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Niece Eulogizes O'Brien


Posted By: volunteer (email)
Date: 10/9/2018 at 20:25:40

The Bayard News Dec 13, 1973

Dear Sir:

One of the Bayard boys has come back home for the last time. Quin O'Brien, Liz and William O'Brien's oldest son has returned to the town where he was born and raised. He joins his mother and dad and is resting at Willow with them.
Quin, as some of you might remember, left Bayard to go to the city two score and ten plus years ago. He was the oldest son in the William O'Brien family and understood his duties and responsibilities that place in the family required of him. Quin realized and accepted those responsibilities without question. He went to Chicago in the 20"s to "make good" and he did.
Quin O'Brien knew from where he came - strong, plain people who believed that hard work and dedications to your goals were the only things that stood between any person and success. Quin knew that the important things in life were nourishing food, warmth and honest friends. The game of life held no surprises or mysteries for Quin. The rules were simple - and he followed them. Honesty and fair play were important to him. His religion, his family, his friends and his job were what mattered and that was all. What else did anyone need?
Quins relationship with his God was a quiet, personal affair. They had an understanding.
His place in the O'Brien family was established at his birth - the oldest of eventually three sons.
William "Darb" O'Brien and John O'Brien followed him into this world. Being the eldest when his Dad died he comforted and aided his mother, Elizabeth, and his two younger brothers. He helped the other boys, Jack and Darb, finish their educations and saw them launched into business of their own and he was proud. He was pleased when they married and the family had sons and a daughter to carry out the family name. He took care of his mother until she returned to Bayard and Willow to join his Dad.
Once you were Quin's friend he never forgot or misplaced that friendship. When he left Bayard so many years ago, he arranged to have the "Bayard News" delivered to him in Chicago so he could follow the happenings of his friends and home town and note their accomplishments.
In the city, in business, he made many more friends. When some of the Bayard people and cousins came to town, they would look up Quin. He was a point of reference and he greeted them warmly. Chicago and the world around him changed so quickly in the 20's 30's 40's and 50's.
Quin's outlook ideas and ideals remained the same. Honest, hard work and a goal were the all - important things.
He loved sports and was almost a professional sports follower. The whole essence of the games of baseball and football affirmed his belief in Life. One follows the rules of the game, executing your strongest plan, taking advantage of the best opportunities and keeping your eye on the goal. But victory was not the all important thing, it was how well you played the game. Honesty, fairness, sportsmanship - that's what counted with Quin. If you lost, there was always next Saturday or next season - one never gave up and Quin never did. And he would not accept or could not understand how anyone in his family could give up.
Life had its adversities. There were hard times but an O'Brien did not surrender. The O'Brien family motto on the crest handing in his room in Gallic was engraved on his mind as well, "The Strong Hand Uppermost".
In later years Quin's position in the family enlarged from being the point of reference to include being the family historian. He kept all the tallies and the scores - birth, death, marriages, the children's births and that of their children. He kept track of us all and if any one of us strayed or was ill he was concerned. The fact that they were family - O'Brien - he knew they would make it.
He saw the football season of '73 through - it was all over for him at Thanksgiving. The bowl games were fancy extras, nice, but not the real contest. On the day of the long awaited battle between the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and USC he became ill and was rushed to the hospital. His condition was grave and a family spokesman was called. When he arrived at the hospital later that evening he found Quin unable to speak and in an oxygen tent. Quin made the motions he wanted to write something. He was given a pencil and paper. "Did the Irish Win"? he scribbled to the startled, then smiling friend. They did. Quin returned the smile. Notre Dame had kept the Faith and so had he. But he was tired and wanted to rest.
Quin made many trips to Willow cemetery over the years. He knew the peacefulness and the quiet there. That is where the family was - his Mother, Dad and brother Jack and he knew he was going back for good one day. It was a lovely place to him, a serene spot where the wind blows but not much changes except the seasons - a perfect place for the long rest, after his game was played and quietly won.
So another one of the O'Brien boys has returned to Bayard, for the last time. Quin O'Brien is resting at Willow, today.


Diane O'Brien Merles


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