Kaul Funeral Home


Conor David O'Brien

2 August, 199327 January, 2020

Due to the extension of the Governor’s stay at home order, we are forced to postpone Conor's May 7th Memorial. A new date will be selected and announced as soon as practical.

Conor David O’Brien, 26, of St. Clair, MI, died Monday evening, January 27, 2020, at his home in Plymouth.

He is survived by his parents Randy and Deborah (Maatman) of St. Clair and brother Jesse, of Chicago. Also is survived by 17 aunts and uncles, 39 cousins, and the love of his life, Marissa Szydlowski.

Conor recently graduated from Wayne State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and English. Blessed with the gift of prose, Conor was an aspiring author and beloved coworker at Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, where he worked as a chef. He helped many who struggled with drug addictions through his participation in 12-step programs and volunteer work at the St. Clair County Juvenile Center.

An avid lover of music, Conor was a talented guitar and piano player. He was a voracious reader and relentless in his pursuit of knowledge. His sense of humor, big smile and a bigger heart made him a light in the lives of countless friends and family.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Conor’s name to Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, 55 E. Jackson Blvd, Suite 490, Chicago, IL, 60604.

After nine very difficult months, a venue change and considerations for how to proceed in our “new normal,” we finally have been able to schedule Conor’s celebration of life. We will be hosting a brief ceremony at 11 a.m. on Friday, October 30 at St. John’s United Church of Christ, 527 N. William St in Marine City. Visitation will be at the church from 10:00 - 11:00.

Times being what they are, we ask that anyone planning to attend do so with extreme regard to the safety of both yourself and other attendees. We should have ample space at both venues to accommodate safe social distancing, but expect that masks should be worn at any times when social distancing is not possible. If you are unable or unwilling to adhere to these guidelines, we ask that you celebrate Conor from the safety of your home.

Additionally, if you are feeling sick, have come into contact with someone who recently tested positive for COVID-19, or are otherwise uncomfortable with attending in the current climate, we understand completely. We know you care and support us.

If you plan to attend, please let us know so that we can get a rough count. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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  • Memorial Visitation

    Friday, 30 October , 2020

  • Memorial Service

    Friday, 30 October , 2020

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Conor David O'Brien

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James Asselin

24 February 2020

Dear Randy, Deb, and Jesse,
I'm down-hearted about the loss of your beloved Conor and the grief of all who knew and loved him. I always wished to see him at the Super Bowl parties. His sweetness and good cheer always made him a pleasure to be around. Sitting in your living room with everyone, I like to believe that even your dog saved most of her affection for Conor. Reading these remembrances, I wish I could have been around him more... the writing, the open commitment to sobriety and the influence he had on others who were struggling was heroic. Sitting in the stands in Spartan Stadium or talking on the phone with Randy, I always wanted to hear all I could abut Conor. What courage and divine grace he possessed! His timeless spirit will live and be passed on by the infinite others he lovingly co-mingled with.

Nancy & Bruce Hindenach

14 February 2020

Randy, Deb, Jesse,
There are no words that can adequately express our deep sorrow that Conor’s light here on earth has left us. May you each find some comfort knowing that Conor’s light now shines throughout the universe. May we all be reminded again to tell our loved ones how much they are cherished.
Sending you love, strength and peace today and days forward.
Your friends, Bruce & Nancy Hindenach family

Stephen Longe

9 February 2020

You were one of the only people I've ever met that could appreciate my humor and writing style, as I greatly appreciated yours. My brother in attempting to overcome mental illness and substance abuse, we often spoke of our idiosyncratic tendencies as a result and laughed about them while working through things.
My fondest memories with you involve sharing stories that we wrote, sitting on the lawn at campus together and talking about music, going to punk shows, and the sense of instant comraderie I felt when we became instant friends.
My heart goes out to all of the other lives that you touched, as I am only a blip in the radar of your life but my heart feels broken, so I can only imagine the effect you had on so many others.

You will be missed, sweet prince.


Antonio Lewis

6 February 2020

Conor you're going to be missed my guy. Learned a lot from you about the chef business easily one of the best cooks I ever seen. Smart, witty to the max and highly energetic. People jus loved when you were around and loved to be around you. I'll see you on the other side buddy. Save a seat for me up there. ❤

Terri Duganne

6 February 2020

Dear Randy and Family,
With all things loving and peaceful, I send my deepest sympathies. It seems that often, such gifted people also struggle with their lives. Know that you are not alone in your grief.

Karen West

5 February 2020

Randy, Deb and Family,
My deepest condolences to you all. From reading about him on this page, Conor sounds like such a wonderful person. There are no words that can really comfort at this time, just know that many of us are thinking of you.

Barry O’Malley

5 February 2020

Conor came into my life about the time I got sober seven years ago. Anyone who knows Conor knows that if we have enough cigarettes and coffee we are in for a late night Conor style. He was eloquent and beautiful in every sense. His quick wit was unmatched. We were the founding members of the bipolar bear club. His ability to communicate was astonishing he could take people deep into his mind as though he could let you wear his shoes if only for a moment. Getting to be Conor’s friend was to me was like a child meeting Santa. He brought out the best in me. Our conversations were like a well choreographed dance. Often we interrupted the each other out of sheer joy that we had stumbled into a hot topic. Conor made me feel important,loved,trusted, and greatest of all valued. Conor had the humor that would make you spit out your food. To Conor some things were sacred like books, poetry, and music but some of the more commonplace things like religious stuff was fair game Once we were at a Coney Island and he said Mother Theresa looked like Joe Patterno we laughed because it was true. Conor cared about his friends and when I knew I was going to get one on one time I literally got excited like I was on the way to see a good band. We suffered together we laughed together and we were honest with each other. I will miss him dearly. Conor felt like home to me. I love him so much it hurts. So long dear friend you loved with abandon you spoke boldly and you lived more in your 26 years then most do in a lifetime. This world lost a brilliant star but heaven gained an beautiful man. until we meet again stay golden.

Karra Thomas

4 February 2020

To Randy and the O'Brien Family,

With Heartfelt Sympathy
You are in my heart, thoughts and prayers

Karra Thomas,
Detroit Wayne SUD Prevention

Jeffrey Oldham

4 February 2020

On behalf of Comprehensive Youth Services, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Randy, my heart brakes hearing this news. You have always been a person about connections and the power of a group to accomplish a goal. Know that the family you have created here gives there love and support to you and your family.

Carol Hyso

3 February 2020

Randy & Debbie,

Although there are really no words that can comfort you in the loss of Conor, please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Losing Conor at this young age is a tremendous loss for you and all who knew him. We will hold him (and you and Jesse) in our heart.

With love,
Carol & Ron Hyso


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