Astrid O'Brien

Death Notice - O’Brien, Astrid M. at the age of 82 of Riverdale, NY and Peaks Island, ME, passed away on April 3rd 2016.  Retired professor of Philosophy at Fordham University, she was born Astrid Marie Richie.  Beloved wife of 56 years to Robert C O'Brien.  Devoted mother to Robert J. O’Brien of Port St Lucie, Frances C. O’Brien of Saddle Brook, NJ and Carol O’Brien Haagensen of Westborough, MA. Grandmother to Raymond J. O'Brien, Jack Haagensen and Melinda Haagensen.  

Astrid received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology from The College of Mount St Vincent.  She then went on to follow her passion for Philosophy, achieving a Masters Degree at Marquette University.  She completed her Doctorate Degree in Philosophy from Fordham University, specializing in the Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas.  

Upon joining Fordham University in 1959, she met and married her colleague Robert C. O'Brien in 1960.  They both went on to teach together for over 50 years.  

Astrid's scholarly interests lay in medieval philosophy and the philosophy of religion and spirituality.  Having lectured and written widely on Mysticism, her work culminating in the publication of her book on the late 19th century French mystic, “A Mysticism of Kindness: The Biography of Lucie Christine” in 2010. 

Astrid was very enthusiastic about her Norwegian heritage.  She spent many hours volunteering at the Norwegian Seaman's church and St Ansgar's Scandinavian Catholic League, where she served as President for many years.  Having mastered the Norwegian language, she visited relatives in Norway several times and led student groups through Scandinavia.  Astrid also greatly enjoyed spending her summers on Peaks Island, where she also involved in several community organizations. 

In lieu of flowers for Dr. Astrid O'Brien, please consider supporting Heifer International, one of her favorite charities at

Reposing Wednesday 4-8 pm at Riverdale-on-Hudson Funeral Home, 6110 Riverdale Ave, Bronx, NY.  Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, 10:30 am at St Margaret of Cortona Church, 6000 Riverdale Ave, Bronx NY. Interment Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, NY.