Mary Rose O'Brien

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Mary Rose O’Brien, age 71, of Kailua Kona and formerly of Ankeny, died peacefully on March 9, 2020, at home. Rose, or Rosie, as she was also known, was born Aug. 25, 1948, in Des Moines, to John and Alma Bruett. 

 

She grew up in Des Moines and was a retired administrative staff trainer and coordinator at Principal Financial. She attended the Highland Park Christian Church in Des Moines with her family and, in Kona, was a member of Mokuaikaua Church. Rosie moved to Saint Cloud, Minn., in 1970 to attend Saint Cloud State University. After returning to the Des Moines area in 1980, Rosie met Dennis O’Brien; they were married on May 31, 1986. One of Rosie’s greatest joys was traveling throughout the states plus Costa Rica, Nicaragua, China, Viet Nam, European countries and, of course, Hawaii. Rose’s longtime dream was to live in Hawaii and that dream came true when she and Dennis moved to Kailua-Kona in 2015. Rose enjoyed sky diving, fishing, was an excellent cook, seamstress, loved painting her nieces and nephews’ faces at family gatherings, painted watercolor special occasion cards for family and friends, played Mahjong and Words with Friends and welcomed numerous family and friends who visited their home in Hawaii.  

 

Rosie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. Dennis was her strength throughout this difficult time and she was able to live a good life until the end. Rosie will be remembered as having a bright mind, an adventurous spirit and a beautiful heart. She worked hard and played hard. She had a love of animals, especially dogs, and she considered her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lilly, her “baby.”

 

Rosie is survived by her husband, Dennis O’Brien, formerly of St. Olaf and Ankeny; two sisters, Marcelyn Sue (Richard) Van Houten of Gunnison, Colo., and Cynthia Elaine (Gary) Pannkuk of Ankeny; and one brother, William (Tina) Bruett of Las Vegas, Nev.; and numerous dear friends, nieces and nephews.  

 

A celebration of life delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic will be held on Aug. 21, at 11 a.m. at Highland Park Christian Church in Des Moines. A private scattering of ashes will be held at North McDonald Cemetery in rural Winterset.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to hospice of Kona, P.O. Box 4130, Kailua Kona, HI 96745.

 

Rest well, Rosie!

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