Neil O’Brien, 75, passed away November 22, 2020, peacefully in his home, surrounded by family.
A funeral service is scheduled for 2 p.m. on November 25, 2020. Interment will be under the direction of Affordable Funeral Services. Online condolences can be sent to www.affordablefuneralservices.com.
Neil was born on December 13, 1944, in Provo, Utah. He was raised in Oakland, California. After graduating high school, he served a building mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah. Loving the area, he returned and met his future wife, Vonnie Ann VanAusdal, while driving tour buses for the Park Service. They married on February 14, 1970, and were sealed in Saint George Temple on February 13, 1971.
Neil believed in working hard and had many employment experiences, from tour to transit bus driving. He retired to become a professional truck driver. He was also a referee for basketball and football games and an umpire for baseball. Neil had multiple church callings. He served as Sunday school president, ward clerk, executive secretary and both first and second counselor in several bishoprics. His most recent calling was ward librarian.
Neil had a strong sense of integrity, he always wanted things to be right and honest. His favorite word was respect. He loved gathering with his family to celebrate any holiday, birthdays, or any special occasion. He enjoyed wearing colorful, holiday themed ties to church. He found entertainment through watching sports, gardening, cooking, travelling with his wife, family, and friends. He enjoyed collecting model antique cars, studying train history and spending time playing games with his family. Neil won several trophies for bowling professionally and safety awards for bus driving. He also enjoyed golf and fishing.
He was a great provider and role model for his family. Neil was always willing to step in for father-and-son outings or father-and-daughter activities for his grandchildren. He loved watching his family grow and had fun entertaining the little ones with his Donald Duck impressions and silly faces.
He is survived by his loving wife, Vonnie, his six children: Tammie Yamashita, Karen Dunaway, Jennifer Hurst, Jeffery O’Brien, Cynthia Thayer (Nathan) and Elizabeth O’Brien, and his twenty-three grandchildren and four great granddaughters.