raciela Torres, 87, passed away peacefully and surrounded by her family April 23.
Graciela was born in Cuba and moved to Key Biscayne in 1961. She lived the rest of her life on the island with her husband, Omar Torres, who passed away in 2009.
She is survived by her two daughters, Ileana Alberni and Alina Olaechea; and her sister Elsa Casas. All are Key Biscayne residents.
Her extended family includes four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Thomas O’Brien, former owner of Islander
Tom O’Brien, a Key Biscayne resident since the 1960s, passed away peacefully at age 99 at home in Naples, Florida.
Born in Chicago in 1914, Mr. O’Brien began working in the retail flower business at age seven. He opened his own flower shop in the Morrison Hotel in Chicago at age 23. He then acquired four competitors’ retail flower shops and one wholesale flower business, consolidating all and operating from 1313 West Randolph Street in the heart of the flower market for 40-plus years. Mr. O’Brien established a successful national flowers-by telephone organization, and successfully sued FTD for multiple Federal antitrust violations.
He owned and operated commercial real estate in Chicago and South Florida.
When he “retired” to Key Biscayne, he acquired and operated The Islander News for many years, increasing its advertising volume 1,000 percent.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Phyllis Finnegan O’Brien. He is survived by Marcy O’Brien Bohn, Timothy Michael O’Brien (Peg) and Mary Louise O’Brien; nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.