Carolee O'Brien

Carolee O'Brien (Burge)

Sunday, January 1st, 1939 - Wednesday, November 4th, 2020
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Carolee O’Brien, 81, of Independence, IA died on Wednesday November 4, 2020 at Buchanan County Health Center in Independence, IA

Carolee was born on January 1, 1939 in Peoria, IL, the daughter of Reece E. and Lillian G. (Wyckoff) Burge. She graduated from North Chicago High School in North Chicago, IL. In 1957. She met Claude Lee O’Brien in 1959 and they were married, November 20, 1965 in Waukegan, IL. The couple moved to Puerto Rico for ten years where she worked for the USO as a counter girl, and later as the Director of the USO at the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in Puerto Rico from 1976 to January 1989. They traveled back and forth across the United States with Claude’s job. They moved back to Independence in February 1989. Carolee, co-chaired the “Operation Keep in Touch” group that sent packages to our service personnel during the Gulf War in 1991-92.

She did volunteer work for the Buchanan County Tourism Bureau, American Legion Auxiliary, Relay for Life, Cedar Valley Hospice, Habitat for Humanity, Buchanan County Historical Society and the Independence Area Chamber of Commerce. She was awarded the Leadership and Citizen of the Year Awards and Leader of the New Millennium from Economic Development in 2000. In 2001 Carolee moved to Oak View and donated her home to Buchanan County Habitat for Humanity.

She is proceeded in death by her, parents, husband, Claude in September 15, 2000,

She is survived by her step son: Kevin and Joan O’Brien of Hazlet, NJ; two grandchildren; Andrew and Jennifer O’Brien. Including her very best friend, Judy Lauer.

A private burial will be held. Reiff Family Center is assisting the family with arrangements.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Mt. Hope Cemetery
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A Private Graveside service has been scheduled


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Carol Wright

Posted at 01:30pm
We had the pleasure of working with this kind hearted lady with Buchanan county tourism & the moving of the train depot. She was a huge asset to our community & will be greatly missed. Carol & Gary Wright

Victoria Wilson

Posted at 12:35pm
Rest in peace, my sweet friend. I will treasure always the chats we had, the clinic trips, your gracious hosting of our RFL meetings. Your presence was large in so many ways and you will be missed greatly. Enjoy your new life, Carole.
Love, Vicki

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