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Michael J. O'Brien

April 14, 1980 February 14, 2022
Michael J. O'Brien
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Obituary for Michael J. O'Brien

Michael J. O’Brien, age 41, of Peoria, passed away on Monday, February 14, 2022 at his home.

Mike was born on April 14, 1980 in Peoria. As a child, he was fearlessly adventurous and grew up to be a model of bravery and strength. Mike proudly served in the US Army. He was a paratrooper and a member of the Elite 82nd Airborne, a combat engineer that was later assigned to the 101st Airborne for the invasion of Iraq. He willingly fought for our freedom and was an integral part of securing the Baghdad International Airport in 2003. Mike’s military career was followed by a job that brought him back to a place that had helped instill his love for hockey as a young boy. He worked at Owens Center doing pretty much anything you could imagine being done—driving the zam, sharpening skates, refereeing, repairing equipment, and supervising. If you knew anything about Owens Center, you knew Mike. Mike filled his free time by balancing things that fueled his competitive spirit with things that brought him peace. He loved playing in his dart league and men’s hockey league. He was also a member of the local veterans hockey team. He was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan and was high fiving his dad in the bleachers during game 7 when they won the World Series in 2011. He also loved being outdoors, fishing, and boating. He was a certified dive master, and the ocean was his home away from home. 

Mike is survived by his parents, Timothy and Mary (Rothrock) O’Brien. Before Mike, they were a happy couple, but he made them a family and filled their lives with more joy than they ever knew could exist. Also surviving are his sisters, Katie (Justin) Morrison and Michelle (James) Fitzgerald. Mike did everything a brother should do for his sisters—picked on them sometimes and protected them always. He was a wonderful uncle to Andrew, Maddie, and Jack, and never let a Christmas go by without making sure they opened up toys that would annoy their mom. He truly understood the meaning of unconditional love and expressed that to his daughter, Kiara. They were often separated by distance, but he always kept her close to his heart. Mike’s greatest love was his fiancé, Courtney Horan. He loved her deeply and cared for her as she took her last breath just two years ago. He missed her terribly and knew she would be waiting for him. Also waiting for him in heaven were his grandparents, William and Mildred (Ryan) O’Brien and Virgil and Erma (Henderson) Rothrock.

Visitation for Mike will be from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM on Friday, February 18, 2022 at St. Jude Hettinger Hall, with Recitation of the Rosary at 7:00 PM. Funeral Mass will be on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 10:30 AM at St. Jude Catholic Church, with a one hour prior visitation.  Fr. Patrick Henehan will officiate.  Burial with Military Honors will follow at Resurrection Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Mike’s name may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, woundedwarriorproject.org

Friends and family may sign the online guestbook by logging onto www.wrightandsalmon.com.

Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

18

Feb

5:00 PM 2/18/2022 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 2/18/2022 7:00:00 PM
St. Jude Hettinger Hall

10811 N. Knoxville Ave
Peoria, IL 61615

St. Jude Hettinger Hall
10811 N. Knoxville Ave Peoria 61615 IL
United States

Service

Friday

18

Feb

7:00 PM 2/18/2022 7:00:00 PM
St. Jude Hettinger Hall

10811 N. Knoxville Ave
Peoria, IL 61615

Recitation of the Rosary

St. Jude Hettinger Hall
10811 N. Knoxville Ave Peoria 61615 IL
United States

Visitation

Saturday

19

Feb

9:30 AM 2/19/2022 9:30:00 AM - 10:30 AM 2/19/2022 10:30:00 AM
St. Jude Catholic Church

10811 N. Knoxville Ave.
Peoria, IL 61615

St. Jude Catholic Church
10811 N. Knoxville Ave. Peoria 61615 IL
United States

Funeral Mass

Saturday

19

Feb

10:30 AM 2/19/2022 10:30:00 AM
St. Jude Catholic Church

10811 N. Knoxville Ave.
Peoria, IL 61615

St. Jude Catholic Church
10811 N. Knoxville Ave. Peoria 61615 IL
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Resurrection Cemetery & Mausoleum Final Resting Place

7519 N Allen Rd
Peoria, IL 61614

7519 N Allen Rd Peoria 61614 IL
United States
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