Vickie Marie O’Brien, age 63, was taken from us on June 26, 2023. Visitation will be at Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home in Glenwood, MN from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 12, followed by a memory sharing opportunity at 7:00 p.m. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 13 at Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home, with visitation resuming at noon and running until the time of service. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Vickie Marie Solmonson, daughter of George M. Solmonson Jr. and Joanne R. (Smith) Solmonson, was born on September 29, 1959, in Gaylord, MN. Vickie had two older brothers, Steve and Mike, and one younger brother, Dean. In 1966 the family moved to Glenwood. Growing up, Vickie spent most of her time with her horse, Socko, frequently sharing ice cream cones with him from the local Dairy Queen. Vickie graduated from Glenwood High School in 1978. After high school, Vickie attended the College of Saint Benedict and graduated in the spring of 1982 as a Registered Nurse with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Vickie worked at Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria for over 20 years as a staff nurse, an oncology nurse and an administrative specialist. In 2003, she was awarded a grant to complete her Masters. Vickie graduated with her Masters in Nursing with a Nurse Educator Option on May 13, 2005 from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. She started teaching at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Wadena, though spent most of her teaching career at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. Vickie loved her patients, students and co-workers. She met her best friend, Karen Treangen, while working in Wadena.
On November 19, 1988, Vickie was united in marriage to Terrence “Terry” John O’Brien in Glenwood. The marriage was blessed with two daughters, Randee and Katya. They resided in Alexandria, as well as a brief time in Battle Lake and Pillager. Vickie was well-known for her love for animals and hand raised kittens, ducks, chickens, cows, goats, squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, birds, macaws, wallabies, ring-tailed lemurs and reindeer, as well as bear and lion cubs. Among Vickie’s favorites were a black-handed spider monkey named Buddy that would give hugs and kisses, a Quaker parrot named Balkie that would name his body parts, a cat named Bindi that she rescued and a chihuahua named Zoey that warmed her heart. Vickie was also known for saving turtles that were attempting to cross the road. Vickie also enjoyed reading, writing, watching TV, taking pictures, listening to light rock and worship music, completing jigsaw puzzles with her mother, playing solitaire, continuing the family collection of horse models, spending time with family, horseback riding and traveling.
Vickie is survived by her children, Randee O’Brien and Katya O’Brien Preston; grandchild, Bentley Courneya; brothers, Steve (Sherry) Solmonson, Mike (Jody) Solmonson, and Dean (Jill) Solmonson; along with many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Joanne Solmonson, and followed in death by her husband, Terry.
Vickie will be remembered for her deep connection with her students and patients, her love for her family and friends, her passion for animals and her legacy of compassion. May her memory be blessed.