In Loving Memory of Hugh O’Brian

HughBW-238x3001I do NOT believe we are all born equal — CREATED equal in the eyes of God, YES — but physical and emotional differences, parental guidance, varying environments, being in the right place at the right time, all play a role in enhancing or limiting an individual’s development. But I DO believe every man and woman, if given the opportunity and encouragement to recognize his or her own potential, regardless of background, has the Freedom To Choose in our world.  Will an individual be a taker or a giver in life? Will that person be satisfied merely to exist, or seek a meaningful purpose? Will he or she dare to dream the impossible dream?~ Hugh O’Brian | April 19, 1925 ~ September 5, 2016

Today our whole HOBY family mourns the loss of our founder and inspiration, Hugh O’Brian. It’s impossible to put a number on the amount of lives Hugh has touched – but we can certainly say anyone who participated in HOBY, including all 470,000 of our alumni, tens of thousands of volunteers, and many staff are better people because of him.  Hugh literally motivated generations of people around the world.  His ripple effect of change, inspiration and leadership will be felt for generations to come.  He believed in all of us and we are all the better for it. Hugh O’Brian was simply OUTSTANDING.

Hugh O’Brian Obituary

Hugh O’Brian, famed for his role as television’s Wyatt Earp in “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” from 1955-1961, passed away the morning of September 5, 2016, at the age 91. He will forever be remembered as a man of great success both on and off the camera.

Hugh O’Brian’s acting career began inadvertently in 1947 while attending a performance of Somerset Maugham’s play “Home and Beauty.” The leading actor fell ill and O’Brian agreed to take his place on stage. Inspired by great reviews, he decided to pursue a career on stage, which led to his first contract with Universal Studios.

After three years, O’Brian left Universal to guest star in numerous television shows and films such as “Broken Lance” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” His breakthrough came in 1955 when he was chosen to portray lawman Wyatt Earp in “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.” O’Brian’s charisma and talent brought the oversized-pistol toting lawman to life and launched the show to seven consecutive appearances in the nation’s top ten most watched television list.

O’Brian continued to appear in countless on-screen and Broadway projects. On television, he made guest appearances in series such as “Fantasy Island,” “The Love Boat,” and “Charlie’s Angels.” On Broadway, he starred in “Destry Rides Again,” “First Love,” and “The Odd Couple.” O’Brian’s major film career lasted for decades, including his 1976 appearance in “The Shootist,” which was John Wayne’s final film, the 1988 appearance in “Twins” costarring alongside Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger and his 1994 cameo appearance in “Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone.”

At the peak of his acting career, O’Brian journeyed to Africa to spend nine days with Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize Winner. Dr. Schweitzer instilled in him a simple belief: “the most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves.” Before O’Brian left Africa, Dr. Schweitzer grabbed his hand and asked him, “What are you going to do with all of this?”

O’Brian returned to the United States resolved to put Dr. Schweitzer’s words into action, and he founded Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) in 1958. He imagined a non-profit organization rooted with the mission to inspire a global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation.

For 58 years, HOBY has helped to cultivate tomorrow’s leaders. To date, over 470,000 alumni have participated in its various programs. These programs annually provide more than 12,000 local and international high school students with opportunities to participate in unique leadership training, service learning, and motivation-building experiences.

“I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose: to share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love,” Hugh O’Brian once said.

Hugh O’Brian was born Hugh Charles Krampe on April 19, 1925, in Rochester, New York, to United States Marine Corps officer Hugh John Krampe and his wife, Edith. Growing up, O’Brian attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, and Kemper Military School in Booneville, Missouri, where he was a multi-sport star in football, basketball, wrestling, and track.

After graduating high school, O’Brian enrolled at the University of Cincinnati to pursue a career in law. After only one semester, at the age of 17, he left the University and enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II, where he then became the youngest drill instructor in the Corps’ history. On June 25, 2006, at the age of 81, O’Brian married long-time partner, Virginia Stumpf (Barber).

O’Brian is survived by his loving wife, Virginia O’Brian, his brother Don Krampe and Don’s wife Jean, his sister-in-law Wendy Stumpf Hughes, and seven nieces and nephews as well as an incredible legacy of a life of service, and an organization that will continue his lifelong dream of helping youth reach their potential as leaders.

Contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to the Hugh O’Brian Legacy Fund, a fund created with Hugh’s and Virginia’s input and support. The Hugh O’Brian Legacy Fund is an endowment with the goal of providing support for students to participate in any HOBY program.

Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) Statement

Hugh O’Brian passed away peacefully this morning at his home in Beverly Hills.

Hugh’s belief in the potential of every human being and his commitment to helping the youth of the world become major contributors to society is his lasting legacy. He founded Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) in 1958 based on that belief and today more than 470,000 HOBY alumni are better people, making a difference in the lives of others, thanks to the vision and passion of Hugh O’Brian. While the entertainment industry has lost one of its own and the baby boomers have lost their Wyatt Earp, we will remember Hugh as a person who dedicated his life to inspiring a global community of youth and volunteers committed to leadership, service and innovation. Hugh’s impact on young leaders and on the world cannot be understated.  Like the legendary lawman he was so proud of playing, Hugh was a hero. He was our hero and we will miss him very much.

Please feel free to leave a message or memory in the comments below or, on our facebook page. We will keep them up for friends and family to read.  #HughOBrian

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  • Robin Garfield

    It is sad to say good-bye to a legend such as Hugh. He has touched my life first as a 15 year old, and again when I worked for him at HOBY in 2004. He has truly not only touched my life, but changed the world with his vision and dream. I feel blessed to have known him. May the millions of memories and the gift of HOBY that you gave the world keep your legacy alive.

  • Harold D. Flouhouse

    HOBY WV 1984 – Changed me forever.

  • Richard Sayer

    I was honored to serve as an adult counselor in Northern California, and as the Corporate Board President for HOBY Colorado back in the late 1990’s. Mr. HOBY was a genuine force of nature with a passion for helping to develop many of the best leaders of our times. Thank you, Hugh, for allowing us the opportunity to serve with you!

  • Buddy Parker

    I remember as a child asking my mother if I drank my milk would I grow up to be like Wyatt Earp? I was very young, yet my, isn’t it interesting the good influence one can have through the medium then. We need those heroes even more so today. God bless.

  • rowby

    Certainly a great man. Condolences to Virginia, his family, and those youth who found a way to a better life through his vision. …Rowby

  • Carter

    HOBY Kansas 1986 opened my eyes to my leadership potential and the fact that leadership was much more than the “rah rah” outward expressionism that I, as an athlete at the time, thought leadership encompassed. It helped inspire me to broaden my horizons and goals and I attended West Point and Stanford, served 20 years as an Army officer, and have become a leader in the space industry — all thanks in no small part to one week in Lawrence, KS during the summer of 1986. Thank you and RIP Hugh!

  • Lee Folsom

    HOBY – GA – 1987 – Thankful to have met such a caring and awesome man. Cherish his memory.

  • Valerie Lattimore

    I had the opportunity to meet Mr. O’Brian, at The George Washington University, where many of his HOBY Leadership Conferences we held! He was truly dedicated to his cause. A most gracious man! Secondly, to meet the star of one of my favorite childhood TV programs was an added bonus. Rest In Paradise Mr. O’Brian.

  • Christine Ramos Loureiro

    HOBY NY 1995 engrained an everlasting understanding of the need for leadership and service. The values I learned helped me to believe in my “outstanding” potential. Thank you HOBY and Mr. O’Brian.

  • Steve Vrooman
  • Jennifer

    I attended HOBY at Hofstra University when I was in 10th grade (1988). What a special gift, I still remember it with fondness. RIP, the world is a better place as a result of your generosity and inspiration. Thank you for the opportunity to attend and better myself and others.

    • Jay Weisburd

      I helped organize that one for Kiwanis…and was a speaker that year.

    • Robin Garfield

      I was also at Hofstra, 1988! I actually wound up going to Hofstra for College.

  • Tony C

    Sadness… I cannot tell you what lead two of my high school teachers to encourage me to apply, what gave me the gumption to do so or why I was chosen to be the sole representative of my high school class to attend the 1992 Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Seminar. One chilly April morning at 5am I boarded a bus, when I arrived, Elmer Frame picked me up and took me to the Super 8 where over the next several hours a dozen would grow to 300+ high school sophomores just like me. Immersed in a culture of carefully crafting every syllable or better yet just not talking at all to avoid the harsh judgement, mockery or social exile that lurked waiting to pounce on the first foolish thing you said, who would blame us for timidity? As that morning stretched to afternoon, we chucked roles of TP to each other in ice breakers, learned chants and cheers that our parents and teachers (and other guests at the Super 8) surely would not approve of and I met people from far off distant lands like Westby, Whitewater, Malta, Saco, Hinsdale, Culbertson, White Sulfur Springs and Butte Central :). Then we were tricked! As we learned about business, politics, global events and social change we learned about the power of one. The change, good or bad, that can come from the action or inaction of one person, a power, burden and responsibility. We learned that we had the “Freedom to Choose” our own path in life but that those paths don’t always have the same starting point or resources. It was somewhere on day 2 I realized that on Monday, in the halls of BHS, there would not be a single other person to recount what I had done or said. It was the realization I had that few teens before or since me have the opportunity to be in an environment where they can truly say anything and be free of any judgement or threat of social exile from teens (and I was guilty as well) readily willing to pounce on any exhibit of individuality, free thought or attempt to exhibit knowledge or learning. I could be me. I felt free, for the first time to express my thoughts, my opinions and my beliefs. And when I returned home that freedom was more important to me than any opinion my peers could have of me for expressing those thoughts, opinions and beliefs. I learned “so what”. The next step was “so what now?”. I returned to HOBY for 10 more years as a counselor and director of alumni. I dedicated myself to service of my campus and community. For 12 years I had the pleasure of working with middle and high school and college students to have a similar experience. The enjoyment and pride of building an experience and seeing empowerment, self confidence, “so what”, and “so what now” motivations come out in the end of those experiences has been amazing. Three times in my life I got to meet “The Marshal”, once at a volunteer training and twice by happenstance in DC while I was working with middle school students or college students and he had hundreds of sophomores on Capitol Hill. I was never under the illusion he would remember my name or face but it sure seemed like he did even on the first meeting. There was always a hug and an extended handshake followed by his intense interest in what you were doing, what you have done and what you want to do. His focus was on you entirely and for the vast majority of his life that was his every day. Hundreds of thousands of high school sophomores had that same single weekend experience that in the smallest to the greatest ways possible had a significant role in their trajectory. The physicality of his embrace, handshake, chuckle and glimmer in his eye when he realized what you had done with his work will be missed but because of his work and it’s impact on us, because of those hundreds of thousands of pebbles all with the freedom to choose what ripples they will make and the dedication of thousands of volunteers committed to carrying out his work his spirit be hard to miss because it is instilled in us, our work and our friendships. Personally, I am at a “What’s next” phase. Weather it is professionally or as a volunteer in some way it will be a continuance of service. Because of Hugh. I’m glad I got to say it in person but thank you! “I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose: to share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love.” –
    Hugh O’Brian.

    • Jay Weisburd

      I can so relate–I was an organizer, motivational speaker, career leadership panelist….and because I was active with Kiwanis KEY Clubs, I got to follow several hundred alumni….it was an exhilarating experience to know one of my TV heroes of the 1950’s–I’m 63—cared about our youth as much as Hugh did….He did remember me and over the years, we got to converse numerous times…I’ll dearly miss him.

  • John Sier

    I experienced HOBY Chicago in 1976. I think of that time often and how it lead to working on Capitol Hill in Washington, travelling overseas as an exchange student and ultimately becoming a lawyer. Hugh O’Brian was much more than an actor, although we never watched Wyatt Earp in the same way again. He did something that changed lives. He didn’t trumpet his involvement; he let the students prove the concept and spread the message. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will do him great honor.

  • Russell Gray

    I can’t begin to tell you about thevery amount of sadness in my heart this evening. From the state conference to two WLC’s to the Australia,New Zealand, and Fiji tour to being his assistant and finally having the honor of being HOBY Daddy for several years in Alaska HOBY and Hugh have been and forever will be one of the positive thrust in my life.

    Rest in Peace my friend.

    RUSSELL M. GRAY
    Director, AF COOL
    HOBY Alumni 97′ MISSISSIPPI

  • Salvatore Aglieri

    HOBY Chicago 1989, volunteer 1990-2005. Single most positive experience in my life! Forever changed.

  • Jay Weisburd

    1984-1999…I helped organize the Long Island/NYC HOBY BBQ’s, served as a motivational speaker/panelist…to see what happened to many of the students I got to know was extremely heartwarming..

  • Frank Gerrish

    Attended 1979 in Atlanta as a representative of Rhode Island. An amazing, life-changing experience. Hugh’s drive and convictions were inspiring in a time whe I needed direction in my life. During that week, we witnessed Hugh star in a theatre production of “The Tender Trap”. It provided me with the motivation to become a professional actor myself. 37 years later; Im still making a living in Film and TV In LA. Hugh was my first role model. I treasure the memory of that week with my comrades, councilors, and Hugh. Forever greatful, RIP Mr. O’Brian.
    Your were OUTSTANDING!
    Frank Gerrish HOBY 1979 Alumni from Rhode Island

    • Lisa Penzotti Balschunat

      Hello Frank, I was a 1979 ILS Ambassador from New York State. Atlanta was amazing, extremely inspiring and absolutely OUTSTANDING. I remember the Tender Trap, the tour to Coca-Cola and posing in front of Stone Mountain with Hugh. Congrats on making it in the film and TV world — that is no small task. Best, Lisa

      • Frank Gerrish

        Hi Lisa! The best to you. So greatful for Hugh and the Foundation.

        • Angela Cutbill

          Hi, Lisa and Frank – just came across your comments and wanted to say hi – I was there from Kansas in 1979! (I’m now in the LA area, too, Frank!) Love seeing other 1979 alumni!

  • EJDuckworth

    Attending HOBY made me realize that I could achieve anything I set my mind to. At an awkward 15 years old, and a bit introverted, the lessons from Hugh and HOBY taught me I had greater self worth and value than I placed on myself, and that I could b capable and confident to aspire to great service. It set the motivation for me to return to my high school to decide to run for and win a class government position and volunteer more. With each door I opened with applying the lessons taught to me by HOBY, Hugh, and Dr. schweitzer,, new opportunities unfolded…. Now I continue, after 26 years of service as an Army officer, many lessons and pieces of advice have come and gone, but in the shoebox where I keep the foundational sayings and writings of my personal leadership philosophy, Hugh and HOBY’s essays from my 1988 seminar remain. This seems like a good time to revisit them and rededicate myself to continuing the ripple effect of Hugh’s legacy. God bless you Hugh, your family, and HOBY.

  • Mary Villalba

    During my tenure as Governor for the Rocky Mountain District of Kiwanis International in 2003 and 2004 I was privileged to meet and get to know Hugh. I swear he had me on speed dial at one point! He generously volunteered to attend our district convention and was a hit with everyone! We worked together on HOBY, which was one of my first service projects in Kiwanis years earlier. There are thousands of individuals whose lives were changed by the indelible impression from their participation in HOBY and I hope that Hugh knew what an impact he had and how many leaders were sent on their way because of his program! We stayed in touch for five or six years after my term, and it was always a pleasure to hear from him! It was an honor to know him and to work with such a creative, unique and dedicated leader!

  • Kevin Huff

    I was an ILS Ambassador from Ohio in 1987. I had the honor of meeting Hugh and getting to know him. Through the years, I have had the opportunity to speak with him personally on a couple of occasions. I was amazed that he had taken pleasure in following my career to some extent through my website, and he graciously endorsed my efforts in promoting oral cancer early detection by allowing me the use of his photograph during my international speaking engagements. He was passionate about getting the message out about oral cancer early detection. When I asked him to use his photo along with a quote I remember him asking, “Now that you have knowledge, what are you going to do with it?” Hugh touch lives well be beyond the countless youth he inspired, including myself. I am a successful dentist, author, and high level continuing education instructor at a world-class institution today largely due to Hugh’s inspiration in my life at a very young age and the confidence in public speaking that I learned traveling around my state speaking about HOBY. Thank you, Hugh! You are missed and love, my friend.

    Kevin Huff, DDS
    Dover, OH
    ILS ’87 Denver

  • Jon Stevens

    My first experience with Hugh O’Brian cam in 1964. My son Jonny (on right) play-acted a scene with him for the local newspaper shown here. Hugh was helping to raise money for the Children’s Speech and Hearing Center, in Van Nuys, CA. The event helped further the Center’s work.The memory made my son so happy, it was all he talked about for weeks. My son passed over as a young man. I sure Jonny and Hugh are laughing in heaven.

  • My first experience with Hugh O’Brian was in 1964.

  • My first experience with Hugh O’Brian was in 1964. My son Jonny (on right) was play-acting with Hugh for the local newspaper. The event benefitted the Children’s Speech and Hearing Center in Van Nuys, CA and helped promote the Center’s work. My son Jonny passed over as a young man. I’m sure the two of them are laughing in heaven.

  • Kathleen Phelan

    I had the pleasure of Meeting Mr. O’Brian When he came to a GFWC Regional/International Convention in Boston many years ago. He was incredibly generous with his time. I will always remember that time. My sympathies to his family, friends, and colleagues, and of course to the great organization.

  • Lisa Penzotti Balschunat

    I met Hugh O’Brian in 1979 at the International Leadership Seminar in Atlanta. As a 15-year-old student leader, I quickly learned that a positive mental attitude makes a difference. I learned that dreaming the impossible can become possible. I am grateful that Hugh met Dr. Albert Schweitzer so many moons ago. Schweitzer inspired Hugh so much that he returned from Africa and created a youth leadership foundation, that over the course of 30 years, has sparked hundreds of thousands of young minds to be compassionate, to dream big, and to value our freedom to choose. Until our roads come together again, Hugh, rest in peace.

  • bj10

    At the Alumni Convention in Chicago in 1991(?), Hugh looked so tired after speaking one evening. I told him he needed to get some rest. He replied, “I’ll get plenty of rest when I’m dead.” Rest in peace, Hugh. :'( You made such a difference in my life.

  • Marshall Hatch

    I represented Illinois, attending the HB Youth Foundation in 1974 in Washington, DC. It changed my life forever! I was fourteen, an inner city high school sophomore, and resident of Jane Addams public housing. I’ve tried to thank Mr O’Brian everyday by living a life of service. His gift to me was priceless! RIP.

  • Kandy Crowe

    I had no idea he was such a wonderful humanitarian. We need more like him and fewer of those only out for themselves.

  • Brian Kane

    I was honored to represent North Dakota at the 1982 ILS in Chicago. It was a life-changing experience that inspired me to aim higher, dream bigger and expect more of myself. It opened my eyes for the first time – and forever – to the richness of diverse people, ideas and discovery that make life wonderful. Thank you, Hugh, for leaving such an incredible and important legacy.

  • Tony C

    I cannot tell you what lead two of my high school teachers to encourage me to apply, what gave me the gumption to do so or why I was chosen to be the sole representative of my high school class to attend the 1992 Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Seminar. One chilly April morning at 5am I boarded a bus, when I arrived, Elmer Frame picked me up and took me to the Super 8 where over the next several hours a dozen would grow to 300+ high school sophomores just like me. Immersed in a culture of carefully crafting every syllable or better yet just not talking at all to avoid the harsh judgement, mockery or social exile that lurked waiting to pounce on the first foolish thing you said, who would blame us for timidity? As that morning stretched to afternoon, we chucked roles of TP to each other in ice breakers, learned chants and cheers that our parents and teachers (and other guests at the Super 8) surely would not approve of and I met people from far off distant lands like Westby, Whitewater, Malta, Saco, Hinsdale, Culbertson, White Sulfur Springs and Butte Central :). Then we were tricked! As we learned about business, politics, global events and social change we learned about the power of one. The change, good or bad, that can come from the action or inaction of one person, a power, burden and responsibility. We learned that we had the “Freedom to Choose” our own path in life but that those paths don’t always have the same starting point or resources. It was somewhere on day 2 I realized that on Monday, in the halls of BHS, there would not be a single other person to recount what I had done or said. It was the realization I had that few teens before or since me have the opportunity to be in an environment where they can truly say anything and be free of any judgement or threat of social exile from teens (and I was guilty as well) readily willing to pounce on any exhibit of individuality, free thought or attempt to exhibit knowledge or learning. I could be me. I felt free, for the first time to express my thoughts, my opinions and my beliefs. And when I returned home that freedom was more important to me than any opinion my peers could have of me for expressing those thoughts, opinions and beliefs. I learned “so what”. The next step was “so what now?”. I returned to HOBY for 10 more years as a counselor and director of alumni. I dedicated myself to service of my campus and community. For 12 years I had the pleasure of working with middle and high school and college students to have a similar experience. The enjoyment and pride of building an experience and seeing empowerment, self confidence, “so what”, and “so what now” motivations come out in the end of those experiences has been amazing. Three times in my life I got to meet “The Marshal”, once at a volunteer training and twice by happenstance in DC while I was working with middle school students or college students and he had hundreds of sophomores on Capitol Hill. I was never under the illusion he would remember my name or face but it sure seemed like he did even on the first meeting. There was always a hug and an extended handshake followed by his intense interest in what you were doing, what you have done and what you want to do. His focus was on you entirely and for the vast majority of his life that was his every day. Hundreds of thousands of high school sophomores had that same single weekend experience that in the smallest to the greatest ways possible had a significant role in their trajectory. The physicality of his embrace, handshake, chuckle and glimmer in his eye when he realized what you had done with his work will be missed but because of his work and it’s impact on us, because of those hundreds of thousands of pebbles all with the freedom to choose what ripples they will make and the dedication of thousands of volunteers committed to carrying out his work his spirit be hard to miss because it is instilled in us, our work and our friendships. Personally, I am at a “What’s next” phase. Weather it is professionally or as a volunteer in some way it will be a continuance of service. Because of Hugh. I’m glad I got to say it in person but thank you! “I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose: to share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love.” –
    Hugh O’Brian.

  • WellendowedPAUL

    “OUTSTANDING” is the word I will never forget. THAT DESCRIBES MR HOBY himself: HUGH O’BRIAN. This comment will be lengthy so I apologize. We all just lost a great man! Last Monday, I happened to log onto BING.COM, and lo-and-behold, SHOCK! I cried, and ran up the stairway from basement, to tell my mother! It was like a close relative had died. Hugh O’Brian passed away Monday morning, last September 5, 2016. (Surprised that TV news, at least here in NY, had NOTHING about him passing away, only on internet). We were acquaintances since 1988; I first encountered Mr. O’Brian (aka Krampke) in 1988 during the Presidential election (which I was VIP and handled the Videotaping and photography for the campaign, and was VIP in the VP’s motorcade), while residing in California. During this time frame, I saw him couple times, as we both were at the Century Plaza in Los Angeles, in November 1988, at a private Victory party, alongside actor Billy Barty, Philip McKeon (actor and brother to Nancy), Hollywood Mayor Johnny Grant, Paramount producer A.C. Lyles, Dan Lundgren of California, etc. Which I had a photo taken of all of us as a group. The following year, our paths crossed once again in May 1989, as I was asked to videotape the 3-day weekend of HOBY organization at Pepperdine University in Malibu (After I had just been away for 2 weeks overseas in Australia -driven down the coast in 7 days- and then to Japan and Singapore, flew back through Dallas TX, to L.A. CALIFORNIA, to prepare for this HOBY weekend, day right afterwards!), and of which I had the pleasure of directing Hugh (as he preferred to be called instead of being formal, but I always called him “Mister O’Brian” as that is the way I was raised) for a 5-minute introductory video, as he inquired “What should I do/say?” And I explained how I would direct the segment and told him what he should say. I stayed up all through the night, editing 18 hours of footage I videotaped all weekend, all 3 days, into 30 minutes, for the closing ceremony on that Sunday at 3 PM in the afternoon, just completing the project in time. During the years, I purchased items, such as his movies and appearances on TV. I was always hoping to have them autographed but never did. Years afterwards, I was residing in New York once again, and was taking a sojurn to California for 2 weeks in December 2006, at which time, when I arrived, I telephoned HOBY organization, as I had copies of outtakes and copy of the 30-minute program now on DVD (back in 1989, there was only VHS videotape, which he possessed that type of copy which I had given him), but wanted to present a DVD now instead. I left a message with woman at HOBY. To my surprise, Hugh telephoned me back on my cellphone, invited me to his house in the Hills. Once there, we spent 90-minutes conversing, having soup his wife Virginia had made, he had me sit on a wooden table made from a bridge in China, had two photos taken, walked around the backyard, my mother was able to converse on the phone with him, AND I washed the dishes! YES! I WASHED THE DISHES WE HAD USED! One picture I had taken, he had stated that he wanted a poster size to hang in his house, which I sent him that picture of his backyard, poster size! (To this day, I do not know if this happened). It was an eventful afternoon. He and his wife were very hospitable and extremely pleasant. (Originally, I would have been there longer but I was late due to having a hard time locating the residence). The following year, 2007, we conversed once again on the phone, which this time, my father was able to have a conversation with Hugh (my father passed in 2012). Over the years, I sent Birthday cards and Christmas cards, communicated on facebook, and mentioned that if he ever ventured to NY, to contact me so we could meet again. And the last encounter we had, Hugh and I (and my mother) conversed on the phone, was this year, on June 26, 2016. I even remember the time: 6:40 PM EST! LOL. He inquired of myself to contact HOBY (in New York) to assist his organization here. The conversation lasted about 15 minutes, or so. And I obliged, and replied “Yes”. That was the very last time. I -and many others- WILL SORELY MISS THIS GREAT MAN (and very good actor); it is just a shame that he and Mickey Rooney never accomplished filming “OLD SOLDIERS”, which they were intending on doing, but could not raise the revenue for to do so. God now has a great person. When I locate the remaining photos I possess of Hugh and of with Hugh, I would like to gladly post those pictures here, if I may. The day Hugh passed, last Monday, I telephoned his wife to inquire regarding arrangements, but her sister answered; I left my contact information, and Virginia’s sister replied that she would forward onto her sister. BUT I would just like to add: Thank you, everybody, for perusing. And God Bless his wife Virginia now. One day, we will all be able to be with this great man in the future. I do hope GOD is enjoying his company and his stories. (*I would like to be able to attend HOBY meeting here in NY, most likely Long Island, in 2017; I’d like to present that 5-minute video of Hugh giving his speech). (I wiwll keep looking for the group picture from 1988; when I find, I will post). Hugh, say hello to God for us! For now, everyone: GOODBYE! AND…… remember: OUTSTANDING! RIP HUGH O’BRIAN (KRAMPKE). Thanks, Bye.

  • Deanna Dee Murray

    Deanna Dee Murray
    I cannot believe we have lost him. I first saw Hugh when the first Wyatt Earp was on TV at 9 years old I fell in love with him. my decision to join HOBY was a no brainer I met Hugh at the second HOBY conference I went to we talked for about an hour and I thought I was dreaming. He was such a wonderful and thoughtful person. I will miss him always I have been crying off and on for days. Sleep Warm Wyatt. Long may his story be told!!!!!

  • Joe in Idaho

    A great man to leave such a legacy. I was lucky enough to participate in HOBY way back in 1992, and am happy to be forever changed for the experience.

  • Daryl DeBose

    Long live his name, long live his glory and long will his story be told.

  • Kat White

    I was honored to attend HOBY in February 1979. The inspiration and motivation I experienced at that convention influenced my entire life. Meeting Mr. O’Brian was a highlight, and he made me feel like I could do anything with his personal words of encouragement. Through networking at the convention I was able to secure a position on the Illinois State Student Council Executive Board as their Convention Secretary. I have been “producing” events from that day forward. Thank you Mr. O’Brian…your legacy lives on in all those you have touched.

  • Boyd Thomas

    We’ve lost a great man in Hugh O’Brian. He was a great inspiration in my life and the lives of countless others. Thanks for all the greatness you showed us, Hugh.

    Boyd Thomas, HOBY Conference 1970 at KSC.

  • Leandra Nightwolf

    Such wonderful contributions to society! I had no idea he had done so much and have enjoyed watching his show from my youth now that I’m 64. So sad to lose this kind of man.

  • Susan Gibson Snowden

    Listening to the beautiful comments from Hugh’s service. So many experiences that have shaped my lifetime. Through WLC in 1985, starting our first CLeW in Marion, OH, the first Alumni reunion in Boston and traveling with Hugh to the U.S.S.R. in 1989 I was blessed to be influenced by such an amazing man. An OUTSTANDING leader who let nothing block his path.

  • freda guzman

    I first met Hugh in August 2011 post a very down turn in my life . I went to work for Hugh’s organization in September that year hoping for a quick turnaround in my life and to add value to his organization and staff. I have never met anyone with an extreme drive for life and success . I had made Hugh aware of some of my trials over the last few years prior to joining his team, I think one of my biggest mistakes was not asking Hugh to sit down with me and discuss those trials in more detail asking him for more advice , guidance, etc. I reflect on many good times and times where just simple conversation vs electronic communication could have solved some disagreements that came up . I recall that Hugh could always make me laugh even when I was annoyed with him or members of our team. Hugh had some talented staff throughout his organization. I was very fond of several of my former coworkers and have missed them over the past couple of years. IOne i Towards the end of my tenure with his organization I regret some of the choices made, although it felt at the time not many alternatives existed. Hugh became successful early in his career and obviously has remained that standard. I know that Hugh had a big heart and has helped many of his employees in difficult times . I think that Hugh and I both let our anger get the best of us on occasion . Over the last couple of years I have learned by the sword that anger can disrupt not only our individual lives but the lives of our loved ones. My son looked up to Hugh as he has a love for sports also. He didn’t and still doesn’t understand some of Hugh’s decisions on keeping in touch with us but understands forgiveness and moving forward is what God wants everyone to do. My son and i will forever remember both good and bad times with Hugh but in the end , he gave us a chance to learn what real survival is about . The most important role Hugh played in my life is humbling me to a point that brought me closer to my only master, Jesus Christ . For that I will be forever grateful and thankful. .