In Memory of




Obituary for Marcel "Tarzan" O'Brien

O’Brien, Marcel Joseph (“Tarzan”)

Peacefully, in his 94th year, at The Elliott Community on Sunday, December 1, 2019. Predeceased by his parents Tom and Aurize O’Brien, siblings Madeleine (Joe), Colleen (Ken) and Jack (Irma). Survived by his sister Mary (Bill, deceased) of Arizona, and many nephews, nieces, great- nephews and great-nieces.

Marcel was an active world traveler and sportsman (tennis, skiing, golf and hockey) and a regular presence during summers at Southampton and Port Elgin. He was a friendly “character” at arenas, ball parks and pubs in Guelph for several decades and, in later years, at the food court in Stone Road Mall sharing coffee and banter with a regular group of cronies.

Marcel will be remembered by several generations of Guelph residents as his clown persona in Christmas parades and other public events through the years, including visits by the Flying Fathers hockey troupe. “Everyone knows Tarz” is a common refrain.

As a longtime parishioner at Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, Marcel was a member of the choir and an usher and was active with the Knights of Columbus. He was a man of small stature, but great faith, and his deep spiritual connection was a constant throughout his long life and a great comfort in his final years. His family wishes to thank the staff at Chartwell Wellington Park Retirement Residence and the Elliott Community and Pastor Mike Dell for the care and love shown Marcel during his final years.

Marcel was the subject of a front-page feature story and video tribute in The Guelph Mercury highlighting his good-natured celebrity status as a beloved Guelph icon when he celebrated his 85th birthday. It is a fitting acknowledgement of the exceptional life of a special man who brought joy to all who met him. It can be viewed at:

There will be a celebration of Marcel’s life at The Elliott Community, 170 Metcalfe St, Guelph, Ontario, on Jan. 11, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. with a reception to follow. Donations in Marcel’s name can be directed to The Elliott Community. Donation cards are available at the Gilbert MacIntyre & Son Funeral Home, Dublin Chapel, 252 Dublin St N., Guelph, 519-822-4731 or online at