Michael J. “Mick” O’Brien, 80, of Ashkum, passed away Friday (Oct. 5, 2018) at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee.
Born March 30 1938, the son of Joseph and Leta Toune O’Brien, he married Mary E. Boucher on Nov. 5 1966, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Manteno.
Surviving are is his wife of 51 years; daughter, Erin (Matt) Delaney, of Alpharetta, Ga.; sister, Carol Lowder, of Cleveland, Texas; brother, William Patrick O’Brien, of Plainfield; along with several nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents; and daughter, Kerry Lee O’Brien.
Mick spent his childhood in Martinton, graduating from Donovan High School in 1956.
He served with the U.S. Army in Panama.
Mick’s first job was a truck driver with Midwest Emery, moving on to H. C. Christians and Meier Oil Service and finally retiring as a salesman for Meier Brothers Tire.
He 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 the 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 woodworking. 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, Tenn.
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, his family said.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Knapp Funeral Home, Clifton. A Mass of Christian burial will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10 at Assumption BVM Catholic Church, Ashkum. Burial will follow in Ashkum Catholic Cemetery. Fire and military rites will be accorded.
Memorials may be made to the Ashkum Fire Department or Appalachian Bear Rescue in Townsend.
Please sign his online guestbook at knappfuneralhomes.com.