Jan. 1, 1949 - Dec. 6, 2012
TRENTON, Nebraska -- John William O'Byrne died at home on Dec. 6, 2012, at the age of 63 following a six month battle with brain cancer.
He was born in Stratton, Nebraska, to Christopher C. and Winoma E. (Welch) O'Byrne on Jan. 1, 1949, the second of five children. The last of a generation to do so, John attended country school at District 60 in Freedom Precinct for one year near the family homestead south of Trenton before transferring into the Stratton school system. A standout football player, he graduated from Stratton High School in 1967.
After high school John attended McCook Junior College. He graduated with a generalist degree in 1969. At that point, rather than subject himself to the draft, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. As a Marine, he was trained as a radio/communications technician and spent time stationed at Camp Pendleton and on Okinawa. He completed his term of active duty in 1973 at the rank of sergeant. He remained on inactive duty until 1975 at which point he was honorably discharged. Following his time in the military, John returned to the homestead south of Trenton to farm and ranch with his father and brother Jim.
On Feb. 9, 1980, John married Marilyn (Hubl) McConnell at St. James Catholic Church in Trenton. They took over the management of the homestead in 1986 when Chris retired. John was a careful steward of the land and found real pleasure in the cattle business. He worked to develop superior genetics and also back-grounded and weaned calves. His favorite job and most important hobby was going to cattle auctions up to six days a week, where he would buy cattle for himself and others. John was a lifelong member of the St. James Catholic Church. He served for over 10 years on the ASCS committee and was a longtime member of the American Legion.
John is preceded in death by his parents; infant sister, Christine in 1960; infant daughter, Peggy in 1984; and brother, James, in 1995.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn of Trenton; four children, Melissa and husband, James Dailey of Stratton; Melanie and husband Leon Schnabel of Brule, Nebraska; Megan O'Byrne and Hugh O'Byrne of Trenton; four grandsons, Kyle and Logan Dailey, and Kristopher and Zackery Schnabel; three sisters, Mary Anne (Harlan) Long; Cathy (Dennis) Schack, and Patti (Jerry) Hazen; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Rosary will be recited on Sunday evening Dec. 9, 2012, 7 p.m. CST at the St. James Catholic Church in Trenton. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. with Father Lothar Gilde and Father Val Bartek officiating. Interment will be in the St. James Cemetery of Trenton. Military Honors will be given by the Trenton American Legion.
Visitation will be on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Herrmann-Jones Funeral Chapel in Trenton. Memorials may be left in John's name to either the Trenton Riverside Arena or the St. James Catholic Church.
Herrmann Jones Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.