BLACK RIVER, NY — Jackie N. “Jack” O’Brien, 86, of 135 West St., Black River, NY, passed away peacefully Dec. 12, 2021, at his home, where he was surrounded by his loving family.
Born March 20, 1935, in Independence, Kansas, son of Paul and Lois Johnson O’Brien, he graduated in 1954 from LaBette County Community High School.
Jack entered the US Army on Jan. 21, 1955, and was honorably discharged on Jan. 20, 1958. Upon his discharge he returned briefly to Kansas and in 1958 returned to Watertown until 1962. He moved back to Kansas in May of 1962 and worked on a local farm and for Star Craft Co, a boat manufacturing company.
In 1967 he moved to Black River and worked at Hall’s Ski Lift in the shipping and receiving department, up until they closed in 1983. He then went to work for the Carthage Central School District as a sub for two years and in 1986 became employed full time at the Carthage High School as a maintenance man. In 1997 he moved to the Carthage Elementary School where he became Senior Custodian, retiring in August 2005.
He married Susan C. Beyor of Black River on March 20, 1974, in Felts Mills and the marriage was later blessed at the St. Paul’s Catholic Church in 1984. She cared for children in their home for 49 years and the couple fostered 45 babies. Sue passed away Dec. 7, 2015.
Among his survivors are a son and daughter-in-law, Andrew P. and Lori O’Brien, Wisconsin, a son and a daughter-in-law, James A. and Lisa Beyor, Carthage; two daughters and a son-in-law, Naomi Beyor, Alfred Station, NY, and Pamela S. Beyor Murtha and John Murtha, Black River, 10 grandchildren, McLean Beyor, Taylor Murtha ,Tyler Beyor, Megan and Madison Beyor, Hannah, Dawson , Owen, Luke and Breleigh O’Brien; two brothers and three sisters in law, James and Patricia O’Brien of Iola, Kansas, Lawrence and Florence O’Brien of Mound Valley, Kansas, and Janice O’Brien of Casper, Wyoming; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Sharlyon DeMott of Cherryville, Kansas and George Ann and Charles Smith of Cherryville, Kansas; and several nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by a sister and two brothers-in-law, Leotis and Clyde Freemon and Dean DeMott and two brothers and a sister-in-law, Edwin and Judy O’Brien and Patrick O’Brien.
Mr. O’Brien was a member of the Black River American Legion, an exempt member of the Black River Volunteer Fire Department, and a communicant of the St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Back River.
He was an avid hunter, fisherman. He enjoyed gardening. He loved his birds.
As a resident of west street for over 50 years he was loved by his neighbors, for whom he blew snow, mowed lawns , fixed whatever was broken and built whatever was needed.
Papa is known by all for his positive attitude, his love of conversation, and willingness to help anyone in need. He was a master mechanic, a master builder, problem solver and tinkerer extraordinary, a literal Jack of all trades.
The family extends a heartfelt appreciation to his west street neighbors who supported him and the entire family during his illness, and to the Hospice nurses who provided loving care and support.
Arrangements are with the Bruce Funeral Home.
Calling hours will be held 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church. A funeral Mass will follow at noon Friday. Burial with military honors will be held in the Black River Cemetery, followed by a reception at the Black River American Legion.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations may be made in Jack’s memory to Hospice of Jefferson County, Black River Fire Department or Black River Ambulance Squad.
Online condolences may be made at www.brucefh.com
Anyone attending the funeral Mass and burial please wear a mask.