Edward Augustine O'Brien, 82, of Chesapeake Beach, MD, died peacefully at the Mandrin Chesapeake Inpatient Care Center in Harwood, MD, in the presence of his beloved partner, Diane Martin on Saturday, June 1, 2019, of cancer. A charter fishing captain, a life-long advocate for the Chesapeake Bay, a Marine who served his country with distinction, father of five, grandfather of nine, and great-grandfather of ten, he will be forever missed.
In March of this year, Gov. Larry Hogan bestowed the highest honor to Captain O’Brien by naming him “Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay” for committing “his time and talents to improving the management of our natural resources and preserving our state’s fishing heritage and the charter boat industry for over 40 years.”
It was a recognition characteristic of Ed’s lifelong service to his country, his family, and community. After graduating from Loyola High School in Baltimore, Ed began his young life in the Marines in 1954 and was discharged as Sergeant in 1957 with honor. He advanced our country’s security while working at McDonnell Aircraft as part of the Project Mercury Team. While with Martin Marietta, then Universal Match Corporation and as an officer of LaBarge Company, he continued to work with U.S. government agencies and Congress to enhance national security efforts. He also served as a Director of Control Video Corporation, the precursor to AOL.
In 1973 he started his charter fishing business with Semper Fidelis I on the Magothy River, Semper Fidelis II out of Solomon’s Island, and Semper Fidelis II and III from Chesapeake Beach with his son Captain John O’Brien, until 2017. This is where he found pleasure, peace, and some of life’s deepest meaning while watching sunshine glisten off the backs of striped bass breaking water in the early morning light on the Chesapeake.
In efforts to improve the health of the Bay and to preserve its fishing heritage, Ed hosted Governors, Congresspersons, members of the Maryland General Assembly, and President George W. Bush on the Semper Fidelis. He worked closely with the Coast Guard and received its highest civilian honor, the Meritorious Public Services Award. Since 1995, Ed served as Vice President of the National Charter Boat Association.
Ed was predeceased by a son, John Patrick O’Brien of Severna Park, MD; a brother Thomas Charles O’Brien of St. Louis, MO; a grandson, Sean Patrick O'Brien; and his parents, Edward O’Brien Sr. and Julia Silcott O’Brien of St. Louis, MO.
A devoted and loyal father, son, and brother, Ed is survived by his beloved partner of 25 years, Diane Martin; sons, Edward James O’Brien of Annapolis and Christopher Edward (Christie) O’Brien of Columbia, MD, daughters, Julie O’Brien (Steve) Scheide of Arnold, and Meg O’Brien (Brian) Barrett of Columbia, MD; brothers Joseph Patrick O’Brien of Wichita, KS and Michael James O’Brien of St. Louis, MO; and daughter-in-law, Suzanne Reese O'Brien. Ed was the anchor of an extended family; he loved and is beloved by nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren, four nieces and nephews, and numerous cousins and in-laws.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate Edward's life at the Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory, 2973 Solomons Island Rd., Edgewater, MD on Tuesday, June 4, from 6 to 9 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Andrew by the Bay Catholic Church, 701 College Pkwy., Annapolis, MD on Wednesday, June 5 at 10 am. Interment will immediately follow at Lakemont Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hospice of the Chesapeake, 90 Ritchie Hwy., Pasadena, MD 21122. Online condolences may be made at KalasFuneralHomes.com
"O God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small."