Jack R. O’Brien


BYRON – Jack R. O’Brien, age 86, died Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at his home with his loving wife by his side.  He was born December 22, 1937 in Rockford, IL the son of Elmer and Svea (Emerson) O’Brien.  Jack attended East High School in Rockford, IL.  He served his country in the United States Air Force from 1957 – 1963.  Jack married the love of his life Charlene Hawes on March 20, 1959 at the Alpine Lutheran Church in Rockford.  He worked most of his life for Eclipse Fuel Engineering Company in Rockford as Director of Communications and was awarded the “Wall of Flame Award”.  Jack loved to be with his family, especially his 5 granddaughters.  He was an active member of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Paynes Point, IL.  He was also a member of the American Business Club.  Jack was an amazing artist and for 35 years would draw cartoons and create Christmas ornaments. Jack also enjoyed golfing and woodworking in his spare time.  He was predeceased by his parents Elmer and Svea O’Brien; his step-mother Evelyn O’Brien; and his son Gary Scott O’Brien on May 19, 2022.  He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years Charlene of Byron, IL; daughter Kathy O’Brien Gandolfi (Dr. Michael Gandolfi) of Charleston, IL; son Michael O’Brien (Paula) of Riverwoods, IL; 2 sisters Marilyn Peterson of Rockford, IL and Colleen (Richard) Frye of Cherry Valley, IL; 5 granddaughters: Jordyn Gandolfi, Taylor (Rico) Santos, Annemarie Gandolfi, Regan O’Brien, and Jeanette O’Brien; 3 great grandchildren: Carolyn, Jackson “Little Jack”, and Flora; and many nieces and nephews.  Funeral service will be held 11:00 AM, Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 764 North Stillman Road, in Paynes Point (Oregon), IL with the Reverend Andrew Kayes officiating.  No visitation will be held.  Burial will follow the funeral at the Emmanuel Lutheran Cemetery.  The family would especially like to thank Jack’s niece Jody Forte for her special care as well as Jack’s caregiver Linda Sullivan.  A memorial fund is established for the Emmanuel Lutheran Church.  Visit www.farrellhollandgale.com to leave a condolence or memory of Jack.