In and Around Morningside-Skyline 
by Mary McHale 301-735-3451

Brian McHale, McNamara ‘75, engineer and musician, dies at 58

My son Brian died of brain cancer on April 11 at his home in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Last week my family and I traveled there to attend his funeral at St. Mary’s Church.

He was born Brian Kennedy McHale on August 25, 1957, in Mill Valley, Calif., and moved to Skyline at the age of 10 months when his dad, John McHale, was transferred to FBI Headquarters in Washington.

The fifth of seven children, he grew up in a busy household, and started school at Irene Smith’s Morningside Co-op Kindergarten, at the old Town Hall. He went on to St. Philip’s School, where he was an altarboy. He played softball for the Morningside Recreation Council, coached by his dad, and basketball with the Camp Springs Boys’ Club. He was a Scout with Troop 282, at Bells U. M. Church.

Brian attended Bishop McNamara High School where he was captain of the track and cross-country teams.

His first job was helping clear the grounds of Mount Airy, the Upper Marlboro manor built by the Calvert family in 1725 and then due for renovation. He got his first paycheck—and poison ivy. The following summers he worked the snack bar at Andrews Officers’ Club swimming pool.

After graduation in 1975, he headed off to the University of Notre Dame, earned a degree in electrical engineering and went to work for Boeing. His first assignment was in Wichita. Later transfers took him to Philadelphia, Patuxent River NAS, Edwards AFB and finally Fort Walton Beach, as an avionics engineer for the V-22 Osprey. He retired in June 2015, with 35 years’ service.

Brian was always involved with music, beginning with school bands. Later, he performed with other bands, sang with or directed choirs at several churches, and did gigs at local pubs. He never went anywhere without a guitar. He also composed music, including The Mass of St. Malachy, which was sung beautifully by the choir at his funeral.

His father died in 2004. Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Carol; siblings, Kathleen, Mike, Therese, John, Elaine and Sheila; a host of nieces and nephews, and about a dozen guitars.

He also leaves me, his mom, without her favorite rival at Scrabble.


Donald Thompson, grandson of former Skyline residents Corbin and Bobbie Thompson, and son of Roy and Patty Thompson, will graduate from UMBC in information systems and history. He has a job waiting for him at NASA.

I have three grandchildren graduating this spring: Leah, from Towson University, and Claire, from Eleanor Roosevelt High School, daughters of Sheila and John Mudd of Laurel; and Rose, from Adelphi University, daughter of Elaine and Luke Seidman, of Crownsville.

Call or email me at with information about the graduates in your family.

Changing landscape

County officials gathered April 20 to celebrate the new Dave & Buster’s at the Ritchie Station Marketplace. It opened to the public on April 25.

The County Planning Board has approved $300,000 worth of grants for 13 properties in Prince George’s to be rehabilitated and restored. Among them: St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Leeland, Upper Marlboro; Epiphany Episcopal Church, Forestville; Chapel of the Incarnation, Brandywine; Wagner House, Accokeek; Brookfield of the Berrys, Upper Marlboro, and Cheltenham United Methodist Church.

According to a Washington Post story, “there are more than 550 million blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay, an increase of more than a third over this time last year and one of the highest counts of the past two decades.” I’m already planning a crab feast.

Coming up

May 14—The Surratt Society offers “Chillin’ While Colored: 19th-Century African American Places of Leisure,” with Patsy Fletcher of the Historic Preservation Division for the District of Columbia. The presentation is free, and begins at 4 p.m. The Surratt House is at 9118 Brandywine Road in Clinton. For information, call 301-868-1121.


Happy birthday to Dorothy Lipka and Morningside Councilman Todd Mullins, April 30; Kathryn Deaver, Ann Lacey, Ernestine Taylor Wood, Dante Ross Jr. and Janet Booth Kaye, May 2; my daughter Sheila (McHale) Mudd and Lori Williams, May 3; India Goodall and Ruby Haines, May 4; Donald Young, Jim Henderson and Marlyn Meoli, May 5; Elsie Dent and Gretchen Ennis, May 6; Dwight Holloway Jr., May 7; Florine Clark, May 8; Brandi Jeter and Buddy Ramsey, May 9; Gladys Locks, Shirley Eppard and Elijah Thomas, May 10; Virginia Stine and Carolyn Flaherty Fogle, May 11; and Kyle Dameron, May 12.

Gov. Larry Hogan issued a proclamation declaring May 6 as Fallen Heroes Day in Maryland. Flags will be flown at half-staff at the State House and all state facilities. Fallen Heroes Day honors police, firefighters, and others who risk their lives protecting us.


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by Audrey Johnson 301 888 2153  


Celebrate with dad, husband and significant other Saturday, June 18, 2016 from 6:00 PM-8:00 PM. You will enjoy Jazz Music featuring vocalist Anita King and friends at Family Life Center New Hope Fellowship parish 15601 Brooks Church Road, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772. Rev. Constance Smith is our Pastor. Donation is $35.00. There will be door prizes. hors d’oeuvres and punch will be served. Tickets available:, Church Office (301) 888-2171 or Dottymae (301) 372-8986.


Please join Delegate Susie Proctor Public Community Meeting Tuesday May 10, 2016 from 7:00 PM–9:00 PM at Gwynn Park Middle School Cafeteria 8000 Dyson Road, Brandywine, Maryland 20613.

Come and meet Ronnie Gathers, director Prince George’s County Parks and Staff. Get updates on the Southern Area Aquatic & Recreation Complex (SAARC). There will be questions and input from the community. Councilman Mel Franklin and delegates from District 26, 27 A, 27B and 28 have been invited.


M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County offers year round fun for children, youth, and teens. Day camps, pre-school programs, after-school programs, Xtreme Teens programs, sports programs, nature programs, arts programs and many more. Call 301-699-2255, TTY 301-699-2544 for more information.


Join Ms. Jonnetta for a fun evening of dance, shake, spin and shuffle. If you are just learning, need to brush up on favorite steps, or want to learn new ones. line dancing is great fun and exercise offered on Wednesdays $7 class drop-in-fee anytime. Line Dance is offered May 11–June 15 $40/$48 (1645645), June 22–July 27 $40/$52 (1650992 and August 3–September 7 (1650993). Thursday make up day at 7:00 PM. The address is Baden Community Center 13601 Baden-Westwood Road, Brandywine, Maryland 20613. Telephone number is 301-888-1500 TTY 301-203-6030 or


Happy birthday to Renata Contee, Elandra Dorsey, Jackie Gibson, Jina Jackson, Andrienne Johnson. John Johnson, Linda Johnson, Dorothy Magruder, Angelique Mcalpine-Gilliard, Emily Newman, Alvin Pinkney, Hattie Shivers, Shenell Tolson, Maxine Wallace, Patricia Washington and Chantel Wright who are celebrating their birthdays in May.


Quartermasters Racing Team presents a car show (cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles) and a day of fun, good food and music Sunday, July 17, 2016. The location is 20605 Aquasco Road, Aquasco, Maryland in the large field next to Adam’s Funeral Home. Registration is 9:00 AM-12 noon.

Entry fee is $20 for car, driver and one passenger. Spectators fee is $5.00. For more information, contact (301) 653-6710 or (301) 633-3536. Not responsible for any liability issues or damages while on premises. No alcohol, drugs, pets or glass containers.

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