Shannon R. O'Brien
Longtime Nikiski resident Shannon R. O' Brien died Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005, at his home in Nikiski. He was 81.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, at North Star United Methodist Church, Mile 25.5 N. Spur Road in Nikiski. Pastor Laura Skiba will officiate. Refreshments will immediately follow the service.
Mr. O' Brien was born May 31, 1923, to John and Marie O'Brien in White Lake, Wisc. As a young man, he worked at the Puget Sound Navel Shipyard, in Bremerton, Wash. While in Washington, he owned and operated an oyster business in Holly. He spotted his future home, Alaska, while sailing with the Merchant Marines. Mr. O' Brien moved to Alaska in 1949 with his family, homesteading first in Nikiski and later in Anchorage. While living in Anchorage, he owned the O' Brien Brothers Chevron filling station. He moved back to Nikiski permanently in 1971. He later worked as a union laborer and retired from the Laborers Union Local No. 341 in 1981.
After retirement, Mr. O' Brien pursued some of his other interests. He loved working with wood and eventually started a milling business with two of his sons, Mike and Tim. He was known for his beautiful vegetable gardens and greenhouses full of tomatoes, cucumbers and roses. He loved Alaska and all of its beauty. He enjoyed gold panning and taking his family and all their friends on weekend fishing trips. Mostly, Mr. O' Brien enjoyed just being with his family the get-togethers and all of the poker games they shared.
"He was our poker champion," his family said. "Shannon loved the Lord and reading the Bible. He was a very generous and giving person and someone who was always in your corner. He loved animals and especially the many beloved dogs he has had throughout the years."
Mr. O' Brien was preceded in death by his son, Daniel, in 1991 and stepsons, Carlos, Nile and Darwin Metcalf.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Helen O'Brien of Nikiski; sons and daughters-in-law, Patrick and Juanita O'Brien and Michael and Doris O'Brien, all of Nikiski; daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen and Peter King of Nikiski; son and daughter-in-law, Timothy and Roberta O'Brien of Nikiski; daughter and son-in-law, Shawna and Jeff Smith of Nikiski; step children, Sandra Bise, Carlon Metcalf and his wife, Lark, Nila Shinton and her husband, Ed, Nita Metcalf, Rea Borzych and
her husband, Tom, and Lynnette Carroll and her husband, Mike; 17 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; and many step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made in Mr. O' Brien's memory to Hospice of the
Central Peninsula, P.O. Box 2584, Soldotna, AK 99669.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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