119 Third Street Southwest ~ Rugby, North Dakota ~ 58368-1797
Chapel of the Cross ~ Towner, North Dakota
Jon M. Stork - President / Licensed Director

Phone: 701.776.6381 ~ 701.537.5130
Fax: 701.776.5916
email: afhrugbytowner@gondtc.com


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Shirley Mae O'Brien

Shirley Mae (Smette) O’Brien was born on July 31, 1930 to Melvin and Ada (Brandt) Smette in their rural family farm home near Upham, North Dakota.  Shirley passed away at the age of 88 years on Thursday, November 22, 2018 in her home in rural Upham with family by her side.


She was raised in the rural Upham area and graduated from Upham High School.  On December 19, 1951, she married her hometown sweetheart, Eugene O’Brien Jr. at the Bloomfield Lutheran Church, Upham.  They have one daughter, “Jackie”.  Shirley worked beside her husband on the WBB Shoemaker ranch south of Upham for two years then moved into Upham where Jr. worked at the Upham Farmers Elevator.  In 1962, they purchased their farm one mile west of Upham from Chester and Annetta Serr. They farmed and ranched there.  Eugene passed away on January 15, 1989.  Following his death, Shirley remained on the farm until her passing.


Shirley was member of New Hope Lutheran Church in Upham.  There she taught Sunday School for many years.  She was a member of the women’s circle, W.E.L.C.A. an active member of the church’s Quilting ladies, the 55+ Senior Citizens Club and the B and U Club.  She served on the Meadow Township Board.  Shirley enjoyed mowing her lawn, planting trees and flowers and being a gracious hostess to her many friends.


Shirley is survived by her daughter, Jacquelyn “Jackie” Holen and husband, Roger of Upham; nephew, Tyler Smette and his wife, Jessica and their two daughters, Haylee  and Hannah of Upham; siblings, Marva Dean Smith of Minot, Merlyn Smette of Upham and Monna Jane Teske of Bottineau, sister-in-law, Florence Smette of Upham, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.  She was preceded in death by her husband; a brother, Donald Smette; brothers-n-law, Curtis Smith and Harvey Teske, sister-in-law, Karen Smette and nephew, Mark Smette; her in-laws, Eugene Sr. and Cora O”Brien and her parents.


Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 a.m.  Wednesday, November 28th at the New Hope Lutheran Church in Upham with burial in the Bloomfield Cemetery, Upham.  Mr. Wally Fretland presider.


Visitation Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service and sharing of memories starting at 7 p.m. in the Anderson Funeral Home of Towner and will continue Wednesday for one hour prior to the service in the church.


The Casket Bearers: Shelby Volk, Levi Lenton, Matthew Kerzmann, Danny Brandt, Joel Smith, Scott Smith, Marc St. Louis, and Cheyenne Naumann


Posted Condolences:

Jackie,Roger & Family we are sincerely going to miss Aunt Shirley. I am proud to say she was my Aunt & Godmother.It won't be the same without her for sure.

 Brad Teske, Katie & Turbo Devils Lake,ND



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