Hilliard Dale O'Day Sr., 84, Beth Steel millwright

August 13, 2002

Hilliard Dale O'Day Sr., a retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. millwright who enjoyed sailing, died Aug. 6 of complications from a stroke at a San Diego hospital. The former Essex resident was 84.

A Baltimore native and son of a sea captain, Mr. O'Day spent the first five years of his life aboard his father's ship, the Lydia Middleton, one of the last of the three-masted freight-hauling schooners.

"His father's ship transported lumber, fertilizer and licorice root from Haiti to a plant in Baltimore for processing," said son Hilliard D. O'Day Jr. of Bel Air.

After quitting the sea, the captain went to work for Bethlehem Steel at Sparrows Point, and his son, after graduating from Sparrows Point High School, also worked there until enlisting in the Navy during World War II. He served as a gunner's mate aboard a minesweeper, the YMS-83, in the North African and Mediterranean campaigns.

After the war, Mr. O'Day became a motorman and conductor with the old Baltimore Transit Co. "He was the conductor on the last run in 1947 of the No. 26 line streetcar to old Bayshore Park," his son said.

Leaving the transit company in 1952, he returned to Sparrows Point and worked as a millwright and pipe fitter until retiring in 1980.

Mr. O'Day was a former member of Zion Evangelical Lutheran United Church of Christ in Essex.

He and his wife of 55 years, Dorothy Corbett, moved to San Diego in 1995. She died last year. Mr. O'Day was interred at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.

In addition to his son, other survivors include a daughter, Dale O'Day Robison of San Diego; a stepson, Edward Corbett of Albuquerque, N.M.; a stepdaughter, Dorothy White of Memphis, Tenn.; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

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