John David O'Brien

Posted 3/15/22

John David O’Brien, 71, of Rochelle, passed away on March 11.

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John David O'Brien


ROCHELLE — John David O’Brien, 71, of Rochelle, passed away on March 11.

John was born on March 20, 1950 to George and Pauline O’Brien in Rochelle. He was the second oldest of 12 kids and often helped to keep his brothers and sisters in line. As a kid, John began working at Moore’s True Value Hardware. John graduated from Rochelle Township High School in 1968. On his way to St. Patrick’s grade school John used to go out of his way to ride his bike by Tilton school where Ann was a crossing guard. They married in 1971. Together they raised three daughters, Alison (Justin) Mach, Alyssa (Anthony) Armato and Andra (John) O’Connell.

John was determined to provide for his family and give them the life he felt they should have. His family meant more to him than anything. He was proud of Alison, Alyssa, Andra, and Ann. He always tried his best to provide for them in every way that he could.

He worked incredibly hard at Moore’s True Value Hardware store. John believed in giving back to the community. He was a volunteer firefighter, advocate of the Rochelle Downtown Association and Rochelle Chamber of Commerce and later served on the Ogle County Board and was a member of the Merit Commission for the Sheriff's department. As a collector of many historical odds and ends, he and Ann have donated many items to the Rochelle Historical Society. Plowing snow was just another way he helped others. 

After retiring from the hardware store in 2000, he could not rest easy, so he started RentMoore,

When John wasn’t working, he took meticulous care of the lawn. He patented his own lawn mower. John had a swimming pool installed for Ann, the girls and neighborhood friends and family to make memories. John enjoyed scuba diving, which enabled him to use the pool to test his equipment, not just to clean and care for.  John eventually became passionate about sailing and took Ann on several sailing trips. Through his close ties to France and his French “daughter” Melanie, John learned to appreciate traveling to France and found his enjoyment of wine. He could often be seen sitting on his patio, swirling a wine glass, filled with ice and Rose listening to the oldies while enjoying the sunset and the fresh country air.

Anyone who knew John knew that he was a loving father and husband. No, maybe not the most “fun,” but he worked so incredibly hard. A generous neighbor and businessman who lived by strong principles. 

John was predeceased by his parents George and Pauline O’Brien, his brothers Pat and Mike O’Brien and his mother-in-law & father-in-law Lewis and Edith Moore. He is survived by his wife Ann and beloved dog DD, daughters Alison, (Justin) Mach of Knoxville, Tennessee, Alyssa (Anthony) of Saint Charles, and Andra (John) O’Connell of Chicago. John also leaves behind his five grandkids John, Addison and Peyton Mach of Knoxville and Vincent and Ava Armato of Saint Charles. John is also survived by his brothers and sisters Mary, Kathy, Tim, Margaret, Tom, Bill, Sharon, Vince and Carrie.  

Visitation will be 4-6 p.m. Wednesday. March 16 at the Unger-Horner Funeral Home in Rochelle. A private funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday March 17 at the Unger-Horner Funeral Home with Father Jesus Dominguez officiating. Burial will follow at St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery in Rochelle. Memorials can be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Rochelle Downtown Association and The Kitchen Table. 

Visit for online guest book and video tribute.