James Nelson O’Brien

FORT LARAMIE – Funeral services for James Nelson O’Brien, 95, will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022 at the Fort Laramie Community Center with Pastor Marty Rostad officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at the Fort Laramie Cemetery. Jimmy died Sept. 13, 2022 at his home in Fort Laramie. Memorials may be given to the Fort Laramie Fire and Rescue Squads. Visitation will be Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. at the funeral home and the casket will be open prior to the service. Arrangements are by the Colyer Funeral Home and condolences may be sent to www.colyerfuneralhome.com.

Jimmy was born January 4, 1927 in Oakland, California the son of Orval and Emma (Nelson) O’Brien. He lived with his great grandfather in South Sioux City, Nebraska. When his mother married David Foote, they moved to Prairie Center, Wyoming and he attended Six Mile School until eighth grade. He then attended Red Cloud School north of Fort Laramie until the eleventh grade when he went to Torrington High School where he graduated in 1944. He attended the University of Wyoming for short time and worked at the hospital before joining the Merchant Marines, where he served in the South Pacific for four years. Upon his discharge, he worked at Holly Sugar and farmed and ranched north of Fort Laramie until 2013. He married Betty Mae Jepson in Henry, Nebraska.

Jimmy kept busy serving on many boards and committees. He was a member of the Van Tassel American Legion. In a private ceremony, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon presented him with an American Flag and Wyoming coin in 2019 at his home in Fort Laramie. 

Jimmy is survived by a daughter, Margie (Curtis) Small of Decatur, Texas; two sons, Harold O’Brien of Riverton and Irvin O’Brien of Enid, Oklahoma; a half-sister, Irene Oyster of Torrington; four grandchildren; and five great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Betty Mae; two sons; a brother Leon O’Brien; and two stepbrothers, LeRoy and Ed Foote.