Michael J 'Mick' O'Brien 80 of Ashkum passed away Friday October 5 at Riverside Medical Center. Born March 30 1938 to Joseph and Leta Toune O'Brien, he married Mary E Boucher on November 5 1966 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Manteno.
Surviving is his wife of 51 years. Also surviving are daughter Erin (Matt) Delaney of Alpharetta GA, sister Carol Lowder of Cleveland TX, brother William Patrick O'Brien of Plainfield IL and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceeded in death by his parents and daughter Kerry Lee O'Brien.
Mick spent his childhood in Martinton IL, graduating from Donovan High School in 1956. He served with the US Army in Panama. His first job was a truck driver with Midwest Emery moving on to H. C. Christians, and Meier Oil Service finally retiring as a salesman for Meier Brothers Tire.
Mick was a member of Assumption BVM Catholic Church in Ashkum and was a 3rd degree Knight of Columbus. He also served as a Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Adorer for 23 years.
Mick was community minded approaching everything he did in that spirit. He was a respected Fire Chief of the Ashkum Fire Department for 19 years later serving as a trustee. In his service as a member of the Ashkum Village Board Planning Commission, he made himself accessible to members of the community. He proudly served funeral honor guard as part of the Ashkum American Legion Post 643.
Constantly challenging himself, Mick was certified to drive any vehicle with any endorsement even buses. He was licensed to fly any aircraft smaller than commercial planes. He parachuted out of perfectly good airplanes, put thousands of miles on his motorcycles and had the same determination throwing darts at 80 years of age for the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church dart ball team in L'Erable.
In retirement, Mick was an avid reader of history, politics, crime and Louis L'Amour - reading a Louis more than once to "clear his mind". Another passion was wood working. In his workshop he created wooden toys and puzzles for children as well as numerous gifts for friends. He proudly made the Stations of the Cross located on the banks of the Little River for St. Francis of the Assisi Catholic Church in Townsend TN.
Mick always found time to help others in any way he could. He never had a bad thing to say about anyone, loved shaking hands and left everyone with a smile on their face. He was truly one of a kind.
Visitation will be from 4-8PM Tuesday October 9 at Knapp Funeral Home in Clifton. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10AM Wednesday October 10 at Assumption BVM Catholic Church in Ashkum. Burial will follow at the Ashkum Catholic Cemetery. Fire and Military rites will be accorded. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Ashkum Fire Department or Appalachian Bear Rescue in Townsend TN.