Kenneth Francis O’Brien, 81, of Belle Plaine passed away peacefully early in the morning on April 25, 2017.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Friday, April 28 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of the Prairie Catholic Church in Belle Plaine. The Visitation will be held at Our Lady of the Prairie Catholic Church from 4–8 p.m. on Thursday afternoon/evening and from 10–11 a.m. prior to Mass Friday morning. Kenneth will be laid to rest at Sacred Heart cemetery after Mass.
Kenneth was born on June 14, 1935 (Flag Day) to Richard and Mary Evelyn O’Brien. He was the fifth of eight children. Kenneth took an active role with the family farm at the young age of 14 years old. He had a passion for farming – and the uncanny ability to predict weather before it happened and know things that no book could teach. His sense of humor, unwavering work ethic, and strong moral character set an example for his children and all who knew him. Kenneth farmed with his family until his passing.  
In 1962, Kenneth met Judy Dohmen of New Trier, MN, at her cousin’s wedding. Judy was working at St. Joe’s Hospital in St. Paul at the time but quickly saw the allure of moving to the country. They dated for a year and were wed on June 29, 1963.
Throughout the years they spent many weekends dancing at area polka fests. They had 53 wonderful years of marriage – always side by side – with a pinnacle moment being their 50th wedding celebration at the family farm, attended by family and many friends.
Kenneth is survived by his wife, Judy; and his family,  Ed and Suzanne (O’Brien) Fogarty and their children Alec, Morgan and Grace; Dave and Connie O’Brien and their children Quincy, Megan, Bridget and Mackenzie; Dan and Tara O’Brien and their children Connor and Cole; Paul and Colette O’Brien and their children Sam, Max and Ben; Sandy O’Brien and Gary O’Brien; siblings,  Joanne (O’Brien) Sullivan, Helen (O’Brien) Connelly, Jim O’Brien, Richard and Darlene O’Brien, Mary Ann O’Brien and Kathy (O’Brien) Heil.  
Kenneth is preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Mary Evelyn O’Brien; and his brother, Pat.