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Carol's Story

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Carol Marie O'Brien, 82 of North Mankato, passed away Friday, August 18, 2017 at Cottagewood Senior Communities in Mankato after ten years living with Alzheimers.
Memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., September 10, 2017 at Crossview Covenant Church in North Mankato. Visitation will take place from 5-7 p.m., September 9, 2017 at Northview ~ North Mankato Mortuary, 2060 Commerce Drive, in North Mankato and one hour prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials be given to 5Cs Preschool, the National Headstart Association, or to the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer's - Mankato (team name Cottagewood-Mankato).
Carol was born May 16, 1945, to Kenneth and Marie (Leiferman) Austin in Mankato. She graduated from Good Counsel Academy in 1953 and received a Bachelors degree in Education from Mankato State University in 1957 and a degree in Early Childhood Education in 1978. She married Richard OBrien in 1957. Together, they raised seven children.
Carol taught for fifteen years at Mankato Head Start and after her retirement she started again working with pre-school children at 5 Cs Crossview Covenant for eight more years. Throughout her teaching career she was known as Mrs O. In 2010 she was the recipient of the Rachel Seebach Award that recognizes quality advocacy for young people. In her free time, she was an avid walker, reader of all sorts, and loved good music she could dance to. Carol would talk to anyone anywhere, especially the little ones.
Carol is survived by her husband, Rich of 60 years; children, Mike (Verna) OBrien of Ft. Collins, CO, Dan (Lucy) OBrien of Ludington, MI, Steve (Crystal) OBrien of Tacoma, WA, Megan OBrien of Silver Bay, MN, Kevin (Ramona) OBrien of Hudson, WI, Daren (Melissa) OBrien of Wheatridge, CO, and Molly (Lance) OBrien of South Saint Paul, MN; 19 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; sister, Janet (John) Lazar; sister-in-law, Judy Austin; and many nieces, nephews, and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents; and brother, David Austin.
Published on August 21, 2017
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