Deceased October 1, 2006
Brian Mullany of Yarmouth, Maine, died peacefully of complications from a rare blood and liver disease at Maine Medical Center on Oct. 1, 2006, with his family by his side. Although Brian eventually graduated with the Class of 1973, as an alumnus he remained officially a member of the Class of 1968, and we are honored to claim him.
Brian is survived by his wife, Jane, to whom he was married for 38 years; his daughter, Elizabeth of Portland, Maine, and her fiancée, Matthew Parker, of Portland; his son, Cullen, and his girlfriend, Sherri Smith, of Bozeman, Mont.; his two brothers, Richard and sister-in-law Nancy of Waitsfield, Vt., and Robert and sister-in-law Lynne of Naperville, Ill.; his sister Patricia, of Phoenix, Ariz.; and his mother, Eileen A. Mullany. Brian also leaves a niece Kate and her husband Jason Brooks of Lakewood, Colo.; nephews David of Waitsfield, Vt., and B. J. of Chicago, Ill.; and niece Kelly of Naperville, Ill.; and Grace Patterson, mother-in-law, of Yarmouth, Maine. Brian also leaves countless friends, many of whom often gathered with him and his family on their front lawn for the annual Yarmouth Clam Festival parade party in Yarmouth, where Brian and Jane lived for more than 31 years.
Born in Northampton, Mass., on July 28, 1945, Brian was the eldest son of Eileen and the late Robert A. Mullany. He graduated from Westfield High School in 1963 and spent a post-graduate year at Deerfield Academy before coming to Amherst.
Brian left during Christmas break our sophomore year and joined the U.S. Coast Guard, serving four years on patrol cutters and at life-saving stations in Florida and Massachusetts. One of his duties was to take care of the Chatham lighthouse on Cape Cod, a great assignment for a young man from Massachusetts, but Brian was proudest of his work in search and rescue, especially when called to help a fisherman or lobsterman. After his service, Brian returned to Amherst and graduated in 1973.
In Portland, Brian worked with the Canal Bank Trust Department and then with Consumers Water Company, where for 23 years he specialized in employee, investor and stockholder relations and regulatory matters. In 1996, he joined W. P. Stewart Asset Management, continuing his work in stockholder and investor relations until his retirement. Brian often joked that his entire professional career was located within a two-block area in Portland, Maine.
Brian’s interests included fly-fishing on the Maine coast and in the rivers of Maine and Montana. His winters at his family camp were filled with family, friends, fun and keeping the pipes from freezing. He took up skiing and became an enthusiastic supporter of youth racing while his son Cullen was competing on the downhill circuit. He was an avid reader who loved blues and jazz music. In private, he also enjoyed dancing. He had a keen interest in how the world worked and how it didn’t; any conversation with Brian was enlightening.
Brian served on the boards of Casco Bay Youth Hockey, Yarmouth Little League, Yarmouth Ski Club and the University of Southern Maine School of Business Advisory Council. He also was proud to have served Opportunity Farm for more than 20 years, including a three-year stint as chair of its Board from 1997 – 1999.
Brian’s dry wit and self-effacing manner immediately attracted friends. He played freshman football and was an outstanding athlete, but what set him apart were his skills on the hockey rink. My earliest memory of Brian was the first day of practice for the freshman hockey team. It was clear from the moment we stepped on the ice that Brian was the most skilled player and would be the team’s star. John Potter ’68 remembers Brian not only from playing hockey together at Amherst but also from their days as all-state hockey players on rival high school teams in western Massachusetts. John remembers Brian as being a fierce competitor on the hockey rink but gentle off the ice.
Rob Sherman ’68 reminded me of the opening minute of our first freshman game against Williams: Brian controlled the opening face-off and put a perfect pass on the stick of Grant Hawthorne ’68, who cut between the two Williams defensemen and scored at the six-second mark. None of us could remember a faster goal to start a hockey game. Later in that same shift, Brian scored, and Amherst was ahead two to nothing in the first minute of the game. That was my favorite shift on defense the whole year, watching our line control the puck. John and Rob were paired with Brian on the first line on the varsity during the start of our sophomore year until Brian left during Christmas break.
Brian always had a positive energy about him, and I was proud to call him my friend. We will miss him.
Chip Ahrens ’68