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Awilda M. O'Brien


Last updated 1/11/2018 at 9:41pm

Awilda M. O'Brien, Wilda, as her friends and family knew her, was born in Kirkville, Iowa on Oct. 29, 1933. She passed peacefully at home Dec. 10, 2017 at age 84.

Wilda was the daughter of Mearl Moore, who worked for the railroad, and Madeline Moore, a homemaker. The rural community of Kirkville had a one-room school house where she was always an excellent student, becoming the Wapello County Spelling Bee Champion. She went on to Ottumwa High School, where she graduated at the top of her class of 1950 at the age of 17.

After high school, she worked a short time as a telephone operator before joining the Navy in 1951. She became an instructor at Great Lakes Naval Training Facility, where she trained her future husband, Richard O'Brien, to be a corpsman.

Wilda left the Navy in 1954 and started a family in 1956. She moved to Fallbrook in 1959, and in 1966 she went to work on Camp Pendleton for the Civil Service. She worked several jobs during her 26 years with the service, with her favorite time being the 13 years she spent as the Dispatch Chief for Camp Pendleton Fire.

She retired in 1997 so she could devote more time to the hobbies she loved, like quilting (by hand,) knitting, gardening, and re-furnishing furniture. She won many awards at the Del Mar Fair for her quilting and knitting.

Wilda was predeceased by her husband of 56 years, Richard O'Brien, Aug. 20, 2010; her brother, Harold Moore, March 15, 2003; her sister-in-law, Hila Moore, Jan 9, 2013; and her grandson, J.C. Armes, Feb. 11, 2013.

She is survived by her brothers, Mearl Moore (Brick) and wife Linda Moore, Richard Moore (Dick) and wife Jackie, and Denis Moore, all from Wapello County; her children Tim O'Brien and wife Debbie, Terry O'Brien and wife Debra, and Kerry Doney and husband David. Wilda had a total of 10 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

Please join us for a day of remembrance as a celebration of life will be held January 21 at noon, with luncheon to follow, at the Reche Schoolhouse, 1309 Live Oak Park Rd.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to: Foundation for Senior Care, 135 S. Mission Ave, Fallbrook, CA 92028.


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