William D. O’Brien of Youngstown, an avid golfer, family man, and talented hobbyist, passed from this life the morning of April 25 in the presence of his four loving children.
Bill, affectionately known as “Pop,” was born on Nov. 14, 1931 to parents William John and Mary Elizabeth Kent O’Brien and grew up in Girard. He graduated from Girard High School in 1949, where he played on the school’s golf team, while spending his summers working as a mail clerk at U.S. Steel’s McDonald Works.
Bill enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in December 1950 and served stateside in Colorado and Texas during the Korean War. In 1952, he married his wife of 59 years, the former Susan Hyland, who preceded him in death on Oct. 18, 2011.
After his discharge in 1953, Bill earned an associate’s degree in business administration from what was then Youngstown College and began work as an accountant. The bulk of his career was spent at the Lake Shore Motor Freight Co. in Girard, where he served as the company’s secretary and comptroller. He left that position in 1978 and was employed for several years thereafter in sales for Liberty Industries. He returned to the accounting profession during the 1990s, working part time for B&T Trucking in North Lima until his retirement in 2008.
Throughout his life, Bill relished the game of golf and on several occasions came within a couple strokes of winning the club championship at Youngstown County Club, where he was a member for more than 10 years. He was also a talented sketch artist, and later in life put his artistic flair to work hand-painting military figurines and chess sets. Other hobbies included building wooden model ships and aircraft, as well as working complex jigsaw puzzles. And, Bill’s love of history facilitated his work in family genealogy for many years.
Bill was a member of St. Edward Parish in Youngstown for most of his life. He and Sue raised their family in Girard, Youngstown’s North Side, and in Liberty Township. He also served as past president of the Girard Jaycees, and participated in many other organizations and events associated with his children’s sports activities -- namely competitive swimming at YCC, the Youngstown YMCA Neptunes, and the Youngstown YWCA Y-Nauts.
He leaves his legacy to four children, Deborah (Glenn) Montgomery and Timothy (Patti) O’Brien, both of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Dan (Michelle) O’Brien of Youngstown; and Lisa (Chris) Zinnecker of Overland Park, Kansas.
Bill also leaves his memory to four grandchildren -- Meghan, Michael, Ian, and Conor; three sisters, Barbara Forte of Girard, Judy (Mike) Sheridan of McDonald, and Monica Rothwell, also of McDonald; many nieces and nephews; and his close friend, Carole Damschroder.
He also leaves behind dozens of golf balls in thickets, creek beds and lake bottoms throughout northeastern Ohio. Most of the time though, he hit it straight.
Friends may call from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, April 28 at St. Edward Parish on Youngstown’s North Side where a Mass of Christian burial will follow at 10:30 a.m. Bill’s family requests that any gifts take the form of contributions to Hospice of the Valley, and would like to express thanks to the Inn at Christine Valley for all of their support.
Thoughts and condolences may be sent to the funeral home website www.mccauleyfuneral.com.
Arrangements by the McCauley Funeral Home serving the valley for more than 116 years!