McHale, en­gi­neer and mu­si­cian, dies at 58

The Enquire-Gazette - - News - Mary McHale 301-735-3451

My son Brian died of brain can­cer on April 11 at his home in Fort Wal­ton Beach, Fla. Last week my fam­ily and I trav­eled there to at­tend his fu­neral at St. Mary’s Church.

He was born Brian Kennedy McHale on Aug. 25, 1957, in Mill Val­ley, Calif., and moved to Sky­line at the age of 10 months when his dad, John McHale, was trans­ferred to FBI Head­quar­ters in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

The fifth of seven chil­dren, he grew up in a busy house­hold, and started school at Irene Smith’s Morn­ing­side Co-op Kin­der­garten, at the old Town Hall. He went on to St. Philip’s School, where he was an al­tar­boy. He played soft­ball for the Morn­ing­side Recre­ation Coun­cil, coached by his dad, and bas­ket­ball with the Camp Springs Boys’ Club. He was a Scout with Troop 282, at Bells U.M. Church.

Brian at­tended Bishop McNa­mara High School where he was cap­tain of the track and cross-coun­try teams.

His first job was help­ing clear the grounds of Mount Airy, the Up­per Marl­boro manor built by the Calvert fam­ily in 1725 and then due for ren­o­va­tion. He got his first pay­check — and poi­son ivy. The fol­low­ing sum­mers he worked the snack bar at An­drews Of­fi­cers’ Club swim­ming pool.

Af­ter grad­u­a­tion in 1975, he headed off to the Uni­ver­sity of Notre Dame, earned a de­gree in elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing and went to work for Boe­ing. His first as­sign­ment was in Wi­chita. Later trans­fers took him to Philadel­phia, Patux­ent River NAS, Ed­wards AFB and fi­nally Fort Wal­ton Beach, as an avion­ics en­gi­neer for the V-22 Os­prey. He re­tired in June 2015, with 35 years’ ser­vice.

Brian was al­ways in­volved with mu­sic, be­gin­ning with school bands. Later, he per- formed with other bands, sang with or di­rected choirs at sev­eral churches, and did gigs at lo­cal pubs. He never went any­where with­out a gui­tar. He also com­posed mu­sic, in­clud­ing “The Mass of St. Malachy,” which was sung beau­ti­fully by the choir at his fu­neral.

His fa­ther died in 2004. Sur­vivors in­clude his wife of 25 years, Carol; sib­lings, Kath­leen, Mike, Therese, John, Elaine and Sheila; a host of nieces and neph­ews, and about a dozen guitars.

He also leaves me, his mom, with­out her favorite ri­val at Scrab­ble.


Don­ald Thomp­son, grand­son of for­mer Sky­line res­i­dents Corbin and Bob­bie Thomp­son, and son of Roy and Patty Thomp­son, will grad­u­ate from UMBC in in­for­ma­tion sys­tems and his­tory. He has a job wait­ing for him at NASA.

I have three grand­chil­dren grad­u­at­ing this spring: Leah, from Tow­son Uni­ver­sity, and Claire, from Eleanor Roo­sevelt High School, daugh­ters of Sheila and John Mudd of Lau­rel; and Rose, from Adel­phi Uni­ver­sity, daugh­ter of Elaine and Luke Sei­d­man, of Crownsville.

Call or email (mud­ with in­for­ma­tion about the grad­u­ates in your fam­ily.

Chang­ing land­scape

County of­fi­cials gath­ered April 20 to cel­e­brate the new Dave & Buster’s at the Ritchie Sta­tion Mar­ket­place. It opened to the pub­lic on April 25.

The County Plan­ning Board has ap­proved $300,000 worth of grants for 13 prop­er­ties in Prince Ge­orge’s to be re­ha­bil­i­tated and re­stored. Among them: St. Barn­abas Epis­co­pal Church, Lee­land, Up­per Marl­boro; Epiphany Epis­co­pal Church, Forestville; Chapel of the In­car­na­tion, Brandy­wine; Wag­ner House, Ac­co­keek; Brook­field of the Ber­rys, Up­per Marl­boro, and Chel­tenham United Methodist Church.

Ac­cord­ing to a Wash­ing­ton Post story, “there are more than 550 mil­lion blue crabs in the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay, an in­crease of more than a third over this time last year and one of the highest counts of the past two decades.” I’m al­ready plan­ning a crab feast.

Com­ing up

May 14 — The Sur­ratt So­ci­ety of­fers “Chillin’ While Col­ored: 19th-Cen­tury African Amer­i­can Places of Leisure,” with Patsy Fletcher of the His­toric Preser­va­tion Divi­sion for the District of Columbia. The pre­sen­ta­tion is free, and be­gins at 4 p.m. The Sur­ratt House is at 9118 Brandy­wine Road in Clin­ton. For in­for­ma­tion, call 301-868-1121.


Happy birth­day to Dorothy Lipka and Morn­ing­side Coun­cil­man Todd Mullins, April 30; Kathryn Deaver, Ann Lacey, Ernes­tine Tay­lor Wood, Dante Ross Jr. and Janet Booth Kaye, May 2; my daugh­ter Sheila (McHale) Mudd and Lori Wil­liams, May 3; In­dia Goodall and Ruby Haines, May 4; Don­ald Young, Jim Hen­der­son and Mar­lyn Me­oli, May 5; Elsie Dent and Gretchen En­nis, May 6; Dwight Hol­loway Jr., May 7; Florine Clark, May 8; Brandi Jeter and Buddy Ram­sey, May 9; Gla­dys Locks, Shirley Ep­pard and Eli­jah Thomas, May 10; Vir­ginia Stine and Carolyn Fla­herty Fogle, May 11; and Kyle Dameron, May 12.

Gov. Larry Ho­gan is­sued a procla­ma­tion declar­ing May 6 as Fallen He­roes Day in Mary­land. Flags will be flown at half-staff at the State House and all state fa­cil­i­ties. Fallen He­roes Day hon­ors po­lice, fire­fight­ers, and oth­ers who risk their lives pro­tect­ing us.

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