Michael O’Brien, a former longtime Natick, Mass resident, passed away in Lubbock, Texas, on July 19, 2022, at the age of 90.
Mike was born to Gerald and Mary (Duff) O’Brien in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Growing up in St. John’s, he attended school, spent summers on his grandparent’s farm, and developed a lifelong love of fishing. As a teenager, Mike and his rowing crew won the youth division of the 1948 Royal St. John’s Regatta.
At the age of 19, Mike left his home in Canada and came to the U.S. because he “always wanted to be in the American army.” He served in Korea as a sergeant with the 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Army Division. While in the service, he was on the boxing team and never lost a fight.
Upon return from overseas, he met his lifelong love, Mary (DelGrosso), and they married in 1958. Settling in Natick, they raised a family, and Mike worked for almost forty years for the Town of Wellesley water department. After retirement, he volunteered with Big Brother and the Samaritans.
He also enjoyed golfing, fishing, and working outside in his yard.
Mike was easygoing and funny. He was playful and quick-witted and could make everyone laugh. He was a hard worker, a devoted husband, and a wonderful dad, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He loved spending time with his family and many good friends and will be deeply missed.
Mike leaves behind Mary, his wife of 64 years, and three daughters: Brenda Winegarner and her husband Verlan of Lubbock, Texas; Debbie Leppanen and her husband Peter of Norwell, MA; and Sandy Bravo and her husband Mike of Natick, MA. He was a loving Poppa to his grandkids, Brett Winegarner and his wife Chasity, Matthew and Maria Leppanen, Elijah Bravo and the late JR Bravo, and his great-grandchildren Brady and Beckett Winegarner. He is also survived by his sister Betty Mullins, his sister-in-law Rose DelGrosso, and many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his mother-in-law Philomena DelGrosso and his sister Gerry Davis.
Services will be held on July 27 at 10 a.m. at Lake Ridge Chapel & Memorial Designers (6025 82nd Street in Lubbock, Texas).
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the 440K Project, Inc., a non-profit started by his daughter, Sandy, in order to help foster children. Details and donations at 440KProject.org.