Kathy and Pat O’Brien- Till Death Do Us Part

Kathy and Pat O’Brien- Till Death Do Us Part

- in Grumpy Daily Headlines

You might not know Kathy O’Brien, but the politicians up in North Dakota do.. She keeps a close eye on everything they do, and when they do something stupid or corrupt she lets them and everyone in North Dakota know about it.  Some of them love her, some not so much, a few like the Superintendent of the States Department of Public Instruction  Kirsten Baesler, who is Pro Common Core, would love to see her go away.



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I first ran into Kathy O’Brien about six years ago, before I started Grumpy Opinions, back then we both actively commented on USA Today.. using the screen name “Who Won”  When I started Grumpy Opinions she became Grumpy Opinions biggest Facebook supporter, she’s “Liked” thousands of Grumpy Opinion Pasts and shared hundreds of them.  Kathy’s down to earth, easy to talk too, smart as hell, and a corrupt politicians nightmare..

There’s an old expression, behind every great man, there’s a great woman.  I figure it works both ways, For Kathy that man is Pat O’Brien.


Kathy decided that a long time ago..


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Us in 2nd grade, he was in love with Nina Volk then…but I loved him! He doesn’t remember but I do…LOL –Kathy O’Brien


Of course they went through that period when girls think boys are yucky and boys feel the same way about girls..

But by the seventh grade, Kathy decided maybe Pat wasn’t so yucky after all, just guessing but I’d bet it didn’t take her long to convince Pat she wasn’t exactly yucky either.




They were together from the 7th grade until sometime in their college years, when they drifted apart..

What followed are what Kathy calls the years we weren’t together..

It took around a quarter century, they both found themselves back in Bismarck, and both single.. Pat told her he’d always thought they’d end up back together when they were old…

So Kathy made a CD with 7 of their favorite songs from the old days,  and titled it “Are We Old Yet” 

That was about 14 years ago.

They’ve been together ever since..  They got married in 2008


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On Monday August 31st Kathy posted this on a Caring Bridge Page a friend had set up for Kathy:

Still fighting for life:  Pat has been in the hospital since Friday, August 28. They now think he has a massive infection in his body that has gone septic. At first they thought it was congestive heart failure but tests show his heart is strong. His lungs are filling with fluid so he has now been intubated and moved to the ICU. Luckily most of his siblings were able to get to the hospital before the intubation and were able to speak with him. I talk to him every day, even though he is heavily sedated as he would want to be. His vitals had improved as of yesterday so I am hopeful. Keep the prayers coming, Jesus help him.

I exchanged a couple quick Facebook messages with Kathy around that time  she sounded optimistic..

But on September 5th Kathy posted this on Facebook..

He’s Pain Free, Dancing With Jesus


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Pat’s fought rheumatoid arthritis most of his adult life, the last few years have been rough, he’s been hospitalized several times and he’s been in a lot of pain a lot of the time..

As Kathy said, he’s finally pain free, healed and dancing with Jesus..





From Pat’s Obituary

Patrick O’Brien, 62, Bismarck, died September 5, 2015, at Sanford Health.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday at 10:30 AM at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Bismarck with Fr. Daniel Maloney officiating. Burial will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Visitation will be Tuesday from 4:00 – 8:00 PM at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, where a rosary/vigil service will begin at 7:00 PM. Visitation will continue on Wednesday one hour prior to the service at the church.

Pat was born on January 24, 1953, in Bismarck, ND, the son of Dave and Bonnie O’Brien. He attended Cathedral of the Holy Spirit Grade School and graduated from Bismarck High School in 1971 where he played football and was a state wrestling champion his senior year. He graduated from UND in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. After graduating from UND, Pat lived in Ft. Collins, CO, and worked in a management program for Monarch Tile for three years. In 1978, he moved to Bismarck when he entered the oil business as a landman. He started his own brokerage company, Plains Oil and Gas, Inc., in partnership with his father, Dave, in Dickinson, ND. He continued to work in the oil and gas industry until his death.

Pat married his grade school sweetheart, Kathy Coad, on June 27, 2008. Pat and Kathy lived in Bismarck until his death. Pat battled rheumatoid arthritis most of his adult life. He was a fighter to the end.

He loved to hunt and fish and was an avid follower of the Minnesota Twins. Pat was known to be a kind and gentle man. Family and friends occupied a special place in his heart.

Pat is survived by his wife, Kathy of Bismarck; his siblings and their spouses, Cheryl and Tony Doll of Bismarck, Kerry Ann and Fred Shafer of Danville, CA, Terry and Deb O’Brien of Dickinson, Mike and Karen O’Brien of Bismarck, Tom and Karen O’Brien of Bismarck, Colleen and Scott Lundberg of Bismarck; his step-daughter, Shannon Brown of Pillager, MN.; his step-mother, Bev O’Brien of Bismarck; his aunt and uncle, Sue and Dean Scott of Mankato, MN; four nieces; eight nephews; seven great-nieces; and five great-nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Dave and Bonnie; his brothers, Kevin, David, and Joseph; his niece, Kaela; and his grandparents, Leo and Frances O’Brien and Carl and Katie Scott –

For those of you who know Kathy and Pat, Eastgate Funeral Services has a virtual guest book where you can leave a short comment.

I never met Pat, in person or online, but he had to be quite a guy..

Kathy believes the words “Can’t” and “Impossible” are nothing but excuses for people who don’t have the guts to try and keep trying..

A man’s got to earn the love and respect of a woman with that kind of spirit and attitude.  That, and the story of their life long relationship tells me everything I need to know about Pat O’Brien..




To be continued, sometime in the future in a much better place




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  1. Got a few I’m going to post from private emails I’ve gotten.

    1. Pattie Kelly


      Me to Pattie Kelly

      Hi Patty;


      I don’t know if you have a Disqus comment account or not, or if your on Facebook.. If you’re on either one, I know Kathy would appreciate a comment. Right now comments are support, and she needs a little support.

      You know where to find it on Grumpy.. here it is on her Facebook page


      You have to scroll down some.. and someone re-posted it on her page..The one she posted and got the most comments on is below that

      Pattie Kelly

      Hey Grumpy I couldn’t get on her FB I am not that talented on FB yet. But I read all the comments. But I could not comment myself. Thanks, PK

    2. From Rose:

      Beautiful love story which ends with Pat dancing with Jesus…it’s not all bad :-)) prayers for Kathy, but I just know she loves the fact that he’s pain free and with Jesus :-)) the Lord be with her during this transition

    3. From: Madmemere1

      Grumpy -Please, let Kathy know I will keep her and Pat in my prayers.
      I hope she can find comfort and happiness knowing he is now pain free
      and dancing with Jesus. Losing your spouse, or any loved one, is a
      difficult path. JG

    4. From Sarge to 43 people:

      Thiss is too touching to not understand it all. God bless her, her family and all who were touched by her husband’s life as well as hers.


  2. Oh dear, Kathy my good friend, I am so sorry. You have great memories of and experiences with Pat, perhaps you can take a moment and share some of them with us, I am betting it will make us all smile.

    1. Visitation tonight, funeral tomorrow…perhaps after I get through these days…thank you.

  3. Great tribute Phil

  4. Lorraine McDonald

    A beautiful tribute of Kathleen and her husband. Well said, Phil. And, for Kathleen, our stories are different about our loved one and partner for life, but I know what you feel and my deepest respet to you. I lost Bill five years ago, but the deepest grief slowly turns to blessed memories. … Time does not heal our wounds of loss; they just grow deeper, knowing he is “pain free” is a relief. My Bill died from brain cancer and he, too, is in a much better place. BeeSting

  5. The CD.

  6. Love won. MGKYITPOHH.

  7. What a testament to love and the destiny that God has for all of us. Pat will be there for Kathy when God is ready for her. God Bless them both!

  8. A favorite song of ours…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTA2buWlNyM

  9. Thank you Phil, it is beautiful. I have received SO much support during this hard time, I truly feel blessed. “who won” became “real change” in hope for our country.

  10. Wow, Phil. I have been following Kathleen Coad O’Brien and her family’s travels, etc. for some time on Facebook. Reading her posts always adds a little sunshine to my day. The love, warmth and passion of her posts jump right off the screen into the reader’s home.

    A fond and deserving tribute indeed.


    I am truly sorry your loss. Each time that I have gazed upon your Facebook photograph and read your posts, I smile and think to myself, “what a love story.”

    You, your family, friends and loved ones are in my prayers. God bless you.


  11. Phil,

    Beautiful tribute. Ya done good.


    May G-d console in your time of grief.

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