Joseph H. Brien, 85

PARAGOULD, ARK. — Joseph Henry Brien, 85, of Paragould, Ark., formerly of Portland, died at his home on Oct. 4, 2012, with his devoted wife, Robbie, by his side.

He was born on Feb. 4, 1927, in Portland, the son of Henry J. and Margaret M. Brien. He attended St. Patrick’s School and Deering High School, enlisting in the Navy at age 16 during WWII. He escaped without incident the battle of Anzio, Italy, and survived the ship disaster of the USS Solar, which exploded in New York Harbor in 1946. After discharge, he enlisted in the Air Force, from which he retired with 30 years of active duty.

He was a lifetime member of the American Legion, a member of the Air Force Sergeants’ Association, and a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Henry was predeceased by his parents; a sister, Florence Hamblet Lemieux; and by 15 days, his younger brother, Edward.

He is survived by his wife, Robbie Lee Brien of Paragould; brothers, Ernest Brien of Buxton and Gerald Brien of Harrison; sister Bertha Montgomery of South Portland; and many nieces and nephews.

Henry’s life was celebrated with a full military funeral on Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Paragould, with Fr. Mike Sinkler officiating. Burial followed in Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Sign the online guestbook at

Memorials may be sent to the American Cancer Society.

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