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MADISON / BRATTLEBORO, Vt.—It is with shocking sadness to share that Kellianne O’Brien, age 53, tragically passed away on June 1, 2018, in Brattleboro, due to an automobile accident. Kellianne has lived in Massachusetts, then Vermont for the past decade, but had previously lived in Madison for many years.

Kellianne was an extremely creative, talented, generous, altruistic and deeply sincere person, who was a steadfast advocate and leader in the mental health and recovery field. Her voice and work made a profound and lasting difference in the lives of many people. Kellianne was also a prolific artist for the past 25 years. During the past several years, her art caught the attention of audiences in Europe, especially Italy; and she had most recently been working with an agent and professor there. Her art, painting, sculpture and photography is inspiring and she was very dedicated to it.

Kellianne was also someone who had impressive character and integrity. She extended her deepest self in many areas of life, always thinking of people who were struggling, and exemplified a rare level of empathy for others. Her humble dedication to assisting others through her work came partly from her Catholic background. She lived her spirituality and her mere presence was calming. She lived authentically and modeled a gentle honesty that resonated in any environment, or with any people she happened to be around in that moment. She exuded a humble gravitas and anyone who knew her will instantly recognize this description. Kellianne was truly a unique human being in this way and modeled a more spiritually evolved way of existing. Kellianne also was joyful and fun! Her laugh was contagious and always close at hand. She seemed to know what was most important in life.

Kellianne is preceded in death by her mother. She is survived by her very long-term partner, Katherine Friedrich; as well as her father, brother and hundreds of friends and associates. Her death leaves a gaping hole in many lives and a light has been extinguished in this world, but it is with our great hope and prayer that she indeed has moved to the next world of love, light and wisdom and will remain a spiritual guide for many of us.

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A remembrance event will be planned for some time this summer; she had made it clear many years ago, that it was her wish to not have formal services upon her death.

Please contact Amy, at, for details and references to Kellianne’s work.

Kellianne, we will miss you always and imagine the day we will be reunited in the next world.

the life of: O'Brien, Kellianne
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