Mary Johanna O'Brien

Apr 24, 2020


A private family graveside service was held Saturday, August 15, 2020


May be directed to the family, where a memorial fund will be established at a later date.  Cards sent to the Funeral Home will be forwarded to the family.


Mary Johanna O’Brien, 93, of Cedar Falls, died Friday, April 24, 2020 at NewAldaya Lifescapes.  She was born December 7, 1926 in Ridgeway, Iowa the daughter of Leo and Marie Novak Donovan. She was a graduate of OLVA Academy in Waterloo.

Mary married Richard O’Brien on January 6, 1950 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Waterloo; he preceded her in death on December 17, 2001.

She worked at Rath Packing Company, 3M Company, and Washington County, MN School District.

She was a member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Waterloo.

Survived by: one son, Steven (Marcia) O’Brien of Waterloo; two daughters, Helen (Doug) Archibald of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, Joan (Jim) Siebers of Madison, Wisconsin; six grandchildren, Matt (Christy) O’Brien of Waterloo, Melissa O’Brien of Waterloo, Sarah Kosmoski of Hastings, Minnesota, Brian Archibald of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, Ben (Bailey Smolarek) Siebers of Madison, Wisconsin, Ellen (Chuck Ansbacher) Siebers of Hudson, New York; six great-grandchildren; one sister, Leora Andorf of Cedar Falls; one brother, Pat (Mary) Donovan of Ridgeway, Iowa and many nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by: her parents; her husband, Richard; one son, Tom O’Brien; two sisters, Virginia McMahon, Rita Barsness and one brother, Dennis Donovan.

Whether you are a relative or a friend you were all family to Mary. She was “like a Mom” to many. She always had an open heart and an open door. Her home was your home. She welcomed all with a smile and open arms and if it was mealtime, you had a place at her table. 

Mom’s creativity was expressed in many ways. She had a gift for gardening, sewing, and making beautifully painted ceramic pieces that she shared with many. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She loved her pugs, birds and occasionally, a nice vodka & tonic.

We are all so fortunate to have had this generous, loving, kind, sassy and funny, Mom, Grandma, Aunt and friend in our lives. May she live on in our happy memories.

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  1. Dawn Lauridsen | Apr 27, 2020

    What a wonderful woman!!!  She was a best friend to my mom, Joyce Schissel, and kept in touch with me after Mom died.  Those two are having fun together again in heaven.  I will miss hearing "God Bless You" after our phone calls. 

    Dawn Schissel Lauridsen, MD 

  2. OLVA High School Alumni | Apr 26, 2020
    Our deepest sympathy to the O'Brien family.

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