It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Danny O’Brien (Dan) on April 11, 2018. Danny died at home with his long-time partner Theresa, and his children, Kellie and Terry by his side, after battling cancer for the past year.
Danny was born in the Prince Rupert hospital to Jimmy and Margaret O’Brien, who traveled there from Usk, as there was no hospital in Terrace at that time. Usk was his home for his first 10 years and it was there he became a fisherman. He loved the Skeena as a boy and that love continued throughout his life.
At age 10, the O’Brien family moved to Terrace and Danny, with the exception of a couple years lived in Terrace ever since. In his teens he got a job as a deckhand for RivTow, working on tugboats on the Skeena. He loved his work, became a tugboat captain, and had many a tale to tell of his adventures.
In the 60’s he left RivTow to partner with his father in a sawmill in Amesbury, and from there branched out on his own doing construction work through the northwest under the name of “Domac Equipment”.
Danny was a remarkably capable person and the word ‘determination’ defined his drive. When he got an idea or a project in his head, he stopped at nothing to accomplish it. There are many examples, from snowmobile racing, to car racing, obtaining his pilot and helicopter license, and his last project-building a ‘camper boat’ for fishing on the Skeena. He began with the hull of a custom tug and took it from there. He taught himself everything he had to know to bring this boat to life, including making veneer from cedar he’d saved from the sawmill in Amesbury, to use inside the living area. He named the boat ‘Skeenabago’ because it was like a ‘Winnebago’ but for traveling on the Skeena! He and Theresa spent many enjoyable days and nights fishing and camping in the fully self-contained Skeenabago.
Danny was also an avid competitive trap shooter, traveled all over BC, and won many, many first-place trophies. His last competition was in Vernon in September 2017, where he shot a 99 and won first place in his class.
Danny had two grandsons, James and Alex, and they were the joy in his life. He took every opportunity to teach them to fish, hunt and just enjoy the outdoors as much as he did. Until this last year, Danny’s outdoor activities never slowed down. He went on multi-day snowmobile trips, hunting trips up the Stikine and even took his grandson on a buffalo hunting trip to Pink Mountain, in northern BC, where unfortunately no buffalo were to be seen that year.
Danny was predeceased by his former wife and the mother of his children, Diane Desjardin O’Brien. He is survived by his long-time partner, Theresa Munson, his daughter Kellie O’Brien (Guy Milligan), his son, Terry O’Brien, his grandsons, James and Alex MacDonald and his siblings, Linda Buller (Ted), Len O’Brien (Gloria), Sharone O’Brien (Stefan Sykut) and several nieces.
Celebration of life will be held in Terrace August 11, 2018.