Edward O’Brien, a longtime supervisor in the maintenance department at the S.D. Warren paper mill in Westbrook who was active in the Masons, died Thursday. He was 86.

Mr. O’Brien spent his early years in Westbrook. He graduated from Westbrook High School and went on to serve in the Navy. Upon his discharge, he was hired by S.D. Warren, now Sappi Fine Paper North America.

He began working in the maintenance department on the mill’s machines and rose through the ranks to become a supervisor. He was employed by the paper company for 40 years.

“He was an extremely hard worker,” said Mike Donahue, his son-in-law from Westbrook. “Anyone who worked with him would say that.”

Mr. O’Brien, a longtime Portland resident, was remembered by family and friends Monday as a skilled carpenter and loyal friend who was always there to help. He built hutches, desks, and wooden ornaments for family and friends for many years.

Linda Donahue, the oldest of his five children, recalled numerous projects he did throughout the years.

Most recently, Mr. O’Brien helped his son renovate his house. He spent most weekends there until roughly a month ago, when he became ill.

About four years ago, Linda Donahue said her father helped put a roof on her house. At the time, he was battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and needed the aid of an oxygen machine. Donahue chuckled, saying her father was only supposed to supervise the project.

“He got right up on the roof with me, oxygen and all. He was 82,” she said. “He didn’t listen. Ever. Dad did pretty much what he wanted to do. End of the story.”

Mr. O’Brien had a passion for hunting that took him throughout the state. Donahue recalled the year her father drove to Kentucky for a weeklong hunting trip.

“Two days after doctors put little balloons in his arteries in his heart, he was in a car driving to Kentucky to hunt,” Donahue said. “I was having a fit. I couldn’t believe he was going until the doctor said he could go. … He did have a great life. He lived it until he couldn’t live it.”

Mr. O’Brien was active in the Masons and held many positions within the service organization. His obituary, which was published in Sunday’s newspaper, lists most of them. Some of those posts include his service as Past Master of Saccarappa Lodge #86 in Westbrook. He also served as Past High Priest of Eagles Chapter #11; Past Illustrious Master of Westbrook Council #15; and Past District Deputy of the 17th Masonic District. He was also a member of Red Cross of Constantine and a member of the Deering Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star.

“He was a Mason’s Mason,” said Jake Caldwell of Portland, a Mason and longtime friend. “He was also a person that didn’t know the word no. It was always yes. He did anything you asked of him and he did it with great dignity. He was a great man.”

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