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John O'Brien

June 25, 1936 ~ April 3, 2018 (age 81)

It is with great sadness that the family of John O’Brien announce his passing on the sunny Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at the age of 81 years. John was predeceased by his parents John and Helen O'Brien, brother Tommy, and his sister Nuala (all of Athlone, Ireland). He is deeply missed by wife Elisabeth (Babette) Bourges of Calgary. Also mourning John are his brothers and sisters Eileen, Liam, Chris, Phil, Declan, and Jeannette; his many brothers-in-law, sisters-in law, nephews, and nieces of Ireland and England; and his wife's family in Calgary and in France. John was born and raised in Athlone, Ireland where he developed a love for Irish history and culture. At 16 he emigrated to London, UK where he became a steamfitter. He moved to Canada in 1966, where he practiced his trade in Halifax, Vancouver, and Prince Rupert (also coaching high school soccer there for two years) before finally settling in Alberta, where he had the honour of being chief plumber at Chateau Lake Louise before taking on contracts in the Canadian High Arctic and Ivory Coast. After meeting and marrying Babette in 1985, John made Calgary his permanent home, although his heart remained true to Athlone and his motherland. John had a deep love of Irish music and opera which were central to his life, and listened often to his favorite tenors Jussi Bjoeling, John MacCormack, and Frank Patterson. John proudly tended to his large garden, and every spring looked forward to planning and planting it, and to touring his visitors through it. In addition, John was passionate about current events and sports, especially soccer and horses, which he continued to follow closely and was always happy to discuss until his passing. At John’s request cremation will be taking place. Relatives and friends are invited to pay their respects at Evan J. Strong Funeral Services (5502 – 2 Street SW) on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 12:00 pm. A Celebration of John’s Life will be held Holy Spirit Catholic Church (10827 - 24 Street SW) on Thursday April 19, 2018 at 2:00 pm. Photos, memories and condolences may be shared with John’s family through www.evanjstrong.com. Arrangements in care of EVAN J. STRONG FUNERAL SERVICES.  (403) 265-1199

 

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