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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Obituaries

Obituary: O’Brien, Michael J., Jr.

Age 88

Michael J., Jr.

Was born in Spokane on December 12, 1923 to Michael J. O’Brien and Ethel M. O’Brien.

He passed away on October 15, 2012, surrounded by his family.

He attended Gonzaga High School and earned a degree in Economic theory from the University of Washington and a Jurist Doctorate from Gonzaga University School of Law.
He enlisted in the Navy in WWII and served as an officer.

After graduation from law school in 1950 he was employed as an attorney in the trust department of the Seattle Trust National Bank.

In 1954 the Attorney General asked him to open an Attorney General office in Spokane.

He served as the only attorney in the office until 1956.

In 1956 he became the attorney for Associated Industries of the Inland Northwest.

In that position he represented employers in the National Labor Relations Board cases, arbitration, labor relations and personal matters.

He served as a management trustee for various labor management trusts providing health Insurance for members of the Retail Clerks Union, the Meat Cutters Union, the Teamsters Union, the Bottlers Union and the Metal Trades Unions.

He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Associated Employers’ Trust, which provided health coverage for employees of Associated Industries members.

He served on the board of Medical Services Bureau of Spokane.

Michael was an adjunct professor of Labor Law for the Gonzaga University School of Business.
In 1949, Michael married the love of his life after a courtship which began with a blind date in 1941, was interrupted by WWII and resumed in 1948.

Together they enjoyed 61 years of married life which included time at a beach home on the Oregon Coast and a home in Spokane.
Golf was his sport, beginning with caddying in the summer of 1935.

He was a member of the Spokane Club, Manito Golf and Country Club and Sunbird Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona.

He was a charter member of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Parish.

He is survived by his daughters: Molly (Joseph) Bozo, Colleen (John) Barker, Katherine (David) Krause; ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife Maggie and son Michael J. O’Brien III.

Memorials may be made to the Poor Clare Nuns or Hospice House of Spokane.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, October 20, at 2:00 p.m. at the Jesuit House Chapel, 1106 N. Astor.

Please visit Michael’s online tribute and leave a condolence at Arrangements by

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