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William (Bill) Nelson O'Brien


February 7, 2019

William (Bill) Nelson O'Brien

William (Bill) Nelson O'Brien, age 87, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family and his dog Milly on January 23, 2019. He was born in Groton, New York on April 27, 1931 to the late William Francis O'Brien and Leona Nelson Brunner. Bill enlisted in the United States Navy on April 28th, 1948. After training at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, he was assigned to the USS Oakaloosa APA219. He then shipped out aboard the USS Winston AKA 94 to Korea. Aboard the USS Winston, he participated in a combined operation landing reinforcements at Inchon which forced communist forces to withdraw from much of South Korea. Following that deployment, he served upon many ships notably, the USS Caloosahatchee A098 and the USS Wyandot AKA 92 where within a 5 month period he crossed the Arctic Circle, the Equator, and the Antarctic Circle as part of Operation Deep Freeze IV – V. Bill concluded his distinguished 20 year career as part of the River Squadron 5 in Viet Nam, retiring in 1968.

William and MaryAnn were united in marriage on July 24, 1953 and started their family in 1955. After retiring from the Navy, Bill worked for the Wisconsin Dept. Of Transportation. He was a member of the Lake Wisconsin Country Club where he enjoyed many rounds of golf and three hole in ones. He was an avid card player usually playing six handed cribbage or six handed euchre. Bill and MaryAnn filled their 62-year marriage with raising their kids, numerous trips to Australia to hug Koala Bears, pan for gold, and mine for opals. They took several cruises most notably to Alaska to whale watch. After retirement, they also filled their time by volunteering at the Good Neighbor Clinic.

Bill was preceded in death by his wife MaryAnn, his siblings; Dorothy, Beverly, Robert, Richard, and a son in-law Ron Hoege.

William (Bill) Nelson O'Brien

Bill is survived by his four sons, Michael (Vicki Ahrens) O'Brien, Kevin O'Brien, Timothy O'Brien, John (Linda) O'Brien; two daughters, Kathryn O'Brien-Hoege and Ann (Brian) McGill; seven grandchildren, Jamie (Josh) Nichols, Amy (Jed Guzzetta) O'Brien, and Megan (Keith) Black, Dawn (Chris) Waggoner, Jeff (Jennifer) Pratt, Ben (Kelly) Pratt; 14 great grandchildren, Haiden Ruch, Dylan and Mason Black, Mallory and Hattie Guzzetta, Aidan and Emmaline Nichols; Chloe and Gage Waggoner; Colton and Lily Pratt; Devon, Austin and Marissa Pratt.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, February 9 from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 HOOVERSON FUNERAL HOME, 251 Water St., Sauk City where Bill will be accorded Military Honors by Lachmund-Cramer VFW Post 7694 immediately following the service. A celebration of Bill's life will follow at the Dorf Haus in Roxbury.


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