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O'Brien, Michael Ambrose 1952 - 2022


Posted By: Joy Moore (email)
Date: 8/19/2022 at 15:14:44

CLIVE - Michael Ambrose O’Brien, age 69, of Clive, Iowa, went to be with his best friend, Jesus on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022 after a beautiful, courageous and faith-filled life, at his home at Silvercrest of the Woodlands, surrounded by his family. Mike was affectionately known as “Big Mike.”
A visitation was held from 1:00pm – 3:15pm, Monday, August 15th at Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home, 8201 Hickman Road, Urbandale. A Christian Celebration of Life was at 4:00pm at Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home with a meal following.

Michael was born on Sept. 4, 1952, in Cresco, Iowa and was named after a priest that his father assisted in the military as chaplainʼs assistant.
Michael grew up on a farm milking cows and doing farm work; he referred to himself as a tough Irish American farm boy. He was the oldest of five sisters and one brother.
He attended a country school and later a Catholic elementary and middle school and graduated from Crestwood High School. He attended Upper Iowa University, where he studied sociology; he received a certificate in Homemaker Home Health Aide from DMACC; and he did a 120-hour practicum, taking blood pressures, pulses and temperatures at Grand Ave Care Center.
Mike lived in Ames, Iowa for over 30 years, where he worked 21 years at JC Penney as a custodial engineer, where he never missed a day of work and never used an alarm clock. He was a founding member and a very active member at Heartland Baptist Church. He also worked at Ames Baptist Church and School. He was an avid volunteer at Abbington Nursing Home, as well as Grand Avenue Nursing Home for over 10 years.
Upon retirement, Mike moved to Clive at Silvercrest at Woodlands Creek, where he lived for 10 years, enjoying his new friends and living two miles from his sister and brother-in-law Keith and Eileen Denner and traveling closely on many journeys.
Mike took pride in his achievements of playing baseball as a pitcher, traveling to the Grand Canyon, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado Rocky Mountains, Florida and many other states. He was an avid sports fan but, he especially enjoyed baseball and the Chicago Cubs.
He enjoyed using his beautiful voice singing in the musical Oklahoma, in choirs and hymns. He knew over 100 songs by memory. He especially liked hymns sung by Johnny Cash. Mike had an inspiring gift of encouragement and writing; he journaled and wrote thousands of encouraging notes to family, friends and strangers and spoke loving encouragement into their lives. He enjoyed reading his Bible and spiritual books. Family, friends and meeting new friends were very important to him.
Mostly, Mike was an amazing prayer warrior with a unique and inspiring faith in Jesus Christ. He had a strong practice of being grateful and journaling about his gratitude. He was a very special friend to many. When people met him for the first time, he often gently asked if they were a Christian and became their friend regardless of their response.
Mike’s determination and courage to define and overcome obstacles with his deep faith in Christ inspired many. He had a special sense of humor and loved a good “honey do list.” He never refused a piece of lemon meringue pie.
Survivors include siblings, Pamela OʼBrien (Frank Rout) of Lake Geneva, Wis., Dan (Kim) OʼBrien of Ridgeway, Iowa, Sheila (Dale) Rassman of Lawler, Iowa, Kathy (Loren) Liddle of Tripoli, Iowa, Eileen (Keith) Denner of West Des Moines, Iowa and Robyn (Stan) Sorenson of Gurnee, Ill. He had 16 nephews and nieces and 26 great- nephews and nieces. Special friends in Christ were Tim Cmelik of Little Rock, Ark., Ray Coffey of Pensacola, FLla., Brian Nevermann of West Des Moines, Pastor Stephen Terpstra of LaCrosse, Wis. and Denise Stowman of Johnston, Iowa.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Ambrose OʼBrien and Irene Praska OʼBrien; nephew, Deon Scott; and great-nephew, Logan Liddle.
Memorials may be directed to the Michael Ambrose OʼBrien Prayer Warrior Charity Fund to benefit Christian charities. (See Caldwell Parish obituary for the donation link).
Online condolences may be expressed at www.caldwellparrish.com.

Source: Cresco Times Aug. 11, 2022


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