Rex E. O’Brien
September 22, 1920 ‒ October 28, 2008
Rex E. O’Brien, age 88, of Marion, passed away Tuesday evening, October 28, 2008, at Kingston Residence where he has resided for the past two years.
He was born in Akron, Ohio, on September 22, 1920, the son of the late Landis O’Brien and Helen (Eaton) O’Brien Johnson. While he was still an infant, he moved to Marion to be raised by his late grandparents, Omar and Laura (Bergandine) Eaton. Rex later graduated from the Marion Harding High School in the Class of 1940.
Shortly following high school, Rex enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corp., where he would graduate from the Stewart Technical School in New York, NY, in July of 1942. A Veteran of World War II, Rex then went on to serve his country in the 21st Repair Squadron Air Corp as an airplane engine mechanic, and earned the rank of corporal.
Upon his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army Air Corp., Rex returned to Marion to marry his high school sweetheart, Delores (Tharp) O’Brien on July 12, 1946. For many years, Rex and Delores loved to dance the foxtrot, jitterbug, waltz, and other dances at the Martha Douce Dance Club and with their club in Columbus. Both having a love for traveling, they visited six of the seven continents taking photos of as many sights as they could. Upon the return from their trips, the entire family would then gather to view the slideshow of their vacation. Together they shared over forty three years of marriage, until she preceded him in death on October 29, 1989.
From the day the B.F. Goodrich plant opened in Green Camp, Rex worked there as a braider operator until his retirement in 1980.
Rex was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.
An avid bowler and golfer, Rex earned numerous trophies for talents. He also enjoyed playing cards, especially bridge, with his many friends and later at the Marion Senior Center and with other residents from Kingston. Having taught himself to work with leather and wood, Rex made countless gifts for his family.
“A gentleman,” Rex would always say a heartfelt “thank you” to any one who gave him a helping hand.
A loving father, grandpa and “great-grampy,” Rex always made time for his family. For his grandchildren, he even treated them to a two week trip to Hawaii.
Rex will be dearly missed by his daughter and son-in-law, Maureen & Marion Brown of Marion; two grandchildren: Shelli (Todd) Speakman of Stoutsville, Ohio, and Ryan Brown of Gahanna, Ohio; two great-grandchildren: Josie and Luke Speakman; a step-brother, Don (Bev) Johnson of Hendersonville, North Carolina; and a sister-in-law, Betty O’Brien of Sun City, Arizona.
In addition to his wife, parents, and grandparents, Rex was preceded in death by his half brother, Robert O’Brien.
His family will greet friends from 6 – 8 p.m. on Friday, October 31, at the Denzer-Farison-Hottinger & Snyder Funeral Home, 360 E. Center St., Marion. Services celebrating his life will be held on Saturday at 10:00 a.m., at the First Presbyterian Church, 143 S. Prospect St., with Rev. J. David Worthen officiating. Burial with military honors provided by the Marion County United Veterans Council will follow in Marion Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Marion General Hospice, 278 Barks Rd. W., Marion, Ohio 43302.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.