Obituary of Michael Austin O'Brien
Michael "Mike" Austin O'Brien, 76, resident of Tucson, AZ, passed away Sunday, October 15, 2023, in Tucson, AZ.
Michael was born October 7, 1947 in Phoenix, AZ to James Frank and Lucille O'Brien. He graduated from West High School, Phoenix, AZ and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Management from St. Mary's College of California. He worked for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, graduating in the very first academy class August 1969. He was stationed in Phoenix, White Mountains and Tucson throughout his career and promoted to Sergeant in 1976 . Michael retired from DPS in 1989. Working with the United Nations, he went on 3 overseas missions, training emerging police forces in Bosnia, Kosovo and East Timor. Upon his return, he moved to Nutrioso, AZ and worked as a Juvenile Probation Officer for Apache County while building his dream home in the mountains. Michael earned his pilot's license after graduating high school and briefly flew charter flights out of Phoenix. He also enjoyed running, traveling, hiking, backpacking and riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle through Europe. He was a youth soccer coach, a role he was passionate about, and a dedicated UofA Wildcats fan. One of his favorite sayings was, "I don't have fun if I don't win!", surely his soccer players heard that more than once. Above all and in everything he did, he was an adventure seeker.
Michael is survived by his ex-wife and best friend to the end, Susan Magnuson (married 1973-1996), daughters Jennifer (Eric) Gray, Erin O'Brien and Bevin O'Brien; grandchildren Mark (Alexis) Ford, Amy Ford and Jack (Carsyn) Ford; great-granddaughter Lily Ford (Mark); along with many nieces, nephews and cousins and close lifelong friends Craig Williamson and Pat Murphy.
He was preceded in death by his brothers and sisters Patrick O'Brien, Mary Lee Smith, Theresa Mason, James O'Brien Jr and Joan Finney.
Services will be held Friday November 10, 2023, 10:30am at St Thomas The Apostle Catholic Church, 5150 N Valley View Rd, Tucson, AZ 85718. Reception to follow at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park, Ramada #1, 3482 E River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718. Burial Service will be held November 11, 2023, 11am at St Francis Catholic Cemetery, 2033 N 48th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008. The funeral home in charge of arrangements is Adair Funeral Home, 1050 N Dodge Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716.
If you would like to honor Michael by donating to his favorite charity, donations can be made to: Arizona Highway Patrol Heritage Museum: AHP/DPS Heritage Museum, 2102 W Encanto, Mail Drop #1160, Phoenix, AZ 85007