Brian Arundel O'Leary

September 4, 2023


CHARLOTTE – A long time Charlotte resident, Brian Arundel O’Leary passed away peacefully on Monday, September 4, 2023, surrounded by his family who were the center of his life. 

Born July 16, 1938, in Pittsburgh, PA to Clarence William O’Leary and Mary Burk O’Leary, he attended Bethel High School where he prevailed as a leading force on both the football and baseball teams.  He graduated from Bucknell University where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and participated in the ROTC program his Junior and Senior year.  It was there that he met Judy McAllister, the love of his life.  They were married shortly after graduation. 

Brian and Judy moved to Fort Benning, GA where he began his military assignment as a Second Lieutenant in the Army.  He was later transferred to Fort Ord, CA.  After completion of his service, they moved to New York City where Brian took a position with St. Regis Paper Company which at the time was a manufacturer of paper products.

After working his way through the ranks, Brian surprised Judy with an announcement that they were moving to Charlotte, NC.  It was 1970 and Brian had an inkling that Charlotte would be a boom town. There, he made the bold move of starting his own company from scratch and established Container Corporation of Carolina which became one of the largest commercial waste company in the southeast.

Golf was one of his greatest passions and he developed many strong relationships on the golf course.  He loved running and once completed the New York City Marathon.  He was an accomplished private pilot which led him to own an aviation company, Charter Flight, Inc.

Through Young Presidents Organization, Brian and Judy found a love of travelling. They traveled extensively with their family and had a list of special hotels and restaurants around the world that became their favorites.  Brian had a love for cuisine that guided many of their destinations. Brian and Judy made many fond memories with their children and grandchildren at their family homes in Chatham, MA and Figure Eight Island.

Years after selling Container Corporation of Carolina, Brian’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to start yet another company with his son Brian- O’Leary Group Waste Systems.  The Charlotte-based company is a statement of his talents, perseverance, and love of the challenges of daily business life.

His love for his wife and his three children, Treva, Tracy and Brian was boundless. He is survived by his wife, Judy McAllister O’Leary; his daughter, Treva O’Leary Stephens of Woodstock, VT, her children, Morgan Stephens Stoneham (Dylan) of New Bern, NC, John Arundel Stephens (Madeline) of Raleigh, NC, Charles Harper Stephens of Raleigh, NC, and Barbara Anne Stephens of Alexandria, VA; his daughter, Tracy Burk O’Leary of Charlotte, NC, her children, Hannah McAllister Darrow of Connemara, Ireland, Hilary Burk Darrow Steinman (Brad) of Cleveland, OH, and Sarah Frances Darrow-Marshall (Cameron) of Ft. Mill, SC; his son, Brian McAllister O’Leary (Denny), and their children, Smith Connor O’Leary of New York, NY and Christopher McAllister O’Leary of Charlotte, NC; and 2 great grandchildren, Charles Gray Stoneham of New Bern, NC and John Arundel Stephens, Jr. of Raleigh, NC.  He is also survived by his beloved grand dogs.

He exuded optimism with a great sense of humor, a full heart, and a genuine love of life with an extremely generous spirit. His beautiful heart and spirit will be missed immensely.

The family would like to thank Dr. Warren Holshouser, Dr. Geoffrey Rose, Dr. Amar Parikh, and Dr. Michael Leonard and all of the nurses and staff at Dickson Heart ICU for their care and compassion.

A celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, September 11, 2023, at Christ Episcopal Church, 1412 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC.  The family will receive friends following the service in the Blue Room at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered in memory of Brian to Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute Advancement Fund through Atrium Health Foundation, 208 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203 or Honor Service Dogs, Inc., P.O. Box 77108, Charlotte, NC 28271.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences may be shared at

Share your memories & condolences


  • Deborah Will John

    Uncle Brain was such a good kind man.
    I have only the best childhood family memories!
    Sending all my Love…Deb Will John &Jessica John Kim & Aleya John Rose

  • Sam Bain

    to all the O"Leary Family,
    i feel privileged to have known such an accomplished man who without limit loved Judy; I am sure over the years your reflections of Brian will give you happiness.
    all the best,


    Brian (Mr. O) always had a ready smile for me each time I saw him. He was full of life, loved the trash business, and adored his family. I was touched once to overhear him on the phone with one of his children say, I love you, Honey. He did so with such abandon that I was deeply touched. Brian always dispensed a large dose of encouragement to me and because he believed in me, I believed, too. Brian's passing is a huge loss to us all at O'Leary and we will be speaking many Brian-isms in the years that follow.

    My love and prayers go out to Judy, Treva, Tracy, Brian and all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Find comfort in knowing that his legacy is each of you.

    Robin Turner
    Twice in the trash business because of Brian O'Leary

  • Marjorie Grass(Will)

    My thoughts and prayers go out to my cousins and aunt and heartbroken over the lost your family is suffering. He was amazing person.