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Ryan Paul O'Brien

March 1, 1984 ~ July 27, 2021 (age 37)


Ryan Paul O'Brien "Ta Mahpiya Magazu" (His Rain Cloud) left this world to be with his creator, family, and friends on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.  Ryan was born on March 1, 1984, in Williston, North Dakota to Shannon O'Brien Murphy.
Ryan loved life but more than anything in this world he whole-heartedly loved his wife of 16 years, Ashley Martinez, and his children Jose, Kai, and Valentina O'Brien.
He always had a strong love for family.  He was his mom's, Shannon O'Brien Murphy's, baby boy.  He had a strong love and bond with his brothers Michael and Jerome O'Brien.  He loved his sisters, Hilary, Emily, and Amanda and always wished he could spend more time with them.  His cousins who were just additional brothers and sisters and have many stories to tell.  Ryan could persuade them to do anything, especially with his smile.  His nieces and nephews whom he loved as his own children. His aunts and uncles near and far, loved him so very much.  Then the extended family as they say, "Family doesn't always have to be blood!"  Ryan's family was anyone whom he had met.
From the time Ryan was little he loved sports and it didn't matter which sport, baseball, soccer, swimming, football, basketball, and wrestling.  As Ryan grew older, he excelled in football earning the 2002 Treasure State All-Star Defensive MVP and in wrestling earned all-state placer 3 years in a row.  Now, Ryan's children are following Dad's love for sports.  He was more than a proud parent often assisting with coaching the various teams his children played on.
Ryan was charismatic. To know Ryan was to love him.  Anyone he met, and it could be anywhere, became a friend for life.  Anyone that knew Ryan have commented on they will never forget his big smile, his loud laugh, how kind and polite he always was, how he would help anyone and anytime.  He was a mentor, coach, a friend, or he would call you brother and you knew you were a lifer.  He became a second Dad to his nieces and nephews and many of his children's friends.  He loved that his home was filled with kids, laughter, and good times.  The best thing about Ryan were his hugs.  He would wrap those big hands and arms around you, and it made you feel so safe and loved.
Ryan leaves behind and to carry on: his wife Ashley Martinez and children Jose, Kai, and Valentina O'Brien of St. Ignatius; his mother Shannon O'Brien Murphy of Poplar, his brothers Michael O'Brien (Anny and Bubba and Mickey) of Sheridan, WY; Jerome O'Brien of Anaconda, MT and his children, Alliana and Jerome, Jr. O'Brien of Poplar and Nevina O'Brien and Christine "Keke" Tenas of Big Arm, MT;  Sisters Emily Gourneau and her child Maggie Gourneau of Billings, MT, Hilary Gourneau of Poplar, MT, and Amanda Gourneau of Wolf Point, MT; Mother-in-law and Father-in-law: Paul and Angela Normandeau of Ronan, MT; Sister-in-law and brother-in-law; Isaac and Heather Fritz and children Rustee, Randi, and Declan Fritz of Missoula; sister-in-law Liz Jordan and her son Brice Adamson of Utah; special cousins/sisters growing up: Mandy Jo Big Horn Berens (Scott and children Craig, Cailey and Caige) of Billings, MT; Adriann "Babes" Buckles Ricker (Griffin and children Kaniel, Grady, John John, and Zael Ricker of Poplar, MT; Kaileen "Kaybug" Stovern ( James Stovern and children Emma and Jameson Stovern) of Minot, ND; and Mattie McChesney (Josh Keaton and child Ryker Keaton) of Conrad, MT; Special aunties Maureen and Colleen O'Brien and Patti Jo O'Brien Black (Dusty); special auntie and uncle Frank and Haven Gourneau and their children Mauri, Tessy, Rainey, Bosh, Connor, and Sydney Gourneau. Very Special Friends Rod Schall and Doug Morigeau. Numerous aunties, uncles, and cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his dad Jim Murphy; nieces Aria Fritz and Novalee Gourneau, Grandparents Patrick and Adrianna (Ann) O'Brien, Grandfather Frank Gourneau, Sr.; Great-Grand parents Max and Gladys Jimeno and Amy and Raymond O'Brien.; brother-in-law Jose Martinez and others.
"There is no death.  Only a change of worlds." – Chief Seattle
"Goodbyes are not forever, are not the end; it simply means I'll miss you until we meet again."
Funeral services were held on August 2nd at the ST Ignatius Catholic Mission and he was laid to rest with Military Honors in the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ryan Paul O'Brien, please visit our floral store.


Military Honors
August 2, 2021

4:01 PM
ST Ignatius Catholic Mission

Funeral Service
August 2, 2021

7:00 PM
ST Ignatius Catholic Mission

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