Harold's Story

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Harold F. "Muz" O'Brien, 91, of Empire, passed away on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at his home.
Harold was born on March 28, 1926 in Lake Leelanau to the late Earl and Hilda (Priest) O'Brien. He married the love of his life, Helen Couturier, on Oct. 20, 1951 at St. Mary of Assumption Catholic Church in Lake Leelanau.
Harold proudly served his country as a tail gunner in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
As a graduate of Ferris Institute, Harold had the rare distinction of lettering in both basketball and baseball.
Mr. O'Brien was an educator; he had been employed by Glen Lake Community Schools as a teacher and principal for 30 years and retired in 1984. He played an influential role in the lives of countless children, educating, teaching them to drive through driver's education, as well as coaching basketball, baseball and football. He was the proud coach of the 1959 Lakers State Champion basketball team.
Harold was a member of St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church, the Michigan Teacher's Association and MHSAA.
Among his other interests, Muz enjoyed golfing, fishing and playing cards, and he was a "gardener's assistant." He won the family boat in the TV 9 & 10 hole-in-one contest.
Above all, spending time with his family was his greatest joy. The "Rock" on Drummond Island and Disney World were favorite family vacations. Other family trips included Hawaii, Italy, Scotland and Lake Michigan charter fishing.
Harold is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Helen; three sons and two daughters, Frederick (Sharon) O'Brien, Timothy (Rhonda) O'Brien, Colleen (Dennis) King, Julie (Robert) Brott and Robert (Jillian) O'Brien; 10 grandchildren, Matthew O'Brien, Michael O'Brien, Morgan (Paul) Chalup, Lauren O'Brien, Andrew King, Steven King, Daniel Brott, Benjamin Brott, Scott Brott, Wilson (Kris) Brott, Caden O'Brien and Olivia O'Brien; also a great-grandchild, Kate Chalup, and one on the way. Also surviving are two brothers and two sisters, Arthur (Judy) O'Brien, Ann O'Brien, Joan (Louis) Herman and Dennis (Jane) O'Brien; as well as many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by an infant son, Roy O'Brien; a son, Thomas O'Brien; a sister, Doris Peplinski; and brothers, Marvin, Bernard, James, Louis, Patrick and Glen O'Brien.
Friends are welcome to visit with Harold's family from 6 to 8 p.m., with the rosary prayed at 7 p.m., on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, at St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church, 11411 Lacore Road, Empire, MI 49630. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11 a.m., with visitation one hour prior, on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, at St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church. The Rev. Fr. Zeljko Guberovic will officiate. Military honors will be conducted under the auspices of American Legion Post 35 and Cherry land VFW Post 2780.
Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider a memorial donation to Munson Hospice or St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with Harold's family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on July 30, 2017
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