Donald Lawrence O’Brien

Donald Lawrence O’Brien, age 90, of Reddick, IL entered eternal life on Friday, March 10, 2023 following a short illness.  Born January 17, 1933, the 6th child of William T. and Loretta (nee Clodi) O’Brien.  Donnie was a little guy who lived a big life.  He graduated from Reddick High School in 1951 and worked on the family farm and as a truck driver until he was called to serve his country.  Following his service in the US Army in Korea (1953-54), Donnie returned to Reddick and soon bought a fancy car that caught the eye of the love of his life, Norma.  Norma Masching and Donald O’Brien were married on April 27, 1957 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Campus, IL and settled in the Reddick area where they built their life and raised their family. Loving and caring for Norma was truly Donnie’s life work and from that love all of his many blessings and cherished relationships flowed.  Donnie worked hard and played hard with Norma by his side.  Together they loved to travel, often with Donnie’s beloved cousin, Veronica (nee McGuire) Mudron and her husband, Shadow, as well as shopping for antiques, attending farm shows, playing euchre, making puzzles, wintering in their beloved home in N. Ft. Myers, FL and dancing every chance he got.

Donnie worked at a number of different jobs and was proud to be a member of the Sheet Metal Workers Local Union #265 in Carol Stream, IL, owned and operated O’Brien Trucking, was Highway Commissioner for Norton Township for sixteen years, but his passion was always farming.  He was always happiest when he could be in a tractor.  He also believed in the importance of community service and served as a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge #2503, Dwight VFW Post #2608, American Legion Post #486, charter member of the Union Hill Lions Club, was a lifelong Democrat and devout member of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Reddick.

Donnie is survived by Norma as well as their 5 children and their families:  Melinda (Dan) Hogan; Bill (Cheryl); John; Mary Kay (Todd Gereaux); and Patrick (Karen); Grandchildren: Matt (Laura) Hogan, Will (Lauren) Hogan, Jack Hogan, Mackenzie O’Brien, Donnie O’Brien, Connor O’Brien, Colleen (Garrett) Hodge, Jacqueline O’Brien, Mason Gereaux, Michael Gereaux, Matthew Gereaux, Kelsey (Mike) Donath, Ashley O’Brien and Maggie O’Brien; great grandchildren: Michael Hogan, Marilyn Hogan, Paisley Hodge, Layton Donath and one on the way in June, as well as honorary son, Terry Joyce and honorary grandson Jonathon Romanetto.  Don is also survived by his brother Paul (the late Lois) O’Brien, his brother and sister in law Bill and Donna Masching, sisters in law, Ruth Schott and Rita King as well as a legion of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Donnie was preceded in death by his parents, an infant son, Donald O’Brien; siblings, Marie (Tommy Woods) Berns, Francis (Aldine) O’Brien, Gerald O’Brien and Phyllis (Glen) Buza and their spouses, his brother in law Ed (Lucille) Masching, sister in law  Lucille Turner, and his beloved “outlaw” brothers in law; Dennis (Mac) Turner, Kim Schott and Marion King.

Cremation rites will be accorded.  Family and friends are welcome to meet at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Reddick, Saturday, March 18, 2023 for a Memorial Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m.  Inurnment with military honors will immediately follow at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Campus, IL.  Guests are also welcome to attend the Celebration of Life for Donald that will follow at Station 343 Firehouse Restaurant in Dwight.  R.W. Patterson Funeral Home & Crematory, Braidwood, is entrusted with the arrangements.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in his name to the St. Mary’s Catholic Church or Lightways Hospice would be appreciated.  For more information and to visit his online guestbook, please log on to or find us on Facebook.