Irene O’Brien, 87


June 7, 1930 —
April 23, 2018
Protivin - Irene Ann Praska O’Brien, of Protivin, Iowa, age 87, passed away on Monday, April 23, 2018, after a fully-lived life.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Protivin, with Father Kyle Digmann presiding. Burial will be in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be held from 3-7 p.m. on Friday, April 27, at Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home in Protivin, and will continue for one hour prior to Mass at the church. Family rosary will be at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, prior to the visitation.  
She was born June 7, 1930 in Howard County, the daughter of Frank and Bessie (Landa) Praska. On June 25, 1951, she married Ambrose Joseph O’Brien at Holy Trinity Church. She attended Rudolphinium High School in Protivin and graduated from Assumption High School in Cresco. In later years, she also received continuing education courses.
Irene was a loving farm wife and devoted mother to her children and grandchildren. She touched everyone’s life with her infectious smile and extra-giving heart. In addition to farming, she was an extraordinary Czech baker, specializing in kolaches and her own cherry delight creation, often having write-ups in newspapers. 
She served as Cresco Senior Citizen Mealsite Manager for 19 years. She blessed many people with decorated cakes for weddings, graduations, birthdays and more, along with teaching cake decorating classes in her home to countless ladies from the community.
She was a woman of very strong faith and instilled this in her family. During the 19 years she drove to her job at the mealsite, she prayed the rosary every day.
Irene was a founding member of the Domestic Executives, attending get-togethers for over 40 years. She was an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary for over 60 years. She demonstrated the art of kolache-making at Protivin Czech Days for more than 20 years. 
She was very kind-hearted and thoughtful — always remembering each family member and friend’s birthday and anniversary with a card.
Irene enjoyed polka dancing and was often seen with her husband Amby dancing the most beautiful waltzes and lively polkas. She was a social butterfly, initiating competitive 500 games.
Survivors of Irene include two sons, Mike of Clive, Iowa and Dan (Kim) of Ridgeway, Iowa; five daughters, Pam (Frank Rout) O’Brien of Lake Geneva, Wis., Sheila (Dale) Rassman of Protivin, Kathy (Loren) Liddle of Tripoli, Iowa, Eileen (Keith) Denner of West Des Moines, Iowa and Robyn (Stan) Sorenson of Gurnee, Ill.; 13 grandchildren, Deon Scott, Aaron Scott, Shelley Markov, Jill Grubbs, Kara Crain, Jason Rassman, Tami Bonnett, Jeff Rassman, Adam Rassman, Carrie Jo Rassman, David Liddle, Justin Liddle and Ryan Liddle; four stepgrandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; six stepgreat-grand- children; and her brother, Lester (Ruth) Praska.
Irene was preceded in death by her husband, Amby in 2008; her parents; a sister, Georgine (Joe) Berka; and a brother, Leonard (Caroline) Praska. 
Online condolences may be left at

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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