Date of Birth
Date of Death
Ellen M. (Grzywa) O’Brien, age 56, of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, formerly of Maple Park, passed away unexpectedly at Torrance Memorial Hospital on Friday, December 12, 2008.She was born, October 15, 1952, in DeKalb, the daughter of Virgil S. and Mary Ellen Grzywa. Ellen grew up on the family farm near Maple Park. She was a graduate of Notre Dame High School in DeKalb, with the class of 1970. She earned her bachelors degree while living in Orlando. On June 25, 1977 she was united in marriage to James R. O’Brien, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Maple Park, IL, and together they raised a family of three. They made many close friends while living in Indiana, Florida, Georgia and California.Ellen may have had a job or two throughout her life, but nothing compared to her being a devoted wife, a loving mother and daughter, a sister to lean on, a great aunt and friend.Ellen so loved her family and was with her brother James at his passing that when the opportunity came about to become a volunteer with Torrance Memorial Health and Home Hospice Program she couldn’t say no.This volunteer position eventually came to be a career for her as she became the Volunteer Coordinator for the Program. Her many duties included Daughters with out Mothers held on Mother’s Day and the Light up a Life that is held in December to remember all who have passed. She was loved and respected by all who came in contact with her. In addition to her husband of 31 years, James R. O’Brien of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. she leaves 3 children: Heather O’Brien of Prague in the Czech Republic, Katherine O’Brien of Tuscaloosa AL and Jacob O’Brien of Santa Cruz, CA. She also leaves her dad; Virgil S. Grzywa of Scottsdale, AZ. 2 sisters: Carolyn Grzywa of Lindenwood, IL, Mary Beth (Bill) Voorhaar of Tempe AZ and 3 brothers: Edward (Janet) Grzywa of Maple Park, IL, Joseph (Betty) Grzywa of Hastings NE, Harold (Jill) Grzywa of Franklin Grove, IL. Her many nieces and nephews: Morgan Voorhaar of Tempe AZ, Sarah (Jeremy) Jacobsen of Peoria, AZ, Kelly Grzywa of Beloit WI, Jillian and Ryan Grzywa of Maple Park, IL. John Grzywa of Franklin Grove, IL and Garrett and Kane Carlson of Lindenwood, IL, she also has 3 Great nieces: Kylie and Kyra Jacobsen of Peoria, AZ and Kaitlyn Grzywa of Beloit WI. In addition she leaves many cherished aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. She also leaves an extended family she shared with her husband Jim; Michael and Bobbi O’Brien and family, Christine and Michael Pollack and family, Jeff and Diane O’Brien and family and Jim’s dad, Richard E. O’Brien all from the San Francisco area. She joins now her mother, Mary Ellen, her brother James and sister Patricia (who died in infancy). Her paternal grandparents, John F. and Barbara A. Grzywa, maternal grandparents Edward and Mary Sullivan, and her Aunt Dorothy Grzywa.Memorial Services were held in Torrance CA, on Wednesday, December 17, 2008. With visitation being held at Conley Funeral Home in Elburn on Sunday, December 21, 2008,from 3-6 PM and a mass at the Church of St. Mary’s in Maple Park, IL on Monday, December 22, 2008 at 10:30 AM. Interment to follow at St. Mary Cemetery Maple Park, Il. Contributions can be made in Ellen’s name to the Torrance Memorial Health and Home Hospice program at 3330 Lomita Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505, 310-325-9110.
Friends may call on Sunday December 21 from 3-6Pm at Conley Funeral Home. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Monday December 22., at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Maple Park at 10:30. with Father Joachim Tyrtania officiating. Interment will follow at St. Mary Cemetery in Maple Park.
Interment will follow at St. Mary Cemetery.