Rachael passed away peacefully in Logan, UT at the age of 76. She is survived by her sons, James “Troy” O’Brien, Richard “Ricky” Vade Haffner and daughter Lori Ann Haffner.
She was born and raised in Baltimore, MD where she attended Dundalk Senior High School. As a young adult, she relocated to Steamboat Springs, CO where she met and married the love of her life, Patrick O’Brien (Deceased). Shortly thereafter they moved to the Broomfield, CO where they lived for several years. She was active in numerous community activities. While there she attended truck driving school and used the handle “Strawberry Shortcake”. She then moved to Pine Junction, CO and lived there for several years before moving back home to MD. After staying there for a couple of years she headed West, once again, this time to live in Idaho, then Utah where she worked as a caregiver until she retired.
Rachael enjoyed everything about the mountains, especially her long road trips. She also enjoyed watching DVD’s, and her favorite game shows, during which she would snack on some of her favorite snacks,which were Tastykake Kandy Kakes, York Peppermint Patty Candy and Chocolate Brownie Milkshakes. She was a very stylish dresser and always looked beautiful. Her smile could light up a room. She was beautiful, inside, and out.
Mom was caring, independent and a free spirit who was very grateful for everyone who loved her and showed her kindness in any way. She was well-loved by her family and friends and will be dearly missed. She was a loving daughter, sister, mother, wife, and friend, including her dear friend Mandee Smith, who our family wishes to send a very heartfelt THANK YOU to for the love she showed her and who was with her to the very end.
Rachael was pre-deceased by her Parents, Joseph Leonard and Eleanor Jane (O’Shea) Holthaus and was the oldest of six children: Regina Mae (Holthaus) Gamez (Deceased)/(Husband-Joe Gamez),(Nephew Joseph Gamez (GF Amy Zipp), Niece Jennifer (Gamez) Pace (Husband-Chris Pace); Velma Jean (Holthaus) Shupe (Husband-Neal Shupe); Philip John Holthaus (Deceased)/(Wife-Diane (Rodenizer) Holthaus), (Nieces-Angelyc (Holthaus) Henson and Heather Holthaus; Joseph John Holthaus, (Nephews Joe, Richard and Daniel Holthaus); and Theresa Helen (Holthaus) Willinger (Husband-Tom Willinger; (Niece Dana Marie Smith (Great Niece-Bella Doran), Nephew-David Matthew Smith (Wife-Brittney (Kehr) Smith, (Great Nieces Aubrey and Adalynn and Great Nephew Aiden).
Rachael loved Grandmother Rachael Swanson (Deceased) very much, so-much-so that she changed her first name to Rachael in memory of her.
We leave you with the following Scripture to pray about and meditate on for your own lives:
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.