Bill Dale O'Brien, the son of Erwin and Jennie (Oberg) O'Brien, was born at home on April 11, 1934. The middle of five children, he attended Nelson School through 8th grade and graduated from Central High School in Alexandria, MN. After completing one year of college at St. Cloud State University, he returned home to the family farm where he carried on the life-long tradition of farming as his grandfather before him, his father, and currently with his son, Steve. On June 19, 1954, Bill married his high school sweetheart, Darlene (Terfehr) O'Brien, and built a home near, and eventually on the family farm where they raised three children; Steven, Kathleen, & Susan.
In addition to farming, Bill drove school bus for seventeen years, sold real estate, and served as a member on the following boards: Alexandria Shipping Association, the Nelson Creamery, the Farm Service Agency, and the Pioneer Tractor Club. He served as secretary for the Nelson's Men's Club, was president/member of the Runestone Electric Association board for 36 years, was director for Great River Energy, president of the Nelson Community Association, as well as member of the Knights of Columbus, lector, and usher for St. Mary's Catholic Church for many years.
Bill will forever be remembered for his passion for farming, his strong work ethic, his desire to give back through community service, and the fierce love he shared for his family. While his days were spent waking at dawn to milk the dairy cattle and working the dusty fields into the late-night hours he never complained. He worked extremely hard, yet always found time for his love of traveling, reading, dancing, trips to the casino, and visiting with family & friends. He was honest to a fault, spoke up when no one else would, and always fought for what he felt was right. Beneath his feisty exterior, he was one of the most patient, fair, and devoted men of our time. He had the ability to light up a room like no other, tell jokes which brought a hardy laugh, and leave an imprint long after he had left a room.
Bill O’Brien, of Nelson, died on Sunday, October 06, 2019 at Alomere Health in Alexandria at the age of 85 years old. Bill is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Darlene, his children Steve (Rosemary) O'Brien of Nelson, Susan (Richard) Silvers of Richmond, son-in-law Wayne DeCock of Nelson, eleven grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, sisters Joy Moon and Sandy Weisbrich, and countless friends and family. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Kathleen, his parents, siblings Jewel Miller & Jack O’Brien, brothers-in-law, Bob Weisbrich, George Moon, and Warren "Bud" Miller, sisters-in-law, Catherine Clarke and Patricia O'Brien, and many other extended family and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 11 AM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria.
A visitation will take place on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 from 4-7 PM with Parish Prayers beginning at 4 PM at the Anderson Funeral home and also for one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.
Entombment will be in the St. Mary’s Catholic Mausoleum.
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