Ronald Blair O’Brien was born on December 26, 1943 in Vancouver, WA. At age 67 on September 18, 2011, Ron passed away while fishing at one of his favorite lakes.
Ron learned his strong work ethic while working for his parents at an ice cream shop in Spokane and a tire shop while going to high school. His family owned OB’s Café in Ritzville for many years where Ron also worked. Ron served in the Coast Guard Reserve from 1961 to 1969. Later he owned his own restaurant, the A&W in Omak. Ron switched careers and began driving long haul trucks. He hauled freight all over the U.S. for many companies including Fiber Form Boats, Purina, Sun Runner Boats, and Yellowstone Trucking. He settled in Onion Creek in 1983 and later became the custodian and maintenance guru at Onion Creek School. He retired from the school in 1998. Shortly afterwards he began driving truck for Litehouse Salad Dressing out of Sandpoint, ID.
Ron liked to spend his free time hanging around Danny’s shop, bringing new life to old motors and parts, hunting and fishing with family and friends, collecting numerous piles of “stuff,” and cooking big dinners for family. He will be remembered for his jokes, great conversation, and ability to make any stranger into a friend.
He is preceded in death by his parents Robert Vincent and Opal Mae O’Brien, second wife Connie O’Brien and her son Rick Hobbs and nephew Chris O’Brien.
He is survived by his wife Carol O’Brien of Colville, his brother, Bruce O’Brien and partner Barb Humphreys of Ritzville; first wife Phyllis Connacher and their daughters Ronna (Kyle) Carlson, Kelli (Scott) Collins, Micki O’Brien of Spokane; son Bryan Hobbs, Colville, stepson Dr. Jacob Leone, Sausalito, CA, stepdaughter Jamila Leone, Spokane; grandkids Jenni (Jory) Kubas; Bethany, Micaiah, Josiah, Gracie, AnnaRose, and Elisabeth Collins, Sage Hobbs, Tyler Hobbs, Ricky Hobbs III; great grandkids Lily and Kaden Kubas, all of Spokane; niece DeeDee (Scott) Brown of Spokane, nephew Todd (Deborah) O’Brien of Ritzville, and numerous great-nieces and nephews, cousins, etc. He also leaves behind best buddy Danny Wilcox and many loyal friends and neighbors in the Colville / Onion Creek area.
A party and potluck to celebrate Ron’s life and share memories will be held Saturday, October 15 at the Marcus Hall in Marcus from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
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