Duane “Sox” O’Brien
Duane Francis “Sox” O’Brien, 90, of Volga, died Thursday, April 3, 2014, at his residence in Volga. He was born June 11, 1923, in Volga to Frank Leonard and Cecile Mary (White) O’Brien. He graduated from Volga High School in 1940. Sox farmed the family farm and did carpentry work as the “O” in ET&O Construction, starting in the 1960s. He especially remembered the first house they constructed which was for Wally Oldfather in Manchester, Iowa. They were quite a crew, with Hugh Tenney and HH (Pete) Eder providing wit and commentary as the various projects progressed. In retirement, Sox and LaMae operated the O’Brien Grocery in Volga until the flood of 1999.
Sox had vivid memories of his early years and it was enjoyable to listen to his recollections of the various characters in Volga history. He also liked to poke fun at people, especially if he knew he was getting under their skin. He loved to go, go anywhere, as long as he was going somewhere. He particularly loved to gawk out the side windows as he was driving. His passengers were not as enamored with his looking, however, as he tended to veer in that direction.
Sox also was an avid reader and served on the Volga Public Library Board for several years.
Sox was united in marriage to Claire LaMae Krogman on July 30, 1947, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Guttenberg. Ten children were born to this union.
Survivors include his children, Maureen Ann O’Brien of Hanover, PA, Patrick Francis (Mary Emelie) O’Brien, of Waterloo and Volga, Timothy Joseph (Jan) O’Brien of Fayette, Dennis Eugene (Ann) O’Brien of Volga, Gerald Lee “Jerry” (Deanna) O’Brien of Volga, Mary Frances (Philip Migliore) O’Brien of New Hope, PA, Julia Ann (Gary) Slusser of Danville, CA, Christine Mary O’Brien of Burlington, Rebecca Jo O’Brien of St. Louis, MO, Joel Arthur (Nicole) O’Brien of Strawberry Point; eight grandchildren, Matthew Francis (Brittney) O’Brien, Hillary Ruth O’Brien, Justin Eugene (Holly) O’Brien, Amanda Della (Grant) Harkrader, Molly Joan Patricia O’Brien-Brouwer, Taryn Adriel O’Brien, Quinn Riley O’Brien, Keegan Kael O’Brien; four great-grandchildren, MaKenna Brouwer, Jesse Brouwer, Jaycee Sherman, Justine O’Brien and one brother, Neil Thomas (Amanda) O’Brien of Wellington, KS.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife in 2001; granddaughter, Whitney Claire O’Brien in 2000; sister and brother-in-law, Mary Therese (Alphonse) Herzog; and sister-in-law Charlotte (Don) Oberbroeckling and her husband.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11a.m. Monday, April 7, 2014, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Volga, with Rev. Paul R. Peters as celebrant. Interment follwed at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Volga. There was a visitation from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 6, 2014, at Leonard Funeral Home in Elkader and one hour before mass time at the church on Monday.
Leonard Funeral Home in Elkader was in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left with www.leonardfuneralhomes.com