James E. OBrien, 89, of Mason City, died Thursday, August 4, 2011 at the Muse Norris Hospice Inpatient Unit. A funeral mass will be 10:30 AM on Monday, August 8, 2011, at St. Josephs Catholic Church, 302 5th Street S.E., with Rev. Craig E. Steimel officiating. Visitation will be from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM followed by a Knights of Columbus Rosary service and a Scriptural Wake service on Sunday (August 7, 2011) at Major Erickson Funeral Home, 111 N. Pennsylvania Avenue. Interment will be at Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the James E. OBrien Memorial Fund. Online condolences can be left for the family at www.majorericksonfuneralhome.com
Jim was born Dec. 1, 1921 in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Michael J. and Margaret (Cox) OBrien. He received his high school diploma from Charlestown High School in Boston. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and served with them in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Colorado.
Jim enlisted in the Marine Corps on Dec. 4, 1939. While serving with the Marines he participated in action against the enemy on Dec. 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, in the landings and conquest of Tulagi and Guadalcanal, in the defense of Tinian Island and in the landings and conquest of Okinawa. In 1951, he served with the 1st Marine Division again during the Korean War.
Jim left the Marine Corps in 1947 and began his 37 year career with Interstate Power Co. where he worked until his retirement in 1984 as District Electric Operating Superintendent.
Jim was united in marriage to Lois Lorraine Walker of Winnebago, MN in Philadelphia, PA in 1946. Lois passed away in 1980. He was married to Maria Savas in Oct. 1986.
He was an active member of many organizations, serving as commander of American Legion Post #82 in Winnebago, MN, Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus in Mason City, Exalted Ruler of the BPOE Lodge in Mason City, Commandant of the North Iowa Detachment of the Marine Corps League, a life member of the VFW Post in Mason City as well as a life member of the D.A.V., a member of the Guadalcanal Campaign Veterans Assn. and a Life Member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Assn.
Jim enjoyed golf, following the Twins and Vikings, and traveling throughout Europe, Asia and the Pacific. Jim was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather who cherished time spent with family and friends. He was always faithful to his country and his beloved Marine Corps.
Jim is survived by his wife Maria, two sons; Thomas (Susan) Urbandale, IA, Gene (Nancy) Janesville, WI, step children; Stephanie (Dwayne) Prohaski, Mason City, IA, Anthony (Terry) Savas, El Dorado Hills, CA, Ted (Carol) Savas, El Dorado Hills, CA, Kris (David) Christensen, Mason City, IA, fourteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren, his brother William, and sisters Kay, Margurite and Sister Mary Grace, many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Lois, brother Joe, and sisters Marie and Theresa.
James E. O'Brien Memorial Fund
Memorial Park Cemetery
From 3:00 to 5:00 PM Sunday at Major Erickson Funeral Home followed by a Knights of Columbus Rosary and a Scriptural Wake Service.
10:30 AM Monday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church