Obituary: Marlene “Joan” O’Brien

On Friday, July 17, 2020, Marlene “Joan” O’Brien, loving wife and mother of three children left Lake Redstone for the last time. She was 86.

Marlene was born February 9, 1934 to Bessie and Edward Stroh in Berwyn, Illinois. She hated her legal name Marlene, (as all Reedsburg Medical Professionals can attest) so just Joan from now on. She attended Morton East High School and became a self-taught bookkeeper. For decades she balanced business accounts to the penny without assistance of a CPA, an accounting degree or a computer. Joan was so good, driving from LaValle to Reedsburg to correct a .07 cent discrepancy on a sales receipt was not an uncommon occurrence.

Blessed with an abundance of common sense she recycled everything before anyone recycled anything. If you ever had a cut, bruise or blemish, the perfect bandage was applied immediately. If your garment was comprised, a personal effect was damaged, she had exactly the right repair or remedy within minutes.

Joan loved to bake. Her hoskas, Kolaches and Strawberry rhubarb pies were legend. Chicken on the other hand, she cooked until the dog was uninterested.

Her favorite source of news was the comics page. Politics bored her and the TV was for viewing golf and Bears/Packers games only. At 77 she water skied and at 82 teed off from RCC for the last time.

Joan recorded every month of her life with photographs from 1957 until her death. Her grandchildren being the stars of the show. She loved all her children, grandchildren and granddogs fiercely.

Joan was preceded in death by her brother Ronald, her parents, husband Tom and her favorite dog Brandy. She is survived by her children; Cindy (husband Ken, children Sean and Aaron) Erickson, Trisha (children Chase and Brandon) O’Brien and James (wife Lisa, children Joseph and Catherine) O’Brien.

We were so fortunate to call her Grandma and mom. Her rhubarb will always be in the garden.

The Farber Funeral Home, Reedsburg, is assisting the family.