James "Pete" O'Brien
1909 - 2012
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.
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15 Entries
March 15, 2012
I send my sincee condelences to the family of Pete, a wonderful man who loved his family and friends, leaving fond memories in the hearts of many.

Lucy Graf LeMay
March 15, 2012
We are sorry to hear of Pete's passing. As children, my brother and I spent many hours at the Stormville airport visiting Pete and Rose, and Aunt Alice and Aunt Annie, with my parents, Bob and Mary Kelley. I took my first flight as a 10-year-old in the back seat of one of Pete's Piper Cubs. Years later, my dad brought my husband and I to see Pete and his restored Bird. Pete, Rose and the airport were all very important to my family and will always be fondly remembered.

Aileen Kelley Wood and Bobby Kelley
Aileen Wood
March 5, 2012
Pat & Family I am deeply sorry for the lost of your father......Joe
Joe Grotzer
March 1, 2012
My condolences to Pete's family. I had the opportunity to meet Pete through Cole Palen and the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. Pete was a real inspiration to Cole, and offerd lots of help and encouragement to Cole, as he did to so many other aeromaniacs. Gordon Bainbridge's book, "The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome", includes a beautiful description of Pete and Rose that I'm sure many would agree with. He was a true aviation legend, and a fine man.

Jim Hare
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
February 29, 2012
Patty, I first met your dad when I was 16 and he sold me a motor. Also helped him look for boarding school in AZ for you years later.Had my Luscombe and Cessna at Stormville until early 70's. Many fond memories of both your parents. I am now 78 Years old.John Gileno & wife Fran
February 29, 2012
Patty, My deepest sympathy on the passing of your dad. Your Mom and Dad gave hired me as line boy in the 70's and it was my first job. They were great folks to work for and I always love that job.
Michael Cronin
February 28, 2012
I have many fond memories of "Uncle" Pete and "Aunt" Rose as my brother and I spent many weekends at the airport with my dad, George Heil. My mom, Iris Heil Larson always spoke fondly of Pete, Rose, Mac, Walter and "Ditty". Please accept my sencere condolences.
Terri-Ann Thomas
February 28, 2012
Our sincere condolences to the O'Brien family. Pete was a great friend; our friendship spanned over 70 years. I am just very grateful that 4 years ago my friend Sara and I, visited with Pete. Little did I know it would be the last time. May he rest in peace.
Sincerely, Ed Johnson (Bedford NY.)
February 27, 2012
Dear Patty,Tom & Family,
Please accept my sincere
Condolences . Pete will be missed;he was a heat guy.
Frank Straub
February 27, 2012
Patty and family. so sorry to hear of the passing of Pete. He was a great person to know and be around. I and many others always looked forward to going to Stormville and enjoy the company of he and Rose. I have so many memories of the two of them and activities at the airport.. The aviation community has suffered a great loss with his passing.. God speed Pete,and our thoughts and prayers go to you Patty and family as you mourn his loss.

H Hutchinson
February 26, 2012
My husband and I spent many a weekend at Stormville over the years. I and my son Brent, got our private licenses there with "Mac" and Walter. We enjoyed Pete so much. His humor was unique. He was so helpful when ever there was a problem with our plane.
Speaking of the Kinner Bird, Buz, my husband, had a ride in it, thanks to Pete. He will always be in our hearts and memory. Fran and Buz Chorsky-Gainesville, Florida.
February 26, 2012
Pete Obrien was one of a kind and will be missed by those who have had the pleasure of his being among us. My Mom, Mary Lewis, and I have just been informed of this great loss. Our memories will always remember this great fun loving person. May he rest in peace. He was loved by us all.
Barry Lewis
February 26, 2012
Pat and family, I will always have fond memories of your father. Warm regards, Bill Rinaldi
Bill Rinaldi
February 26, 2012
We just heard about your father's passing. We send you and your family our sincere condolences. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Werner & Joan Wustrau
February 26, 2012
I am one of those who came to the airport with lawn chairs to watch take offs and landings and also the parachuters! My mom and dad brought me back in 1958 and 1959 when I was 16. Dad took flying lessons from "Mac" and I took lessons from Walter! I even soloed when I was 16 on skies as the runway was covered in snow! I remember Pete and Rose very well! Sounds as if he had a full life! I am sure you have many memories as his passing has surely stirred up many for me! My dad's name was Clarence Corrigan and mine Gail Corrigan.
February 26, 2012
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