William J. “Bill” O’BrienWilliam J. “Bill” O’Brien, 83, passed away peacefully Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010, in Middle River Health & Rehabilitation Center.
William J. “Bill” O’Brien, 83, passed away peacefully Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010, in Middle River Health & Rehabilitation Center.
He was born in Superior to William and Laura O’Brien on Dec. 18, 1926. Bill was a WWII veteran. He was an entrepreneur, owning O'Brien Oil Company and numerous properties in Duluth, Superior and Iron River. Bill married the “love of his life”, Joanne (Jody) Fonger, on July 19, 1952. Bill and Jody lived in Duluth, Minn., until they moved permanently to the Iron River area in 1978. Bill enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and friends. He would always have a story or joke to tell with a smile. Bill was an avid hunter and proud Irishman. He was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church of Iron River.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, a son Timothy, a grandson, Ryan Lahti, and two brothers, Robert and Edward.
Bill is survived by his wife of 58 years Joanne “Jody” of Iron River, two daughters, Holly (Anthony) Cross, Kelly (Travis) Lewis both of Iron River, one son, Patrick of Superior, daughter-in-law Amy O’Brien of Wesley Chapel, Fla., a sister Virginia (John) “Jack” Doctor of Duluth and five grandchildren.
Honorary pallbearers will be Dennis and Michael Fonger, Ronald Pezze, Bob Bailey, Warren Tyacke and Merwyn Lovblad.
A memorial Mass will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15 in St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Iron River with lunch to follow at the VFW in Iron River. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Arrangements by Thompson-Hegstrom Funeral Home.