Daniel O’Brien


Mass of Christian Burial was held for Daniel “Dan” O’Brien at Holy Family Catholic Church in Emmetsburg. Burial took place at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Emmetsburg. The Rev. Bill Schreiber officiated.
Daniel J. O’Brien, son of Dean and Helen (Lorig) O’Brien was born September 20, 1954 in Emmetsburg. He began his education at Emmetsburg Catholic School and after completing 8th grade Dan continued his education at Emmetsburg High School, graduating in 1972. While in high school Dan wrestled for the E’Hawks. He was employed at Farlow’s Service Station during high school and after graduating. Dan then enrolled in the Auto Mechanics program at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge.
On August 3, 1973 Dan was united in marriage to LuAnn M. Nelson at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Emmetsburg. They were blessed with three sons and a daughter. Dan and LuAnn had the joy of spending 49 years together.
Dan’s love of hunting, fishing and trapping led him to train as a Conservation Officer in Des Moines. He then accepted a position with the Palo Alto County Conservation service. In the 1980s Dan owned and operated Dan’s D-X and later became the grounds keeper at the Emmetsburg Golf Course from 1990 until 2005. During this time Dan also drove bus for the Emmetsburg school district. In 2005 he began working for the City of Spencer at the landfill.
Dan was a family man and loved spending time with LuAnn and their children. When his kids were young, he made sure they learned the value of working hard, but having fun was also a priority. He enjoyed watching the boys wrestle and taking the entire family to wrestling meets and tournaments. He was a supportive member of Little E’Hawk Wrestling and had been a member of Jaycees. Dan served on the Emmetsburg Fire Department for many years.
Dan looked forward to snowmobiling in the winters, racing and riding motorcycles in the summers, and working on his vintage cars throughout the year. He rarely turned down an opportunity to go hunting and fishing and even tried his hand at doing taxidermy. Dan’s friends and family will forever remember his sense of humor and the jokes he loved to tell (“Dan-erisms”). When Dan became a grandparent his life was made more special and he loved spending any time he could with his grandchildren.
Dan passed away Monday, Jan. 16, 2023 at his home in Emmetsburg at the age of 68. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dean and Helen O’Brien; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Charles and Edna Nelson; and a brother-in-law, Paul Elsbecker.
He is survived by his wife, LuAnn of Emmetsburg; his children, Joseph (Nicole Newlon) O’Brien of Madrid, Iowa, Jason (Susan Kenyon) O’Brien of Ames, Janell (Nicholas) Wanderscheid of Madrid, and Jeffrey (Emily Horan) O’Brien of Huxley; seventeen grandchildren; two brothers, Jim O’Brien of Des Moines; and Mike (Gayle) O’Brien of West Des Moines; two sisters, Therese Elsbecker of Zionsville, Indiana and Joan O’Brien (Andrew (Lietzow) of Des Moines; nieces and nephews; as well as many other relatives and friends.
Arrangements were made by Martin-Mattice Funeral Home.
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