Helen Ann O’Brien, 85, of Dubuque, Iowa, passed away peacefully from pancreatic cancer in her home, with her family by her side, on Thursday, October 17, 2019.
A funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday, October 21 at St. Raphael Cathedral in Dubuque, with Father Thomas McDermott officiating. Burial will be following at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Fillmore.
Friends and relatives of Ann may call from 1:00 to 5:00 on Sunday, at Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Road.
Ann was born August 23, 1934 in Osage, Iowa, daughter of Paul and Gertrude (Marr) Meirick. She graduated from St. Mary’s High School in New Haven, Iowa, and then went on to earn her Nursing Degree from Mount Mercy School of Nursing in Cedar Rapids. She dedicated 60 years to the nursing profession, working at Xavier Hospital (floor nurse), Western Dubuque Schools (school nurse), Shady Rest Care Center (night shift nurse), Northeast Iowa Community College (Instructor), Stonehill Care Center (Day Supervisor), and St. Raphael Parish (parish nurse.)
On June 1, 1957, Ann was united in marriage to Patrick O’Brien, of Bernard; Pat and Ann farmed in the Fillmore area until moving to Dubuque in 1990. They celebrated 57 years together until his death in 2014.
Ann was an active member of Sacred Heart Parish in Fillmore, and then St. Raphael Parish after they moved to Dubuque. In addition to supporting parish activities, Ann was an Aquin School System board member, a board member for Hospice of Dubuque, a supporter of Outrun the Rays, a volunteer at the Veteran’s Freedom Center, a member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, a medical supply coordinator and on-site volunteer in El Salvador, and a volunteer for many other community and social justice organizations and events.
Ann is survived by her five children: Tom (Meg) O’Brien of Cascade; Bill (Amy) O’Brien of Takoma Park, Maryland; Peg O’Brien of Woody Creek, Colorado; Dave (Melissa) O’Brien of Epworth; and Doug (Alisa) O’Brien of Takoma Park, Maryland. Additionally, she is survived by eleven grandchildren: Clancy (Alex) Junk, Bailey O’Brien, Gannon O’Brien; Colin O’Brien-Lux, Callahan O’Brien; Jack O’Brien, Patrick O’Brien, Will O’Brien; Molly O’Brien, James O’Brien, and Edie O’Brien; two brothers: Bill (Ann) Meirick of Protivin, and Dick (Ginger) Meirick of Osage; six brothers-in-law: Rex Gogerty, Irwin McDermott, Mike O’Brien, Joe O’Brien, Terry O’Brien, and Bob Green; eight sisters-in-law: Kathleen Gogerty, Mary Ann O’Brien, Maurna O’Brien, Lois Schlegel, Joyce O’Brien, Delores O’Brien, Deb Green, and Nikki Manternach.
She was preceded in death by her husband Pat, her parents, and her brother Dan Meirick; five brothers-in-law: George O’Brien, Steve O’Brien, Earl O’Brien, Ralph O’Brien, and Richard Schlegel; and three sisters-in-law: Monica O’Brien, Elaine O’Brien, and Joannel McDermott.
The family would like to thank Hospice Care of Dubuque, and the Oncology Department at Medical Associates, for their excellent care.
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