Kevin H. O’Brien September 7, 1951 - September 25, 2020

Age 69, preceded in death by parents, Arnold C. O’Brien and Lucille L. O’Brien and sister Maryanne O’Brien.  Survived by brothers Jack (Sandy) O’Brien and Michael R. O’Brien; niece Colleen Lanick of Boston; nephews Pat (Alicia Neubauer) O’Brien and Sean (Ellie) O’Brien; great nieces Quinn and Maeve O’Brien; and a legion of friends.

Kevin was a real estate agent with Edina Realty of St. Paul and one of the funniest people you could ever meet.  He had a heart of gold and was an unbelievable storyteller.  He held a life-long affection for the city of St. Paul and its history.  He will be sadly missed by his family and all of his friends, many of whom he had retained friendships with since childhood.  His beloved Diners Club won’t be the same without him.  His family is particularly grateful for his co-workers at Edina Realty – especially Brian Glendenning, Tony Haider and Brian Thistle for their help on Kevin’s last day.  Father Pat Kennedy was also a great comfort on that final evening.  Memorials preferred to your favorite charity.  Kevin was especially connected to Loaves and Fishes, Hallie Q. Brown and Womens Advocates.  Services to be scheduled t a later date due to Covid.



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    Robert J Travers says


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    Sid and Mary Larson says

    Our condolences to Kevin’s family.
    His wit and good nature will be remembered by everyone who knew Kevin.
    He will be missed 🙁
    Our Sincere Sympathies,
    Sid and Mary Larson

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      Mary Olympia and Bill Johnson says

      Kevin was one of the good guys. He was a coffee shop friend and later our realtor. We loved his stories. We loved his wry humor. Most touching though was that he began to drop off his baked goodies during Covid. We will miss his big heart. The world is a little less without him.

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    Paul Bard says

    So sad and shocked to hear about Kevin’s death. He was a senior when I was a freshman at St. Thomas Academy and we lived down the hall from each other at the Tazewell condominium in Ramsey Hill for many years. (He also sold me the house I’m living in now.) He was a great neighbor and friend, and indeed one of the funniest people you could ever meet. I used to say that Kevin could tell a story about tying his shoes that would have you weeping with laughter. And that’s no small thing. When you spread so much laughter and joy, you really make the world a better place. St. Paul will be a less fun place without him.

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    Krista Kelley Walsh says

    peace to family and the legion of friend. Gone too soon.

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    M.E. Froelich says

    I met Kevin about 40 years ago, when we each bought a condo at the Tazewell, corner of Laurel and Western. We lived across the hall from each other for about seven years. He “pet sat” for Lloyd and me while we were on our honeymoon, and told us that while we were gone, he’d had friends over for dinner. Our Boston Terrier laid under the table and did what Boston Terriers do: fart. And fart again.
    His friends accused one another of the smells, and I don’t think Kevin ever told them it was the dog. He later found a framed chalk drawing of a Boston Terrier in one of the many antique shops he frequented, and gave it to us, because he “couldn’t imagine anyone else wanting it,” he said. Kevin was “the last man standing” at the Tazewell–he finally moved only two or three years ago. Kevin was loyal, witty, and kind. I will miss him.

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    Mike Dugan says

    This is very sad to hear. Kevin had a great sense of humor and was a fun person in general. We enjoyed socializing with him at many Ramsey Hill events and during random neighborhood events. We worked with him during the crash to sell both our home and a rental property. He was tireless in his pursuit of sales for both and ultimately got it done. I will miss his bubbly self.

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    Bethany Gladhill & Patrick Rhone says

    Kevin was grateful to us when we took in Maryanne’s cats. The he became our friend. Then he became our “realtor on call,” helping us buy and sell several houses (one not even 30 days ago)and coming along on adventures where we seem to take him through every dubious property in Saint Paul. He never laughed at us about it (at least to our face). I’ve never known anyone with such an ability to connect people and to make their dreams happen. I don’t think it’s even sunk in yet how much we will miss him.

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    Joe Altstatt says

    So I was made aware of Kevin’s passing by a Cretin acquaintance. He was a year behind me at STA and I have not crossed paths in some 50 years , but do recall the schoolmate and turbulent sixties . Nothing of great significance, but we were all searching for our identities and in the same boat in those days. By the video and my recollections – kevin lived a life that was expected of him . Full of energy and purpose . My note is to his family and friends – you do not know the whole story – he had people ( me ) who had him in the “ good guy column “ of guys you cross paths with in life. RIP Kevin Joe A. 68 STA

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    Gregg Sawyer says

    Kevin, such a man. His kindness and humor and wit will be sorely missed. And while he was a close friend to my older siblings, he included me in any ribbing that he felt necessary come my way. His kindness to our mother was genuine and sweet, which were Kevin’s natural ways. Truly a rare and unique person. His passing leaves a large cavern in the world. Rest, Kevin.

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    Jeanne Junge/Tom Surprenant says

    It’s so sad to lose Kevin, a kind and funny man of big heart, dry wit, and generous spirit – and a true friend. Every December, we looked forward to picking up our Edina Realty tree – not so much to get a tree but to spend a little more time with Kevin. For many years, he supported our Songs of Hope kids’ music project, his generosity extending to coming with a few friends every Fourth of July to make an early-morning breakfast for our global kids as they experienced their first U.S. Independence Day. We always knew when Kevin was arriving by the laughter echoing down the hallways. We could write all day about our “Kevin experiences” because he lived life fully and we were happy to share some precious moments with him. Our condolences to his family and everyone else who loved Kevin.

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    Georg Ann Burns says

    May he Rest In Peace. Kevin was a ray of sunshine with his infectious smile warmth. He will be on many levels and all who knew him are fortunate to have been recipients of his presence.

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    Gary Pederson says

    As others have mentioned, Kevin’s humor is probably what I will miss the most about him. He was my realtor for many years and many properties. How many times I was rambling on, looked at him and said “you didn’t hear any of that, did you?” He’d look at me and say “What? with a smile” His deadpan humor was wonderful. He will be missed greatly. Rest in peace, my friend!

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    Jeremy Dowd says

    Kevin’s sense of humor, warm nature, and love for Saint Paul was evident in all of my time I spent with him as a neighbor and fellow board member. There was never a time I met him that he didn’t greet me or say goodbye with a smile.

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    Steven Funk says

    Got to know Kevin as a classmate at STA and from the Highland area. He was the best. He knew a lot of people and was always willing to befriend all. We lost contact for many years. As one of the 60 year reunion organizers he made contact with me and we got to fill in the lost years. Kev you were the best, God Bless you and your family.

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    Carol Quest says

    Kevin was my neighbor at Yorkshire Condos; I will miss his presence, his advice, his cookies and his backdoor vigilance. My condolences to his family. May the angeles carry him to paradise.

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    Lyn Uhl says

    My deepest condolences to Kevin’s family. I am shocked and very saddened by this news. Kevin was always so much fun – it was as if he considered it his job to entertain as he went about his everyday business. He was unfailingly kind and funny, and he always, always included people. I hope to hear about a future memorial gathering.

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    Kathie Woods says

    RIP Kevin and my condolences to your family! Wish I could have seen you more but after Maryanne’s death our paths never crossed… but I will never forget you. What a great little brother you were and son! This world lost a good man!

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    Althea Schaller Sell says

    I will miss Kevin. He was a kind sensitive man. Bill and I had been friends with Kevin since our first days in Ramsey Hill – some 37 years ago. Always kind and funny, we handpicked him (from among many realtors we knew) to sell our house on Holly. After Bill died Kevin endured me while I went through the impossible task of preparing the house to go on the market, then the eventual sale – a year and a half later. After the sale and final closing Kevin often said to me “I think we found just the right buyers for your house”. It mattered because of the nature of our painted lady and all the work we had done on it and Kevin cared.

    God took you too soon, Kevin. The world is a better place for your having been in it.

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    Joan says

    Kevin was delightful, professional, knowledgeable, intelligent and loyal. It is terribly sad that his life ended so early but he surely lives on in the countless friends he made throughout his journey. I am so grateful to count myself as just one among those many.

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    R. Leigh Frost says

    So grateful to have known Kevin for nearly 20 years as a neighbor and fellow Tazewell Condo Association participant. Kevin was impish and his sarcastic humor was spot on. I am terribly sorry for your loss and sincerely wish you comfort among those you love, those who love you and the connections you share with Kevin.

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