Shirley Neal O’Brien, age 91, of Milbank, SD, passed away on Monday, April 3, 2023, at her residence.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank. Father Gary DeRouchey will celebrate the Mass. Visitation will be held at the church on Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., with a prayer vigil at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue at the church on Wednesday, one hour prior to the Mass. Burial will be at St. Lawrence Catholic Cemetery.
Shirley was born on September 20, 1931, in Royal, Iowa. She was the daughter of Lamar and Ruth (Shuck) Englert. One of twelve children, Shirley grew up on a farm near Royal and attended school in Royal.
Shirley was united in marriage to James O’Brien on January 25, 1951. The couple farmed together in Spencer, IA, Hartley, IA, and Milbank, SD. She was a member of the St. Lawrence Catholic Church and a member of The Catholic Daughters. She worked at St. Williams Care Center for 27 years as a housekeeper and later moved to head of housekeeping. She loved her job and loved the sisters and residents. She was a most dedicated employee.
She enjoyed playing cards, solitaire, made beautiful jean quilts, collected recipes, an avid reader, liked putting puzzles together, and patching jeans for family. She loved attending her children’s and grandchildren’s events. Shirley was recognized by the Modern Woodmen of America for her countless hours of service, as she sat at the front desk of St. Williams Care Center as a greeter. A faithful team member of St. Williams/Whetstone Insurance Co. Cancer Walk team for It Only Takes A Spark for 27 years. She enjoyed mowing her own lawn on her riding lawn mower. She had a big garden and did lots of canning.
Left to cherish her memory are her children: Dan (Dana) O’Brien of Tomball, TX; Mike (Lisa) O’Brien of Watertown, SD; Joel (Annie) O’Brien of Milbank, SD; and Shari (Paul) Karels of Milbank, SD; nine grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; siblings: Dorothy Gray of Romulus, MI; Aurie Urban of Tucson, AZ; Helen Burton of Phoenix, AZ; Marge (Jim) Barglof of Spencer, IA; Karen Bentley of Phoenix, AZ; Ron (Jan) Englert of Spencer, IA; and Rich (Judy) Englert of Everly, IA. She was preceded in death by her parents: Lamar and Ruth; husband, James; siblings: Bernard Englert, Charles Englert, and Gene Brugman.