Kevin Dale O'Brien, 64, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, December 7, his soul departing his body to reunite with loved ones who went before him.
Kevin was born June 25, 1958 in Wood River to Robert and Sherril (Mouser) O'Brien.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife, Denise; sisters, Kathleen (George) Strawbridge, Kelly (Tom) Pollihan, Kristi (Tim) Hatcher and Keri (Matt) McBride; step-daughters, Sarah (Tim) O'Dell, Leslie (David) Holtorf and Kristine (Mike) Douglas; as well as many grandchildren, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Growing up, Kevin loved music, playing in the high school band and rocking out on the bass guitar at home. On any given day, the thump of his bass could shake the house as he played along to 'Deep Purple', 'Rush', and 'Led Zeppelin', his favorite band.
In 2008, he married his best friend, the former Denise Basham, and instantly gained three wonderful daughters. As grandchildren came along, they called him, "Papa Kevin", which made him beam with pride.
Kevin retired from Olin in 2011, after 33 years of service. His thirst for knowledge never waned. After retirement, he went back to school and earned a degree in computer science. He simply devoured books and had an incredible mind for facts and trivia. One only had to watch an episode of "Jeopardy" with him to know he could hold his own against any contestant.
To know Kevin was to know a lifelong fan of the Cardinals and the Blues. He rarely missed a broadcast and proudly sported their logos on his shirts and hats. That loyalty paid off in 2019, when Kevin got to celebrate his beloved Blues finally winning the Stanley Cup.
Not just a sports spectator, Kevin had impressive skill at billiards. He and Denise spent many hours playing on pool leagues at the Eagles Lodge in Wood River, where they racked up many lasting friendships.
Kevin had a full life with many roles: husband, step-father, grandfather, brother, son, uncle, cousin, cat dad, and friend. His wry sense of humor and mischievous grin will surely be missed. His grin surely spread from ear to ear as his rock soul took flight, a full circle moment as he ascended the "Stairway to Heaven". All who loved him can take comfort in knowing he has found eternal peace and serenity.
A memorial visitation will be held from 12 pm until time of a Celebration of Life service at 2 pm on Thursday, December 22 at Marks Mortuary, 633 E. Lorena Av, Wood River, IL
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in honor of Kevin to: Metro East Humane Society (www.mehs.org/support)