Obituary of Julie A O'Brien
After a loving, active and admirable life, Julie Anne (Spaanem) O’Brien passed away after an eight month battle with ALS on May 20th, 2023. Julie was born on January 20th, 1966, to Gerald and Sharon Spaanem in Fort Atkinson. She was a graduate of Fort Atkinson High School and continued her education at UW-Lacrosse, earning her Masters in Elementary Education. She began her career as a teacher in 1989, and spent the last 32 years at Johnson Creek Elementary School as a first grade teacher. Julie retired in June of 2022, leaving a lasting legacy within her district and having made an impact on countless students.
Julie married Mark E. O’Brien on May 25th, 1991 and together raised their three children: Kelsey, Casey, and Connor. Julie took great pride in being their mother and providing them with unconditional love and support. Julie enjoyed spending time on the lake with the sun shining bright, country music playing and a deck of cards in hand. She recently earned the name “Grandma” and loved every moment with her grandchildren.
Julie is survived by her husband, Mark O’Brien. Her children, Kelsey Wolf, Casey O’Brien, and Connor O’Brien. Her grandchildren Braddock and Johanna Wolf. Her brother Jeff Spaanem, and her mother, Sharon Spaanem. Julie was preceded in death by her father, Gerald A. Spaanem, and brother, Steven G. Spaanem, who also passed from ALS.
The family would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to all those who loved and cared for Julie, especially over these past few months. From meals, flowers, cards, and visits from family and friends. To nursing care provided by immediate family, sister-in-law Kelly Brachmann, Caregiver Lindsey Collins, Agrace Hospice nurses Melissa Mikkelson and Marisa Campbell, and the entire team at the UW-Madison ALS Clinic with special thanks to Cat Kanter.
The funeral service will be held on Friday, May 26th at 4pm at Trinity Lutheran Church 314 Barrie St Fort Atkinson, WI. The visitation will be held at 2pm
until the time of service. Following the service will be a celebration of life at The Fort Atkinson Club 211 S Water St E, Fort Atkinson, WI.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Agrace Hospice or UW-Madison ALS Clinic. Agrace Foundation at 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711. UW-Madison ALS Clinic can be made online at give.wiscmedicine.org/JulieOBrien.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Julie O'Brien, please visit Tribute Store