Cover photo for Dianne O'Brien's Obituary
Dianne O'Brien Profile Photo
1943 Dianne 2015

Dianne O'Brien

March 27, 1943 — October 18, 2015


Dr. Dianne Boswell O’Brien, 72, of Paducah passed away on Sunday, October 18, 2015 at her residence.

Dr. O’Brien was a former professor at Murray State University and a member of Reidland United Methodist Church.

Surviving are her husband of 46 years, Bill O’Brien; two sons, Clark (Jordan) O’Brien of Tiline; Lee O’Brien of Smithland; two brothers, David (Katherine) Boswell of Smithland, Tim (Linda) Boswell of Honolulu, Hawaii; one sister, Renee (Doug) McGill of Paducah; three grandchildren, Hunter O’Brien, Cinch O’Brien, and Tuff O’Brien; her stepmother, Genevieve Boswell of Bardwell, Kentucky; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents James Isaac Boswell and Alberta Massey Beggs; her stepfather, Weldon Beggs; and her aunt and uncle, Edith and Russell Smith.

Dr. O’Brien’s professional career spanned 36 years, including 12 years at Reidland High School before joining Murray State University where she taught physical education, dance, sports law, and drug prevention. Dr. O’Brien was a regional representative for Murray State University teaching dance and drug prevention classes at many elementary and secondary schools. She co-authored a sports law textbook that was used in several schools and she was a participant in the formation of the President’s Title IX program, working closely with Senator Wendell H. Ford and other lawmakers. In addition, Dr. O’Brien served on the U.S. Olympic drug testing committee and other national committees representing her profession.

Locally, Dr. O’Brien was instrumental in the Livingston County Historical Society and local Chamber of Commerce.

Visitation for Dr. O’Brien will be at Smith Funeral Chapel in Smithland, Kentucky on Wednesday, October 21, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. and again on Thursday, October 22, at the Smithland United Methodist Church from 11:00 a.m. until the funeral hour.

Funeral services will be at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at the Smithland United Methodist Church with the Revs. Lea Griffith, Joel Jackson, Mike Grimes, and James O’Brien officiating. Burial will follow at the Smithland Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Smithland United Methodist Church at 403 Court St, Smithland, KY 42081 or Livingston County Historical Society at 117 State St, Smithland, KY 42081.

Online condolences may be left at

Smith Funeral Chapel in Smithland is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dianne O'Brien, please visit our flower store.


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