G.L. "Mike" O'Brien
G L 'Mike' O'Brien, 84, of Quincy, formerly of Lewistown, Missouri, died Thursday, February 4, 2016 at Blessing Hospital after a 16 year battle with lupus and a short but deadly fight with leukemia. He was a faithful husband, devoted father, and good friend. He never met a stranger.
Mike was born June 8, 1931 in Ewing, Missouri, the third son of Otto and Ella (Kroeger) O'Brien. He married Clara H Hummel September 13, 1952. She survives.
Mike first went to the school near his home which was then known as the School at Hard Scratch, in Ewing. Mike then graduated from Ewing High School. His 15 minutes of fame was his mention in a Life magazine article about James Earl Ray with whom he attended high school. Ray was a bully and Mike knocked him out one day on the school grounds. "I knocked him clear to the flagpole." he said.
His life's work was farming, interrupted only by his service in the Korean War. He also worked as a welding supervisor at Knapheide for a number of years. He was a welding artist and he said the worst thing about having a pacemaker was that he wasn't allowed to weld any longer. He could fix anything. He could make anything. If he had pursued a patent on all of his many inventions, he would have had filled a file cabinet. He was devoted to the land, serving 10 years on the Agricultural Stabilization Committee (ASC), and many more years as a board member for the Missouri Farmer's Association (MFA). He was a member of the American Legion of Lewistown, MO for more than 60 years.
A devoted catholic, Mike was a lifelong member of Queen of Peace parish of Ewing, Missouri and more recently of St Francis parish of Quincy. He was a 4th degree, Honorary Life member of the Knights of Columbus, John F Kennedy Council of Northeast Missouri.
He never made it to Ireland.
He is survived by his wife, four children; Peggy Lane of Ottumwa, Iowa, Bill (Terri) O'Brien of Odessa, Missouri, Joe O'Brien of North Fort Myers, Florida, and Mary Kay O'Brien of Charlottesville, Virginia; 11 grandchildren; Amanda, Katie, and Nicholas O'Brien; Tyler (LaShay) Lane, Allison (Ben) Weber, and Adam (Halee) Lane; Crystal (Todd) Johnson and Elizabeth (Clay) Harmon; and Michael, Lana, and Thomas Caragher; 7 great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and a brother, William M "Butch" (Dorothy) O'Brien and a brother-in-law: Raymond Schmidt.
He is preceded in death by his parents, two brothers; Donald and Lawrence O'Brien; two sisters; Kathleen Schmidt and Rosie Hugenberg; and a daughter-in-law, Patricia O'Brien.
The family would like to give love and thanks to the emergency room and third floor nurses of Blessing Hospital for their loving attention, Dr Ozment, and Dr Ali.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, February 8, 2016 at 9:30 in the Duker & Haugh Funeral Home and a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 in St. Francis Catholic Church by the Rev James Wheeler with interment with military honors at Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Sunday afternoon from 3:00 until 6:00 PM. Memorials may be made to the Lupus Foundation of America, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, or masses given in his name to St Francis Catholic Church in Quincy or Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ewing. MO.
- Truly sorry for your loss.
- So sorry to hear about Mike. Many fond memories as a kid of you folks as neighbors. Will keep you in our prayers.