Mary O’Brien Tyrrell


Founder and Owner, Memoirs, Inc.



  • MPH, Community Health Education, University of Minnesota
  • BS, Nursing, College of St. Scholastica


  • Educational Fellow of Minnesota Area Geriatric Education Center at U. of MN, 2003
  • Star of Excellence Award, 1995, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Kappi Phi Chapter
  • Sister Alice Lamb Award for outstanding services and accomplishments in profession, 1990, Alumni Association of the College of St. Scholastica
  • Leadership Award, 1987, Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota
  • Excellence in Nursing, 1985, V A Medical Center, St. Cloud
  • Improving Communication to the Public, 1982 and 1986; V A Medical Center, St. Cloud


  • Nursing


  • Over 30 years in nursing
  • Since 1994, Mary has assisted elders and those in hospice to write and publish a life story in limited-edition hardcover books that are distributed at a family book signing party. After working with more than 300 people, Memoirs, Inc., published a textbook “Becoming a Memoirist for Elders: Create a Successful Home Business“.
  • In 2012, St. Catherine University hired Mary to teach a 5-day continuing education intenstive, Jumpstart Your Memoirs Writing Business, which will be offered again July 15-19, 2013.


  • Nursing Education



Complete List of Publications


  • Tyrrell, Mary O’Brien, “A New and Growing Profession: Personal Historians Listening to Elders’ Life Stories,” The International Journal of Reminiscence and Life Review, 2013, Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 48-50.
  • Tyrrell, Mary O’Brien,¬†Barker-Nunn, Jeanne, Birren, James. Become a Memoirist for Elders; Create a Successful Home BusinessThis link points to an external webpage and will open in a new browser window or tab., 2012. Pub. Memoirs, Inc.
  • Tyrrell, M., MPH, “Stories Behind Life Stories: Musings of a Memoirist,” Journal of Aging, Humanities and the Arts, Vol. 2, No. 2, April-June 2008, pp. 99-112.
  • Tyrrell, M., MPH, BSN, “Satisfaction Survey of Elderly Clients and Families Hiring a Memoirist,” Selected Conference Papers and Proceedings International Reminiscence and Life Review Conference 2007, pp. 429-434.
  • Hecht, Anita, M.S.S.W., and Tyrrell, Mary O’Brien, M.P.H., B.S.N., “Life Stories as Heirlooms,” Transformational Reminiscence in Life Story Work, Springer Publishing; New York, NY, 2007, 107-122.