From his obituary: 

Peter Michael O’Brien passed away on March 15, 2020 after an inconceivable and quick illness.  To prove how Irish he really was, Peter hung around in the ICU until after midnight on St Patrick’s Day when the incredible transplant team at Health Park hospital and LifeLink helped him to share the gift of life.  Peter was 40 years old and had been showered with love in the days that preceded his passing.

He was born in Detroit, Michigan June 22, 1979 to Philip and Carol (Beltz) O’Brien and grew up in St. Clair Shores, however he made sure to tell anyone and everyone that he was from Detroit and loved all things Detroit.  He was a proud son of South Lake High School where he made everyone laugh, including teachers; skipped classes and got caught by his parents, and learned that he loved to be the center of attention. He developed friendships with a group of people at South Lake that stayed strong for over 25+ years and Peter was there for every wedding, many kids’ first birthdays, and wanted to get on a plane no matter the cost for any sickness or funeral that impacted those friends.

After high school he found his calling in the restaurant industry and shined as a server, bartender and sometime manager. He brightened up every table he served and made friends with regulars and coworkers alike. In Michigan he lit up the world at Waves and Fishbones and in Florida he entertained the customers at CinCin, Bubble Room, Doc Ford’s, George & Wendy’s, and Blue Giraffe. He even lived everyone’s dream of being a snowbird in his 30s when he spent a summer at Atwater Brewing in Grosse Pointe and returned to Cape Coral in September.

Peter did something that most adults struggle to do – find real, honest lasting friendships after high school. He not only made friends in Florida as an adult but he created an entire family of people in Cape Coral and Fort Myers. He would spend Christmas morning with his nieces, eat an early dinner with his parents and then return to a friends for dinner; Thanksgivings were a marathon of food and celebration with as many people as possible, and birthdays never passed without a call, text or hug from Peter.

He was not a surface level friend but was someone that genuinely connected with everyone he met.  The friends he brought into his family were as close as if they were blood and he genuinely loved everyone he befriended.  To know Peter was to know generosity at its true core and to be loved by Pete was to feel love and warmth in its truest sense.

Pete was quite fond of paying his friends’ tabs at the bar or putting drinks and food on his own tab even when he promised that he would “let you get it this time.” And Pete was known around SW Florida to leave his servers and bartenders “Big fat tips” and did so because he loved to take care of people.

Pete learned this spirit of generosity from his parents who always believed that when you have more than you need, you build a longer table and not a higher wall. 

If you'd like to help area hospitality workers, you can donate in a number of ways:
Venmo: @putitonpetestab
Text: 168724 to (855) 575-7888 (you'll be prompted to sign up and choose the amount to donate)

Put It On Pete's Tab, Inc.