Lately Donal “Don” O’Brien III died peacefully, surrounded by his household, on November 24, 2022, after a brave 10-year battle with a progressive neurological sickness. As a former board member, Don was all the time one of many Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation’s best supporters and was instrumental in making the Refuge Affiliation a much more efficient and highly effective group. We owe a lot to Don for what he completed for the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge System and our work for it. You may learn extra and ship condolences by means of his on-line obituary right here or go away a remark beneath.
Some 5 years in the past I had the privilege of starting to work with a kind of uncommon individuals who really make a constructive and chronic influence on one’s life. Fellow Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation board member Donal (Don) O’Brien’s apparent love, ardour, and dedication to nature, wildlife, and its habitat have been each unmistakable and infectious. At the moment a neurological sickness had begun to influence Don’s potential to talk, although to not assume or write. Such an obstacle would have dulled the fervour of a lesser man, however Don’s unshakeable braveness and fierce willpower permitted him to stay a passionate and constructive drive for the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation and, in flip, for the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge System that it helps.
Don’s tenure with the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation spanned a interval of sixteen years from his board election in early 2005. He served as its chair from 2008-12, was re-elected to board membership in mid-2015, and served one other two three-year phrases by means of mid-2021. His involvement and dedication prolonged to service on many board committees together with Nominating, Company Improvement, Environmental Schooling, Buddies, Advocacy, Human Sources, Strategic Planning, and Govt, to every of which he gave his time and knowledge. Throughout his board tenure, Don was instrumental in diversifying its membership to incorporate representatives from the enterprise and monetary communities in addition to from minority populations. On the similar time, he succeeded in growing not solely the Refuge Affiliation’s endowment but in addition its public profile. And all of those achievements have been completed with the modesty and quiet management so attribute of Don.
In recognition of his achievements, the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation board established an endowment in 2015 to help “The O’Brien Prize”. The prize is awarded yearly and competitively to Refuge Buddies teams: volunteers who act as supporters, advocates, and ambassadors for his or her native nationwide wildlife refuge.
On behalf of your complete Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation board and employees, please be a part of me in extending to Don’s household our heartfelt sympathy and prayerful needs for his latest passing.
Michael J. Baldwin
Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation