Students to mark anniversary of O’Brien’s death

Josh Goodman

One year after Richard O’Brien’s death, his friends and fraternity brothers are intent on keeping his memory alive.

As a first-year student, O’Brien died Feb. 13, 2010 when his ski caught a rough edge and sent him into a tree. He had been skiing on the Huckleberry Run, an intermediate trail at the Bluewood Ski Area near Dayton, Wash.

Three days after his death, the campus held a public memorial service in the Young Ballroom of Reid Campus Center where his friends, classmates and professors remembered O’Brien as a hilarious, friendly and adventuresome individual. In the past year, his friends have made t-shirts with “Hish”–O’Brien’s nickname–prominently displayed, and have chalked “Hish” onto sidewalks on campus.

A year later, his fraternity brothers from Beta Theta Pi are set to mark the first anniversary of his death with a reception and candlelight vigil. The reception will take place at Beta Theta Pi at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13. At 6:30 p.m., the crowd will gather outside of Beta to walk to the wheat fields. At the wheat fields, there will be a moment of silence, followed by an opportunity to share stories and memories. Anyone is welcome.