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Linda Sue (Hale) O’Brien, 51, of Colby, died Friday, December 8, 2023, at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa after a valiant battle with cancer.
Linda, the third of four girls, was born to Everett and Pearl Hale in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, on November 13, 1972. She married her soulmate, Kevin O'Brien, on September 20, 2014. “I love that man with all my heart,” she’d say, often marveling at how lucky they were to find each other. Kevin, along with her family, supported Linda throughout her illness and treatments, never leaving her side.
“I love my simple life” was one of Linda’s constant refrains, especially after her devastating diagnosis in April of 2023. She was a model of humility and gentleness her whole life. Though she faced many difficulties, she was grateful for the time she had with her family, husband, and friends.
Those who knew her will most remember her incredibly unique sense of humor, her goodness, and her love of Jesus Christ. “Jesus is Lord,” she’d say when both good and bad news came. A lifelong Catholic, Linda attended Holy Rosary Catholic Church most Sundays with Kevin and her mother, Pearl (AKA The Three Amigos). It was there at Holy Rosary, a few decades back, that Linda was slain in the spirit during a visit from Alan Ames, a traveling Catholic healer invited by the Church. That experience changed her life, and she talked of it often: the feeling of peace, the knowing that God is real, and how everything will be alright. That feeling stayed with her and comforted her many years since and during her final days.
Linda was an intensely devoted Packers fan, and she also enjoyed watching and cheering on the Badgers, Bucks and Brewers. Some of her favorite memories include watching the Green and Gold win the Superbowl in 2011 and seeing the Bucks earn the NBA championship title in 2021. She also spent many hours watching true-crime documentaries, funny YouTube videos and other TV shows and movies with Kevin. Earlier in her life, she expressed her artistic side through writing, painting and drafting funny scripts for radio ads at a station in Marshfield. Linda earned both her bachelors and master degrees in English from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Her last place of employment was Northcentral Technical College-Spencer Campus as an Administrative Assistant.
Linda is preceded in death by her beloved father, Everett Hale, who always cherished Linda’s company and conversation. He’d often ask, “When am I going to see you again?” The suffering of those who love and miss Linda is lessened, knowing she is reunited with her dad in Heaven.
Linda is survived by her husband, Kevin O'Brien; her mother, Pearl Hale of Medford, Wis.; her three sisters, Ann (Brian) Bergmann of Brooklyn Park, Minn., Barbara (Matthew) Richlen of Menomonee Falls, Wis., Jennifer (Adam Derr) Hale, Ogema, Wis.; mother-in-law and father-in-law Connie and Mike O'Brien of Shakopee, Minn., brother-in-law Colin (Karla) O'Brien of Shakopee, Minn. and dear nieces and nephews, Lauren (Joseph) Linders of Maple Grove, Minn., Alexander Bergmann of Brooklyn Park, Minn., Pierce, Grant and Ava Richlen of Menomonee Falls, Wis., and Bailey and Morgan O'Brien, Shakopee, Minn. in whom she delighted and loved with all her heart.
Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., Friday evening December 15, at Hemer-Pickerign Funeral Home in Medford, Wis., with a prayer service at 7 p.m.
A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, December 16, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Medford, with Fr. Patrick McConnell officiating. Visitation will also be from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m., on Saturday at the church. Interment will follow at Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery, Medford. Luncheon will be served after interment at Holy Rosary Church.
Memorials preferred to the Holy Rosary Catholic Church Continue the Mission Campaign or to the Froedtert Hospital Foundation.