KANSAS CITY, MO – John D. O’Brien, 82, died after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born January 15, 1939 in Modesto, California, the son of Joseph R. O’Brien and Dorothy Bredberg O’Brien.
John was a left-fielder and pitcher for the Fairmont Cardinals and played in the Martin County Baseball League. His baseball career took him to Fairmont, MN where he met the love of his life, Judith Fae Rowan O’Brien – they married on June 1, 1963. John had an illustrious sales career in the meat industry which started in 1961 at Jacob E. Decker & Sons in Mason City, Iowa. Throughout his career he worked at Seitz, Oldham’s Sausage, Swift-Eckridge, Conagra, and Farmland Foods. His extended family called him the pork sausage king.
John was an avid golfer and most recently was a starter at Tiffany Greens Golf Club in Kansas City. He enjoyed spending time on the course with friends and family. As a loyal sports fan, he cheered for the Royals and Chiefs and celebrated their wins with enthusiasm. He also loved horse racing and shared his passion with others. A day at the racetrack was always a good day – no matter the outcome of the races.
John’s great sense of humor and a quick wit made everyone he met smile, not only his friends and family but the many people he encountered throughout his life. His charismatic personality lit up every room and if you followed the laughter, you could usually find John sharing a funny story.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by sister Carolyn O’Brien Hodel, brother Patrick O’Brien and brother-in-law Jack Fisher. He is survived by wife Judith O’Brien, sister Susan O’Brien Fisher, brother Michael O’Brien (Bonnie), sister-in-law Diane O’Brien, nephews Raymond Hodel, Christopher Fisher, Stan O’Brien and Robert O’Brien, nieces Karen Hodel Boll, Nichole Fisher Banducci, and Patti O’Brien, and special neighbors and adopted family Tyler, Anne, Alden and Asher Wright.
He will be fondly remembered as a great brother, brother-in-law, uncle, neighbor and friend.
The family will receive friends on Friday, May 21, at 4 p.m. followed by a celebration of John’s life at 5 p.m. at the Tiffany Greens Golf Club, Kansas City, MO.
Three Rivers Hospice RN
It was an absolute pleasure and joy getting to meet John, even for the short time it was. I loved his stories and ornery sense of humor! My thoughts and prayers are with Judy and his entire family.