CHAMPAIGN — Aislinn O’Brien passed away peacefully on Sept. 19, 2019, at her home in Champaign, in the company of friends, her devoted husband, Dave Dubin, and her beloved Siamese cats, Topo Gigio, Stella Luna, Merlin Oisin and Naoise Dubh. She was 58.
Aislinn was born Jan. 16, 1961, in Chestnut Hill, Pa., to Joseph and Anne (McGroarty) O’Brien. At a very early age she developed a passion for physical fitness and mind/ body disciplines. She studied classical dance at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet under John and Margarita de Saá White, completing an intensive course in the Vaganova method teacher training in 1994. Aislinn attended St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pa., where she studied English Literature, German and Theatre Arts, graduating cum laude in 1996.
Aislinn and Dave relocated to Illinois in 1996, where she became an enthusiastic fitness instructor. She taught classes and workshops at a variety of local fitness and recreation centers, with her longest professional connection at the Urbana Park District. She taught a wide range of topics, from ballet basics and yoga for children to senior strengtheners and fall prevention. Aislinn drew on her acting training and numerous certifications in exercise, yoga and the martial arts for a blended and playful approach to wellness, while scrupulously attending to safety and correctness of form. She was much beloved by her students, fellow teachers and classmates for her profound kindness and her steadfast commitment to maximizing each participant’s full potential.
Aislinn faced her final illness with courage, equanimity and faith in God, embodying the yogic principles by which she lived: simplicity, positive thinking, non-violence and total self-collectedness. She was profoundly grateful for the outpouring of love and support she received from family, friends, neighbors, caregivers, her community and her church.
She leaves behind to cherish her memory her devoted husband, Dave Dubin; three sisters, Mary Claire (Francis O’Brien) of Winston-Salem, N.C., Frances (Darrell) Leon of Oak Lawn and Christina (Jeff Jelen) O’Brien of Chicago; one brother, Connell Joseph O’Brien of Evergreen, Colo.; four nieces; five nephews; and many friends.
We will all miss Aislinn’s passion for music, her dedication to animals and her quirky sense of humor.
A Mass of The Resurrection will be celebrated for Aislinn at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, at Exaltation of the Holy Cross Catholic Church at 405 W. Clark St. in Champaign. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Aislinn’s memory to the Siamese Cat Rescue Center in Locust Dale, Va. va.siameserescue.org.