On Monday, August 15, we lost a beloved member of our SellersEaston Media team. Chief Operating Officer Dawn O’Brien was Employee No. 1 – with us from the start of our company six years ago. Her optimistic, can-do spirit infused our tiny startup. Her constant passion inspired us. Her business smarts and organizational talents helped focus and fuel our growth. She was a selfless friend who always took the time to engage and listen.
Dawn’s death was a devastating shock. Her year-long fight against colon cancer seemed to be on course; she had even started putting in a few hours a week and planned a full return to work this fall. We didn’t see this coming, which makes her passing especially painful.
None of us were able to say goodbye. We’re still reeling.
True to form, Dawn was incredibly brave throughout, never bitter or angry about her diagnosis, always grateful for the life she had and the turns it took. In that spirit, we are committed to finding solace in our wonderful memories of her – and in honoring her inspiring life.
Dawn, a graduate of Boston University, was a breathtakingly hard worker who believed in a balanced life – often saying she gave up the rat race of around-the-clock corporate travel so she could enjoy the flexibility of entrepreneurship and the amenities of her Annapolis home – paddle boarding, live music and (above all) lots of friends.
She always found a way to laugh, even in the most challenging times. She was perceptive in reading people – and could authentically relate to everyone, regardless of age or background. As a colleague, she was unflappable – like a lighthouse during a (production) storm – always helping us stay on course.
She leaves us with this essential life lesson: The glass is always half full. For Dawn, the paddle board was ready; the golf course called. She worked hard and played hard – and never asked for or looked for an opportunity to complain, even as her health failed her.
And she cherished the small town charm of Warren, Rhode Island, where her late father was a beloved firefighter until his own untimely passing. So it is fitting that on Thursday, August 25, Mass will be said for Dawn at Warren’s St. Mary’s on the Bay Church.