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Contact: Rich Weideman, (415) 561-4730
On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 13, 2009 many Golden Gate National Recreation Area Rangers mourned at the Fort Mason headquarters building after hearing news that General Superintendent, Brian O'Neill passed away from heart related complications. Brian is considered one of the grand pioneers of the National Park Service. Hundreds of people have been inspired by his leadership in the park which has spanned over 28 years.
"Brian O'Neill was a passionate and dedicated advocate for our National Parks. He served as a magnificent steward of our beloved treasure the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. My colleagues in Congress and I are deeply saddened by his passing, and are grateful for the legacy of natural beauty and cultural heritage he has left for future generations to enjoy."
-Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House
"Brian's efforts set the standard for developing partnerships not only in the National Park Service but with organizations throughout the nation. He had a broad reach, working internationally in this leadership capacity to bring parks, partners and community together."
-Daniel Wenk, Acting Director, National Park Service
"Brian was an icon in the National Park Service, inspiring all of us to work with partners in new and visionary ways."
-Jonathan B. Jarvis, Regional Director, Pacific West Region
"Many people saw Brian as a Park Maker and the Golden Gate National Parks constitute his masterpiece. Everywhere you turn in this national park-Crissy Field, Alcatraz, Fort Baker, the Presidio, and more-we see his amazing handiwork. But he was much more than a park maker; he really was, at the core, a Community Builder."
-Greg Moore, Executive Director, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
In celebration of Brian's amazing and enduring legacy at the Golden Gate National Parks, a special fund has been established in his honor. This fund will sustain his incredible legacy in an enduring way by supporting park programs and projects that were special to Brian-and that speak to the value of these parks for future generations.
In lieu of flowers or other tributes, Brian's family has asked that donations be directed to: The Brian O'Neill Parks Forever Fund, more information is provided at www.parksconservancy.org. (Click on Celebrate Brian's Life with Your Memories)
The details and schedule for the celebration of Brian's life will be posted on www.parksconservancy.org