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(Richard) Dick Andrew O’Brien, age 87 of rural Blanchardville died on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at his home. Dick was born February 10, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois to James Michael and Mary Ursula (Sinnott) O’Brien. Dick attended grade school at St. Barnabas in Chicago and St. Anne in Barrington, Illinois, and graduated from the Barrington Consolidated High School in 1954. Dick attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indianna, completing his undergraduate Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1958. He then studied in Florence, Italy on a scholarship for two years. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame with a Graduate Degree in Fine Arts in 1961. After completing his studies.
Dick and his brother James went into business together for their art business, with Jim managing the business and financials of the partnership, and Dick managing the creative work. There were no arguments because Dick didn’t like numbers, and Jim had no creative skills! Dick created a lot of large-scale artwork, including murals at O’hare Airport, and other companies using art to express what their goals and direction were. He also sold posters, greeting cards, stained glass work and paintings. In 1985 Dick and Jim moved to rural Blanchardville and continued their work from their rural base in Blanchardville.
After their business ceased, Dick enjoyed continuing to do artwork for his own enjoyment, and to beautify the new Catholic Church in Blanchardville, designing the stained glass in the new church and creating artwork for the church. Dick worked at a plant nursery in Darlington in later years, which he really enjoyed. He was an active member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Blanchardville, a part of the St. Isidore Parish.
Dick loved hosting people at his home and planned several annual summer picnics and New Years Parties alongside his friends/ neighbors Steve, Kelly, Mark and Marsha Hermanson. Many of these summer picnics and New Years parties were hosted at Dick’s house complete with a band, gunny sack races and a very competitive neighborhood softball game. Dick was known for being so very kind and selfless and was a dear and loyal friend to so many and will be dearly missed.
Dick is survived by his nieces Anni (Emmit) Dages of Florida, and Megan Wright of Chicago and nephew Michael (Jennine) Wright of South Bend, IN. Brother-in-law John (Linda) Wright of Lake Geneva, great nieces and nephews and special friends, Steve and Kelly Hermanson of Blanchardville and their children, Mark (Mallory) & son Arlo Hermanson and Marsha (Nick), son Henry and daughter Adeline Crooks. Dick was preceded in death by his parents; his brother James; and sisters Mary Lou and Colleen.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, November 15th 2023 at 11:00 AM at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Blanchardville. The service will be live cast for the public on the Saether Funeral Service Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/saetherfuneralservice. Father John Hendrick will officiate. Burial will be in the Calvary Cemetery in Blanchardville. A short visiting of family and friends will be held for one hour prior to the service. A funeral lunch will be held following the service at Blanchard Hall, Main Street Blanchardville. Saether Funeral Service of Blanchardville is assisting the family. Online memories and condolences can be shared with the family at saetherfuneralservice.com.