We Remember Those We Have Lost – April 26, 2019

Rodney L. Ward

OCEAN CITY – Rodney L. Ward, 72, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 21, 2019, at Coastal Hospice At The Lake.

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Rodney L. Ward, Jeb and Lucy

He was born May 9, 1946, in Harrisburg, Pa., to Ann and William Ward. He was a graduate of John Harris High School.

He is survived by his wife and best friend, Cindy Ward of Ocean City, Md.; his mother, Ann Ward of Harrisburg, Pa.; sister and brother-in-law Debbie and Scott Shepler of Harrisburg, Pa.; sister-in-law Karen Commings of Harrisburg, Pa.; sister-in-law Mary Ward of Hummelstown, Pa.; niece Venus and husband John Becker and nephew Dylan Becker of Wyomissing, Pa.; nephew Ryan, wife Marissa and daughter Madison Becker of Old Forge, Pa.; niece Beth Ward of Harrisburg, Pa.; niece Monette Ward Benkowitsch and son T.J. Douville of Harrisburg, Pa.; and several cousins including Bonnie Young of Enola, Pa., and Laurel Evans of Camp Hill, Pa., and their families.

He also leaves behind many wonderful friends who have been so helpful before and during his long illness.

He was pre-deceased by his father, William, and brother, Bill.

Ever since he was a child, Rodney loved coming to Ocean City, Md., and never missed an opportunity to go to the shore. In 1983, he and his wife moved here, where he spent most of his working life in the hotel industry with Ann Showell Mariner. Later, he worked with Ann and Reggie Mariner at their farm. He loved the farm, and he and Cindy spent many hours there, taking care of their beloved dogs, Jeb and Lucy, and many rescued cats in addition to ducks, chickens, a herd of goats and an old goose.

Rodney was a very humble person, never taking credit for anything, always making sure others were thanked and appreciated. He thought of everyone else above himself.

No service is planned; however, a Celebration Of Life for Rodney will be held at a later date. He also requested no flowers be sent; instead, he would have liked for others to go outside on a fine spring day and pick a bouquet of violets or wildflowers for themselves or someone they love. That’s the kind of thing he always did.

The family would like to thank all of the doctors, nurses and medical personnel as well as the staff of Coastal Hospice At The Lake and The Dispatch for the care and concern they had for him.

Arrangements are being handled by Burbage Funeral Home.

 

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Matthew Reardon O’Hare

SALISBURY — Born Oct. 4, 1946 in Dickinson, N.D., Matthew Reardon O’Hare passed away on Holy Saturday April 20, 2019.

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Matthew Reardon O’Hare

Preceded in death by his parents, Edward Coleman O’Hare and Mary Ellen (nee Reardon) O’Hare, and his siblings, Margaret Ellen (Peggy) O’Hare and Michael Shannon O’Hare, Matt is survived by his siblings, Bonnie Carol O’Hare and Harold Edward O’Hare (both of Dyer, Ind.), his sons Thomas Matthew O’Hare of New York City and Daniel Joseph O’Hare, his daughter-in-law Caroline Amelia O’Hare and granddaughter Olive Helen O’Hare (all of Salisbury), his former wife, Sharyn O’Hare (Ocean Pines), brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Phil and Sherry Guarino (Rockford, Ill.), niece Alicia Guarino-Hrebik (Tony Hrebik) (Rockford, Ill.) and nephew Adam (Jessica) Guarino (Machesney Park, Ill).

If you are reading this, there’s a good chance Matt O’Hare was a character in your story. He was a villain in some, a hero in others, but most likely comic relief in yours. Matt was a rare character: weird and authentic; always out of place on the Eastern Shore; and yet an entrenched figure of the community here. His mind was a trap for the trivial, while his heart and soul were devoted to the competition of sports and the raw emotion of theater.

He embellished out of need (if it made a good story), relished a lie if it would guarantee a laugh, and it is believed he coined the phrase, “hyperbole is an art form of my people.” While he staunchly refused to participate in St Patrick’s Day (“Unlike them, I’m Irish 365 days a year!”), he was instantly enamored with anything green and Gaelic, especially if it involved The University of Notre Dame.

If you met Matt casually, you might think he attended Notre Dame, but he didn’t. He studied at two different seminaries, being kicked out of both of them by priests who would go on to be Cardinals in the Catholic Church. He was really proud of this, so I feel it needs to be mentioned. While most of his stories were at least partially untrue, this one isn’t. Or if it is, he had a bunch of people in on it, which is also possible.

Far more than Notre Dame though, he loved Worcester Country/Preparatory School. Matt dedicated his life to the school and its students. He built the athletic program and theater arts program at WCS/WPS and was immensely proud of everyone that participated in those programs. As athletic director, he attended every game he could, including games of former students who were playing in college. Likewise, he went to see former students in plays or performances at every opportunity possible. It seemed like almost every night of the school year he was a spectator, supporting his current or former students.

And here’s the thing: he wasn’t merely in the stands or in the audience. You knew he was there. If you were playing sports, that bellowing voice from the sideline was unmistakable. I can still hear “every corner is a goal!” echoing from a distant field. If you were on stage, you knew that first pause for laughter was going to have one laugh just a little louder and just a little longer than the others. Even if you didn’t know he was there before the curtain opened, it wouldn’t be long before you did.

But the audience wasn’t where he was most at home. That was always on stage. Although he didn’t perform on an official stage in the years between leaving college and his retirement, he was performing in every room he was in. He could make his voice like thunder, and he did often. Whether for fun or for fury, his roar was all too familiar to everyone who knew him. It was his most distinctive feature, as the large man with a large voice got a large amount of notice, which is always what the consummate actor craves. He commanded attention in most of the rooms he was in, but he always went out of his way to make everyone feel welcome in those rooms.

This may be why, unlike most people, Matt loved public speaking. He used any excuse to get in front of a microphone, even if it meant having to become an art auctioneer for a night. He was a member of Toastmasters, but he had perfected his craft long before joining that organization. His advice was always, “be funny, be short, and be sincere.” That’s probably why he was a sought-after keynote speaker. To say he had the gift of gab is an understatement, as he really relished getting behind a podium and talking to anyone about anything. He once even spoke to a convention of nuns, opening with a joke about Jesus getting stung to death by wild bees. He claimed some of the nuns fell out of their chairs because they were laughing so hard. There’s cause for skepticism, as we’ve all heard the joke by now, and while it’s funny, it’s not that funny.

In retirement he dedicated most of his time to acting with the Naples Players in Florida. I got to see him perform in The Drowsy Chaperone, in which he played a cigar-chomping, loud-mouthed, angry producer. Afterwards, when I asked him how he came up with the character, he replied, “Well, I bought a cigar.”

There’s no question that Matt O’Hare will be missed by his friends and family. But as people have noted, his impact will be felt in this community for a long time. He touched many lives and got a lot of laughs. And that’s what he loved. Maybe, as a favor to him, you could tell a friend one of those stories or jokes that he told too-many times. Feel free to embellish if it makes a better story, as you know he would. Or maybe get up somewhere and give a speech. Keep it funny, short, and sincere — just remember: being sincere doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be truthful.

Please join us for a celebration of Matt’s life at Worcester Preparatory School on May 18 at 11:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to the Matt O’Hare Scholarship at www.cfes.org/DONATE which will be given yearly to a current WPS student that excels in Performing Arts and Athletics. Arrangements are in the care of the Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin. Letters of condolence may be sent to the family at www.burbagefuneralhome.com.

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William Ernest Cermak

OCEAN CITY — It is with great sadness we announce the sudden passing of William (Bill) Ernest Cermak on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. Bill was 79 years old.

He was the son of the late James Joseph Cermak and Erna Katarina Mathilde Schellhase and was predeceased by older brother, James Otto Cermak. He was the beloved husband and best friend of 50 years to Mary Margaret (Peggy) Cermak (nee Gannon) and loving father of Elizabeth Marie Cermak Hugenberg (Todd) and Christine Louise Cermak Fisher. He was the proud grandfather to Ashton Cermak Fisher, William James Fisher, Natalie Elizabeth Hugenberg and Benjamin Briggs Hugenberg. Bill attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute A Course in high school. He earned a B.S. in Physics at Bucknell University and an M.B.A. at the University of Maryland. Bill started working at IBM as a sales representative in 1965 and met his future wife. They married in 1968 and lived in Towson, Maryland for 34 years. Bill worked at IBM for 35 years and spent his last 18 years covering the Social Security Administration as a Senior Sales Representative. He retired at the age of 61. For the last 16 years, Bill and Peggy split their time between Ocean City and Naples, Fla. They enjoyed their time playing golf at Ocean City Golf Club and Foxfire Golf and Country Club in Naples. They belonged to the Dunes Club in Ocean City and participated in the Naples Council of World Affairs. Bill served as president of the Ocean Hideaway Condominium Association (Ocean City) for the last 18 years and served over 10 years in various positions at Foxfire Country Club (Naples), including eight years on the Foxfire Board of Directors with his last year as president.

Family and friends may pay their respects at Bill’s Celebration of Life at Holy Savior Catholic Church in Ocean City at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2019. A reception will follow at the Captain’s Table restaurant. The family asks that all guests planning to attend the reception RSVP to bill.cermak1939@gmail.com.

Donations in memory of Bill Cermak can be made to the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Foundation Inc (Technology Fund) at 1400 West Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, Md. 21209 or St. Matthew’s House at 2001 Airport Road South, Naples, Fla. 34112.

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Joseph John Casey

BERLIN — Joseph John Casey, 87, of Berlin and formally of Bowie, Md., passed away peacefully at home on April 15, 2019.

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Joseph John Casey

After graduating high school in Wilkes Barre, Joe joined the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Later he worked at IBM for over 34 years, retiring in 1992. During that time, he worked at Goddard Space Flight Center as part of the first lunar landing. Joe was an avid piano player who loved playing for his family and friends while they sang. In his free time, he enjoyed running, bowling, golf and tap dance. As a father, Joe was a youth sports coach with the Bowie Boys and Girls Club, active in his community church as well as a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was an enthusiastic sports fan and enjoyed watching soccer, baseball and football.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Loretta Claire Nealis Casey of Wilkes Barre, Pa.; mother, Anna Veronica Coulter Casey; father, Joseph John Casey Sr. of Sugar Notch, Pa.; brother, Arthur Bernard Casey of New Fairfield, Conn.; and sister, Mary Teresa Casey of Sugar Notch, Pa.

He is survived by his second wife,, Gertrude Leshko Casey; children, Joseph Patrick (Sylvia), Shelia Casey Bieler (Jay) and Gavin Michael (Diane); and grandchildren, Matthew and Daniel Bieler, Faelyn and Keagan Casey. Joe is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.

A prayer service and burial will take place May 3 at 11:30 a.m. at Crownsville Memorial Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will follow from 1-3 p.m. at Knights of Columbus in Bowie.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the National Hospice Foundation, P.O. Box 824401, Philadelphia, Pa. 19182-4401.

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Alan Clark Edmonds

OCEAN CITY — Alan Clark Edmonds was born Feb. 17, 1962 in Kansas City, Kan. and died April 13, 2019 outside Wilmington, Del.

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Alan Clark Edmonds

He spent his time between Wilmington, Del. and Ocean City. His death was unanticipated.

He was the son of the late Elaine Edmonds, Melva Edmonds (stepmother) and Thomas Edmonds. Thomas was a racing fan who bestowed on his son an equal affection for racing and a monogram worthy of a driver – ACE. Alan looked forward to the Indianapolis 500 at least as much as Christmas and attended the race a dozen times or more.

Alan was an information systems consultant for 30 years following his graduation from the University of Arkansas. His professional engagements ranged from a small bank in Victoria, Texas to CSC Consulting, Software AG and most recently Axalta. He came into the field as mainframe computers gave way to ubiquitous, networked computers and participated in designing solutions for governments and some of the world’s most well-known corporations.

He had many absorbing interests throughout his life. A natural drummer, he became the youngest member admitted to the Kansas City Musicians Union (up to that time) and had his own swing band at age 13. He was a complete space junkie and master of Apollo era minutiae. He was an avid hockey fan, and sometime goalie in the Wilmington pick-up game community. Alan loved golf and frankly was better at it than hockey. He also enjoyed umpiring for the Brandywine Youth Club. Alan was an excellent skier and enjoyed vacations in the mountains of Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. He loved fishing and boating around the back bays of Ocean City and looked forward to watching the Ocean City Air Show every year. His creative pursuits included art, music and cooking and he was a gifted photographer with an eye for composition.

Alan Edmonds was far more interesting than can be captured on a page. He was deeply loved by many near and far. Those that will miss him dearly include his partner for the last 11 years of his life, Maggie McConnell (Ocean City) and her children Megan McConnell and Christopher McConnell (Ocean City), his estranged wife Mary Edmonds (Eau Claire, Wis.) and their children Jon Edmonds, Mikela Edmonds (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Jaclyn Edmonds (Milwaukee, Wis.) and his adored sister, Valerie Edmonds (Brooklyn, N.Y.).

A celebration of life is planned for a later date.

Services handled by Mealey Funeral Homes.

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Barbara Anne Dolan

OCEAN CITY — Barbara Anne Dolan, age 75, of Ocean City (formerly of Rockville) passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, Md.

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Barbara Anne Dolan

She was the devoted wife of the late Joseph F. Dolan, beloved mother of Lisa Bontemps (Gregory) and David “Scott” Rippy (Breina) and loving grandmother of Chase and Kayla Bontemps and Victoria and Zander Rippy. She is also survived by her sisters, Betty Eiser (Vincent) and Faith Keyser (Donald); brother John S. Henderson, Jr. (Anne); and her nieces and nephews, Robyn Davis, Marcus Underwood, Melissa Gilley, Dean, Adam, Kelly and Tyler Henderson and Michelle Keyser.

Born in Fredericksburg, Va. to John S. and Maggie L. (Beach) Henderson. She was a 1961 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, attended a local business school and worked in a variety of interesting jobs throughout her life including as a fashion show coordinator, assistant at the 1964 US Open Golf Tournament, administrative assistant positions in a variety of industries and as a real estate agent. Barbara had a quiet demeanor, a kind heart, and was adored by those who knew her. She was a true warrior with a beautiful soul. Per her wishes there will be no funeral services.

Memorial donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Barbara A. Dolan Memorial Fund at www.giftfunds.stjude.org/barbaradolan, or mail to 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105.

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Jean Greenspan

OCEAN CITY – Jean Greenspan (nee Schutzbank) died April 23, 2019.

She was the wife of the late Harold Greenspan; mother of Claire (the late Abe) Akselrad and Jerry (Debbie) Greenspan; and sister of Samuel (Elaine) Schutzbank and Norman (Syra) Schutzbank. She is also survived by six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Services were held at Joseph Levine & Sons Memorial Chapel in Trevose, Pa. Interment King David Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, 2100 Arch Street, 4th Floor, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103.