The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Katherine A. O'Brien


June 5, 2018

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Katherine A. O'Brien, 93, a long-time resident of Long Beach and formerly of Ironwood, Mich., died Thursday, March 15, 2018.

Katherine was born on Dec. 10, 1924, in Minnesota, a daughter of James M. O'Brien and Philomena Eva (Thebert) Jacisin. She attended St. Ambrose Catholic High School in Ironwood and graduated in 1942.

Kay participated in the church choir and was a member of a sewing club. She was passionate about learning and was an avid reader. Kay loved to travel and even acted as a tour guide on several occasions.

Over the years, Katherine worked at numerous jobs. She later moved to Milwaukee to help with the war effort. She briefly taught in Marenisco, Mich., before moving to Long Beach in 1955. She graduated from California State University, Long Beach in 1960 with a Master of Arts degree.

Katherine taught elementary education in Alaska in 1964 and survived the great earthquake. She was issued a lifetime diploma in 1968 from the state of California to teach all elementary and secondary grades. She taught English at El Camino College from 1965 to 1988.

Kay traveled to the USSR in October 1989. While there, she underwent emergency surgery. She later sponsored her doctor and his wife from the USSR to come to the United States. They eventually became citizens. Their daughter was named after Katherine.

Katherine always spoke lovingly of her family. She was fiercely independent and once stated that hot fudge was its very own food group!

Survivors include her brother-in-law, Lloyd Hill, Bessemer, Mich .; and two sisters-in-law, Penny Jacisin, Ironwood, and Catherine Jacisin, De Pere, Wis. Katherine will also be dearly missed by her numerous nieces and nephews and their families who appreciated all of the support she gave them in their educational pursuits.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Lorelei Elsemore and Marilyn Hill; and three brothers, Tom O'Brien, Michael "Mike" Henry Jacisin and John Joseph "Jack" Jacisin.

Out of respect for her wishes, cremation has taken place.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, June 9, at 11 a.m., preceded by memorial visitation at 10 a.m., at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, 210 E. Iron St., Bessemer, with the Rev. Dominic Agyapong, celebrant.

Rite of Committal and interment will take place at Riverside Cemetery, Ironwood.

The family would like to extend their gratitude to the staff at Edgewood Nursing Center in Long Beach for their loving care to Katherine while she was a resident.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield, Mich. Condolences may be expressed online at


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