William T. O’Brien, 82, of Granger, IN (formerly of Elkhorn, WI and Kalamazoo, MI) passed away at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, November 24, 2019 at BellTower Health & Rehabilitation Center in Granger, IN surrounded by loving family members who were lifting him up in prayer at the precise moment of his passing.
He was born on November 15, 1937 to the late Donald and Evelyn (Graham) O’Brien in Kalamazoo, MI, where he resided for 29 years, before moving to Wisconsin. After retiring from Gateway Technical College in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, William and his bride moved back to his childhood home, Kalamazoo, for an additional two decades. William has lived in Granger, IN for the past three years where he enjoyed spending time with many of his grandchildren.
William retired in 1997 from Gateway Technical College in Elkhorn, WI, where he was a Teacher – influencing young men and women - for 25 years.
On June 12, 1965, he married Ruth Eileen Shields at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Kalamazoo, MI and stood faithfully by her side for more than fifty-four (54) years.
William is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Ruth Eileen O’Brien of Granger, IN; his daughter, Margot (Robert) Cleveland of Dearborn, MI; sons, James (Amy) O’Brien of Granger, IN; Roderick (Claire) O’Brien of Broomfield, CO; six grandchildren, Jamie O’Brien Jr., Joushua (Angela) O’Brien; Margaret O’Brien, Elizabeth O’Brien; Sela O’Brien, and Robert Cleveland; two sisters, Margaret Johnson of Kalamazoo, MI; Phyllis Bogren of Plainwell, MI; and three brothers, Robert (Giorgianna Crist) O’Brien of Mesa, AZ; Michael (Yvonne) O’Brien of Kalamazoo, MI; and Kermit (Dennis) O’Brien of Kalamazoo, MI.
Along with his parents; William was preceded in death by a brother, Roderick O’Brien.
William was a member of St. Pius X Parish in Granger, IN, where he belonged to the St. Vincent de Paul Society and worked tirelessly with the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank. He was a lifelong Rotarian and a Paul Harris Fellow. William was also an avid Coin Collector – a hobby that he passed on to his children.
Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Monday, December 2, 2019 at Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend, IN, where a Parish Rosary will be prayed at 7:30 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Granger, IN, where family and friends may visit one hour prior to the mass. A luncheon will be served at St. Pius X immediately following mass. Private Burial will take place in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Notre Dame, IN.
Flowers and plants are great, but if the spirit so moves you, please consider making a contribution to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank at St. Pius X Catholic Church in memory of William: St. Vincent de Paul c/o St. Pius X Catholic Church, 52553 Fir Road, Granger, IN 46530.
To send online condolences, please visit www.kaniewski.com.
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