Lynn Ann (Helmann) O’Brion

Portage - Lynn Ann (Helmann) O’Brion, 67, Portage, passed away peacefully on July 29, 2016, from a brain hemorrhage. She was born on June 10, 1949, to Oscar and Ruth (Mony) Helmann.

Lynn graduated from Portage High School in 1967. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She was united in marriage to H. (Harley) Paul O’Brion on March 2, 1974, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Portage. Lynn was blessed to have fellow parishioner, George Stewart, sing at her candlelight service.

This union produced their son, Michael, on September 21, 1977. She is survived by Paul in their 42nd year of marriage; Mike, daughter-in-law, Joan; and two of the greatest grandkids in the world, Colin Michael and Emma Lynn.

Lynn is further survived by brothers, Robert (Andrea) Helmann of New Lisbon, Jim (Colleen) Helmann of Portage, and her aunt, Eleanor Helmann of Texas.

Additional survivors include in-laws, David (Kathleen) and Emmett (Chris) O’Brion, rural Fall River; Richard and Robert (Barb) O’Brion and Francee Rudolf, all of Columbus; Ross (Kathy) O’Brion, Beaver Dam; Howard (Sharon) O’Brion, Rio, and Lynn O’Brion, Madison.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, John.

Lynn was a career financial wizard in accounting. She met Paul while employed as an executive secretary at City Bank and Trust, Portage. She was then employed by Baraboo National Bank and Columbia County Zoning Office before embarking as a stay-at-home mom.

Lynn and Paul started The O’Brion Agency printing brokerage firm in November 1978. Today, the printing and commodity paper company is owned by Mike and Joan. Lynn was CFO until a brain hemorrhage forced her reluctantly into disability retirement in 2010. She presently handled the financials for Albert Street properties on a limited basis. In all her professional life, not one penny was misplaced. She also co-owned with Paul the Observer Newspaper and Fastrax Racing Magazine.

Lynn was especially proud of her association with the Portage Elks Lodge #675. She was a charter member of the Elkettes and paved the way for women by being initiated as the first lady Elk in 1996. She was especially proud to boast that not only was she a member of the Elks, but so were her grandfather, father, husband and son. This statistic is believed not to have been duplicated in over 3,000 Lodges nationwide.

She loved to travel, especially to Las Vegas but because of health issues, Lynn opted to drive through the plains, mountains and desert countless times since 2010. She never got tired of the scenery and absolutely adored Yellowstone Park in 2015.

When Paul worked in the Media Center at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway during NASCAR week, she became very close to Busch and Winston Cup drivers, one especially was Jamie McMurray who would seek her out for lengthy conversations.

She was even recruited to perform eye-in-the-sky duties during a Winston Cup race. Lynn’s crowning jewel was having lunch with singer Lee Greenwood. He then borrowed her warm jacket to sing “God Bless the USA” on an unseasonably cool Las Vegas day.

Lynn was always bubbly and had a ready smile. More so recently, she was diagnosed as cancer-free. She will be dearly missed.

In lieu of plants and flowers, please divert any donations to the Portage Elks Lodge for an upcoming remodeling project.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2016, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home. At the same time, a Celebration of Life will take place at the nearby Elks Lodge, starting at 11:00 a.m. A Service of Remembrance will be held at 3:15 p.m. at the funeral home. Inurnment will be private at Silver Lake Cemetery in Portage.

The Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage is assisting the family.  



For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)