big Bang Theory where you could often hear him throughout the house with his big belly laughs and when he really enjoyed a show, you could find him clapping in appreciation with his feet. He loved his pocketknife and wristwatch collections and was always looking for the next one of each that had a feature he hadn’t seen before.  Frank was an amazing dancer who would drop everything to dance with his wife, Kris, whenever their favorite song, “Brown Eyed Girl” played no matter where they were, often to the embarrassment of Christopher.

He was an avid comic book fan with Marvel topping his list, if there was a movie about one of the characters, he didn’t miss it and often bought it on DVD! His sense of humor was sub-Saharan with a wit no one could deny. Frank loved a good Flea Market and was always looking for a bargain on another tool or bag of screws to add to his already enormous collection.  He was an amazing handyman, if only we could get him to complete one project before starting the next, SOOO many unfinished projects….. He loved family vacations no matter the destination and enjoyed exploring new places with each adventure.  He was a father figure to many as he was always a great listener and offered wisdom and advice that was always what you needed but not always what you wanted. Once he was in your corner, you knew he would always be there. Frank was always willing to help anyone no matter how big or small the task, he would go the extra mile to be a protector or shoulder, whichever was needed.  He was an excellent gift giver as he thoroughly thought out all the gifts he gave, despite his aversion to shopping. Frank was an avid dog lover, especially his dogs Yona and Micah.  We would be remiss if we did not mention Frank’s love of food!  If you were cooking, he was close by to “taste test”, if he was asked to wait, it was a bag of chips that were his go to until the meal was ready.

Frank was not a man of many words but when he spoke, he always added value, he was in fact, brilliant.  He had a genius IQ but also a repository of useless facts, unless it was trivia, if it was trivia, you always wanted him on your team.

Frank was loved by more people than he ever knew, and he will be sorely missed by all of us but no one more than his wife, the two of them were a team and were meant to be together, their love was true, deep and endless.

Frank is preceded in death by his mother and father, Lorraine & Robert O'Brien and his late sister, Cathy.

Frank is survived by his loving wife, Kris of 18 years, his son Christopher Pannesi-Fessler (Husband, Christian); brother Bob, brother Kevin (Wife, Kristen), and sister Claire (Wife, Debbie); nephews Konor and Kolby; niece Sophie; sister-in-laws Teri Pannesi and Cindy Berenter; brother-in-law Ronald Pannesi; nieces Allie and Katie, and Father & Mother In-Law Dr. Ronald Thomas and Ann Pannesi.

Flowers can be ordered for Frank's service at

Bright Funeral Home is caring for this family. A Celebration of Life will be held at The Victorian: Youngsville123 SE Railroad St, Youngsville, NC 27596 on Sunday, May 22nd, from 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Celebration of Life
May 22, 2022

2:00 PM
The Victorian
123 SE Railroad St
Youngsville, NC 27596

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