Norma Jean O’Brien

DOLLAR BAY — Norma Jean O’Brien, 86, died peacefully on November 28, 2018, at Omega House in Houghton.

She was born on July 8, 1932, in Laurium. Norma was the daughter of the late Victor and Martha Johnson, and granddaughter of Swedish and Finnish immigrants to the Copper Country. The Johnson family have been lifelong residents of Dollar Bay.

Norma graduated as valedictorian of the Dollar Bay High School Class of 1950. She continued her education at Michigan Tech where she graduated in 1954 with a bachelor of science degree in medical technology. Norma left the area to work in hospitals in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, before returning the Keweenaw in the 1960s to work in Laurium where she met her future husband.

In 1972, she married Paul O’Brien of Laurium who owned O’Brien’s Bar. Paul predeceased her in 2012. The couple resided in the Johnson family house in Dollar Bay; they had no children.

Norma is survived by a brother, Dennis (Jane MacKnight) of Cincinnati Ohio; a sister, Nancy Stratton of Belding; and several nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews.

Norma was preceded in death by her twin sisters, Janet Knuuttila and Judith Allen.

She was an avid reader and enjoyed quilting, growing African violets and rooting for the Green Bay Packers to which she and Paul held season tickets.

No funeral services are planned, but a memorial service will be held in summer 2019.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to Omega House.