Richard O'Brien, longtime Baltimore area brokerage manager, dies

Richard O’Brien, former branch manager of the Hunt Valley investment firm of Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas Inc. and also a farmer, died Feb. 18 from pulmonary fibrosis at his home in Stewartstown, Pa. He was 81.

He was the son of Walter O’Brien, a salesman for the Eckels Ice Cream & Dairy Co., manufacturers of Sunny Brook Ice Cream, and Clara O’Brien, a homemaker.

He was born in Baltimore and raised in Parkville.

He graduated from Towson High School in 1954, then attended the University of Maryland, College Park.

Mr. O’Brien began his investment career in 1957 when he joined Ferris Baker Watts Inc. as a trader.

He later became a general partner with the Baltimore investment firm, and remained there until 1977, when he went to work for Paine Webber.

In 1986, he left Paine Webber and established the Hunt Valley branch office of the Washington firm of Folger Nolan. His work there entailed trading, underwriting, credit research and some institutional sales.

He retired in 2013.

Mr. O’Brien was a charter member, past president and board member of the Municipal Bond Club of Baltimore, which was founded in 1967. He also had been an active member of the MidAtlantic Security Traders Association.

For years, he lived at Fox Gait Farm in Monkton; he moved in 1981 to a larger farm in White Hall, which he also called Fox Gait. There, he raised horses, lambs and dairy goats. He moved to Stewartstown in 2015.

“He’d sell his lamb to those who worked in the financial business when his office was in the World Trade Center. They were always calling wondering when Dick would have lamb to sell,” said his wife of 52 years, the former Annette Novier.

Mr. O’Brien was a recognizable figure at livestock shows and fairs, and was active in the 4-H locally and in Pennsylvania as a club leader and committee member.

He also was an accomplished woodworker who made furniture and model barns for his grandchildren, his wife said.

Mr. O’Brien was a 52-year member of St. James Episcopal Church, 310 Monkton Road, where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. April 6.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, John Richard O’Brien II of Monkton; a daughter, Lisa Lang of Glen Rock, Pa.; a brother, Keith O’Brien of Millington, Del.; and four grandchildren.

--Frederick N. Rasmussen

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