Earl M. O’Brien, age 82 of Grand Haven, passed away on Monday, November 4, 2019 at home. He was born on September 11, 1937 in Muskegon, MI to the late Rex O’Brien and Cecilia Ronning. Earl married Carol A. Tanis on August 6, 1955 in Angola, IN. She preceded him in death on November 15, 2003, after 48 years of marriage.
Earl graduated from Muskegon High School, co-founded Camshaft Specialties of Grand Haven, and retired in 2003 from Engine Power Components. He helped develop specialty engines for the U.P.S. trucks and the adjustable height basketball hoops. Earl was a member of St. Patrick’s/St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, a very active member of the Grand Haven Kiwanis Club, member of the Elks Club, past inductee of the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame, recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, founder of YBL Basketball at the YMCA, and the driving force behind the original Imagination Station.
He also started the St. Jude’s Fishing Tournament for children and young adults, and loved being outdoors, taking pictures, and helping people raise money for their favorite charities.
Earl will be lovingly remembered by his family: Kimberly (Dustyn) Grimes, Kelli (Joe VanDam) Tindal, Cathleen O’Brien, Earl “Bill” (Valerie) O’Brien, Michael (Amy) O’Brien, Thomas (Alexandra) O’Brien, and Timothy (Kimberly) O’Brien. Also surviving are 13 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law, Victoria Tanis. He was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Cecelia; and two brothers.
The Funeral Service for Earl will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 8, 2019 at Klaassen Family Funeral Home, with Father Charles Schwartz officiating. Friends are invited to greet the family from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Thursday at the funeral home. Interment will be in Grand Haven Township Lakeshore Cemetery.
Memorial Contributions may be given to the Tri-Cities Kiwanis Foundation or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
To send flowers to Earl's family, please visit our floral section.