John B. O’Brien, 81

obit-OBrien-JJohn B. O’Brien, a resident of Little Falls, passed away Monday, Dec. 24, 2012.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, Dec. 29, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Little Falls, with Father Nicholas Landsberger officiating. Burial will take place at 10 a.m. Monday at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls.
John was born March 7, 1931, in Brainerd, to George and Gretchen (Kleiner) O’Brien. He graduated from Brainerd High School, entered the Army and served in the Korean War. He attended college at St. John’s University and St. Cloud State University. He married Helen Wielinski Aug. 22, 1959. They were married for 53 years. After marrying, he lived in St. Paul until he settled in Little Falls in 1977. John worked in construction most of his life. His career started in sales for North Central Supply Co. Then he ran his own business for over a decade. He switched careers in the mid-80s and drove a semi in long-haul trucking. He retired from TCBX in Brainerd at age 79. John was passionate about the outdoors, hunting, camping and 4-wheeling. He served as a leader in the Boy Scouts for both of his sons. He was a member of the American Legion and VFW. John enjoyed playing cards and dice, square dancing, traveling to visit family and spending time with family — he was especially close with his cousins.
John is survived by wife Helen O’Brien of Little Falls; sons, David O’Brien of Denver, Colo., and Timothy O’Brien of Little Falls; daughters, Maureen O’Brien of Denver, Colo., and Kerry (Tony) Harkin of Las Vegas, Nev.; grandchildren, Tommy and Meghan Harkin of Las Vegas, Nev.; brother, Bill (Terry) O’Brien of Orlando, Fla.; sister, Gretchen (Bob) Naegeli of St. Paul; sister-in-law, Marion O’Brien of Brainerd and many nieces and nephews.
John was preceded in death by parents, George and Gretchen O’Brien; and brothers, Joe, George and James O’Brien.
Shelley Funeral Chapels