VisitationTuesday, August 2 from 4-8 PM with Rosary at 7:30pm at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson, Wisconsin
Funeral ServicesWednesday, August 3 at 11:30 AM at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 1500 Vine St., Hudson
Honorable Thomas James O’Brien “TJ”, age 87, of Hudson, Wisconsin passed away at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN on July 28, 2011. Tom was born on October 12, 1923 to Thomas and Martha O’Brien in St. Paul, Minnesota. Tom grew up in Hudson, Wisconsin and at a young age, worked at the post office as courier. He graduated from Hudson High School and upon graduation, Tom began undergraduate classes at River Falls. In 1943, he joined the US Army where he served with the Signal Corps. He was very proud of the fact that he was an expert marksman. It was during this time that he met Elizabeth “Betty” Dodge. The two were married on November 22, 1947 at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in River Falls. The marriage would be blessed with 8 children. After completing his time in the military, Tom went on to attend and graduate from the University of Minnesota. He then attended St. Paul College of Law (Now William Mitchell, School of Law) and earned his Juris Doctorate. After earning his degree, Tom partnered in a law office in St. Paul while also owning and operating the O’Brien Insurance Agency. He then opened his own law office in Hudson, Wisconsin. In January of 1957 he was appointed as a County Judge by Governor Vernon W. Thomson. He served as judge in the counties of St. Croix, Milwaukee, and Dunn as well as other counties and was the only judge to hold court in all three of the St. Croix County Courthouses. Tom retired from his law practice in 1985 but continued to serve on the bench.
Tom was a dedicated family man who loved to travel with his wife and kids. The O’Brien family traveled all over the country, as well as cruised internationally. He was a model railroad enthusiast and a big sports fan, cheering on the Packers, Badgers, and Brewers. He was especially proud of his children’s vocal group, The O’Brien’s. Tom had a taste for good food and fast cars. He especially enjoyed taking the kids for rides in his Triumph TR6 or his Corvette. Often you could find Tom and the family in Milwaukee, enjoying their stays at the Pfister Hotel and dining at the local favorites, Karl Ratzsch’s, John Ernst’s Cafe, Sally’s Steakhouse and others. He was a proud Irish Catholic and a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was also a charter member of the VFW.
Tom is survived by his; wife of 64 years, Elizabeth, of Hudson; children, Thomas Jr., Patrick (Theresa), daughter-in-law, Mary, Timothy (Ellen), Ann, Daniel (Kathy), Christopher (Paula), and Sean (Cathy), all of Hudson; 21 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; cousin, Col. Robert (Jean) Oberschmid and many dear friends.
Tom is preceded in death by his; parents, Thomas and Martha; son, Michael; and brother, Roger.
A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial for Tom will be held on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Hudson at 11:30am. Music will be provided by the O’Brien’s. Burial will take place at St. Patrick’s Cemetery with military honors provided by the Hudson VFW and American Legion. A visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the church as well as on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 from 4-8 pm with Rosary at 7:30pm at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson, Wisconsin. Services are in the care of the O’Connell Family Funeral Home. 715.386.3725