Paul W. O'Brien Profile Photo

Paul W. O'Brien

February 23, 1948 — October 16, 2023


Paul W. O'Brien


Paul Waite O’Brien of Winona, MN died at his home in Winona, October 16, 2023, following an illness of several months.  

He was born February 23, 1948, to Paul Francis and Virginia Agnes O’Brien.  He was born the 3rd child and would be sibling to four brothers and four sisters.  

Paul graduated from Cotter High School in 1966 having shown talent as a musician playing trumpet and he would later be a member of a local band known as “The Red Flames.”   After some months at Winona State University he left and embarked on the labors of his life which included - delivery man for Bloedow’s Bakery, stained glass repairman working in the Midwest and also in New York City. For over twenty years he cut stone at Winona Monument - the last employee to be held before the sale of the company.  His remaining work years he was a quarryman for Biesanz Stone before retiring.

He married Barbara Sagartz (Chicago) in 1975.  Their union produced four sons of whom he is eternally proud - Padraig Seamus (Scottsdale) , Mathias (Winona), John Paul (Iowa) and Thomas (Winona). He is survived by six grandchildren.

Before settling in for the decades of work and responsibilities of being a breadwinner he satisfied his keen interest in the world by being an adventurer traveling to Europe and working there for a time as a glazier in Germany.  He loved traveling and meeting people from all walks of life making many friends along the way.  In 1970 joined his brother Kevin for an odyssey of travel that took them from Berlin to Singapore by bus, train and air over several months - tasting beer in Berlin, sipping tea in Istanbul, having breakfasts of eggs and flatbread in Kabul, dining on curried fish and rice in Singapore.

Perhaps above all other treasures he turned to his Catholic faith and heritage devoting much of his time to expanding his understanding of his heritage by studying the work of Hillaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton. Indeed the Packers can count on Paul continuing to keep an eye on their playoff run. Lastly, a special thanks to Joan Olson, Laura and the Winona Hospice staff for their months of devoted care and support.

Graveside services will be held at 1 PM on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery in Rollingstone, MN.  Fr. Chinnappa Pothireddy will officiate.

Online condolences or memories may be left for Paul’s family at

Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.


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