Obituary of Dr. Michael O'Brien
Dr. Michael O’Brien passed away peacefully in the presence of his family on the morning of November 1st. Dr. O’Brien was born August 4th, 1934 in Reading, PA to Paul O’Brien and Helen Enzman. He was one of five children. He attended the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, graduating in 1957 with a degree in Engineering. He then served in the Marines for eight years before resigning his commission to embark on a career in medicine. He attended Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia and completed a Neurology residency at Temple University. He practiced Neurology for greater than four decades in Boise, Idaho, and then continued as a Neurology consultant after retirement.
Dr. O’Brien is known for his service not only to his country, but to his community, family, and friends. He founded the St. John’s Free Medical Clinic in 1996, which provided health care and pharmaceuticals for those in need. He has volunteered for the past 20 years as a counselor and later an archery instructor at Camp Rainbow Gold, an outdoor camp for children with cancer. He volunteered as a team physician for both the Boise State football team and Bishop Kelley High School golf team. He had a passion for gardening, which was only equaled by his passion for sharing the harvest. Most recently, he has enjoyed volunteer gardening at the St. Mary’s rose garden, and took great pride in his backyard vineyard.
As an avid golfer, he was one of the earliest members of Crane Creek Country Club. He loved teaching golf almost as much as playing. While in the Marines and stationed in Okinawa, he often played golf with fellow Marine, Lee Trevino, which he fondly recalled. He shot his age at 69. He had a lifetime passion for boating and sailing and especially loved the time he spent sailing his boat in the San Juan Islands. He was a lifetime handball player, and attended the World Handball Cup in Ennis, Ireland. In his 60’s, he began playing competitive hockey, having to learn to ice skate first. Clearly, he loved a challenge.
Dr. O’Brien was a wonderful husband, father, and friend. He was married to his best friend, Chris, for 40 years. They were a devoted team, working together and playing together. During their marriage, they traveled the entire globe, inspired by a mutual love of history and culture. He took great pride in all of his children and grandchildren. He was extremely generous and kind to everyone he knew for his entire life, and enriched all who had the pleasure to know him. He is irreplaceable. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife Christine O’Brien, his children Laura Gould (Colin, Katie, Madeline), Dr. Maureen Baxter and Dr. Brett Baxter (Charlie, Maggie), Jessica and Dr. Martin Sachse (Olivia, William), Erin Wagner and Kris Pearlman (Jack, Lucy, Fox), Dr. Tom Phanthavady and Dr. Tina Sayama, brother Thomas O’Brien (Claire), sisters Mary Ellen White (Jim) and Patricia Dreiling, and brother-in-law Larry Arata (Lynda). He was preceeded in death by sister Monica Fisher.
Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Mary’s Church in Boise, Idaho, on November 14, 2018 at 10:00 A.M. with reception to follow. Inurnment will take place at the Idaho State Veteran’s Cemetery at 3:00 P.M. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to either Camp Rainbow Gold or St. Mary’s Food Bank.