James "Pete" O'Brien
STORMVILLE - James "Pete" O'Brien, 102, passed away February 16, 2012 peacefully after a long and courageous fight since surviving an Aortic Aneurysm on May 6, 2011. Pete's will and determination to continue to live during this time was not only amazing but incredible.
Pete was born October 8, 1909 in North Castle to his parents Thomas and Alice (Dillon) O'Brien. Pete, along with his family, came to Stormville from Bedford in the late 1920's and purchased the property which is now known as Stormville Airport. He married Rose Bullock of Bedford at St. Denis Catholic Church in Sylvan Lake on February 2, 1945. They were married for 43 years at the time of Rose's passing on December 3, 1988.
Pete, along with his wife Rose, was the owner and operator of Stormville Flight School. Stormville Airport was also once used to teach women WASP pilots during World War II. Others who learned to fly at Stormville went on to become pilots for major airlines. Many recall the days when they would come with their folding chairs and spend the day watching the planes take off and land, the skydivers, and having lunch at the snack bar and reminiscing with Rose and Pete on the front porch.
Pete's love and passion was restoring planes. His last restoration was a 1926 Kinner Bird, which he called the "Spirit of Stormville", completely restored by Pete, Jim Halpin, and other good friends from 1985 to 1990.
Pete is survived by his daughter, Patricia Carnahan of Stormville; grandchildren Michelle Carnahan of New Fairfield, CT, Sheila McMahon of The Woodlands, TX, and Thomas Carnahan of Lantana, FL; 6 great-grandchildren, Brittany, Kailey, Kyle, Connor, Thomas, and Blake, who referred to him as Papa Pete; and several great nieces and nephews and his beloved chihuahuas, Tootsie 1 and Tootsie 2.
It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Pete but take comfort in knowing that he lived a full and wonderful life.
Calling Hours will be held on Friday, March 2nd from 6-8 pm at the McHoul Funeral Home, Inc., 895 Rte 82, Hopewell Junction. The Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, March 3rd at 11:30 am at St. Francis of Assisi Cemetery in Mount Kisco.
For driving directions or online condolences, please visit www.mchoulfuneralhome.com
Published by Poughkeepsie Journal from Feb. 26 to Mar. 1, 2012.