James "Jim" O’Brien | TheUnion.com

James "Jim" O’Brien

James “Jim” Harry O’Brien died peacefully May 30 at his home after a brief and courageous battle with cancer surrounded by his wife and family.

Memorial services will be held on Monday, June 9, at the Sacramento Valley Veterans Affairs National Cemetery in Dixon.

Jim was born Feb. 4, 1924, in Durango, Colo. He was one of nine siblings. After completion of high school, Jim joined the Navy to served in World War II. He was assigned to the Armed Guard, which provided gunnery crews aboard U.S. Merchant Marine ships. The Merchant Marine ships moved troops, ammunition, and supplies to and between military facilities throughout the Pacific region. As a Naval Armed Guard gunnery crew, Jim was on three ships and spent his entire service at sea cruising to far reaches of the Pacific Theater. He married his high school sweetheart, Peggy Banks, in 1945 while on shore leave in Seattle.

Jim and his wife settled in the San Francisco Bay Area after World War II. He studied mechanics and worked as a heavy duty mechanic for the next 38 years. He retired from the Operating Engineers in 1984. He and his wife moved to Nevada County in 1968. He enjoyed water-skiing, hunting, and assisting his sister and brother-in-law at their cattle ranch in Colorado. He will be remembered for his honesty, hard work, and love of family and friends.

Jim is survived by his wife of 63 years, Peggy O’Brien; son and daughter-in-law, Ron and Tina O’Brien; daughter, Sandy O’Brien; sister-in-law, Rita Mae Benjamin; brother, Jack O’Brien of Cortez, Colo.; sister, Eva McCleary of Durango, Colo.; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other extended family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Eva O’Brien; brothers Robert, Albert, and Bill O’Brien, and sisters Josephine Nichols, Margaret Huntington, and Mary Ellen Everett.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Sierra Services for the Blind or to Hospice of the Foothills.

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