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Community gathers to honor Ocean Pines resident Abele

 (Nov. 26, 2015) Friends and neighbors gathered near the corner of Ocean Parkway and Heron Isle Court Friday to honor 77-year-old Bob Abele.
A longtime Ocean Pines resident, Abele is a former board member (1996-1999) and former chair of the Maryland Coastal Bays National Estuary Program and Coastal Bays Fishery Advisory Committee.
He also served on the Ocean Pines Environment & Natural Assets Committee, Ocean Pines Anglers Club and the Maryland Saltwater Fisherman’s Association.
Austin Scorpio, chair of the environment and natural assets committee, organized the brief ceremony to dedicate a bench in the green space area just off Ocean Parkway to Abele.
An anonymous donation covered the cost of the bench, which Ocean Pines Parks and Recreation helped to install.
Scorpio said Abele was a tireless crusader for the environment and area waterways.
“He’s really made an amazing contribution to Ocean Pines and the greater Delmarva area,” he said. “When you’re surrounded by so much water, there’s so many thing that can go wrong environmentally, and Bob has really assisted greatly in setting policies and creating awareness to better our community.”
He added that the space was chosen because it overlooks Abele’s home in nearby Wood Duck.
“It will get used here, because people are always here with their dogs and kids,” he said.
Former board member Marty Clarke called Abele “a treasure” to Ocean Pines, the county and the state.
“He doesn’t do anything for himself. He’s selfless,” Clarke said, adding, with a laugh, “He probably did fish a lot when he was younger.”
Two current board members, Jack Collins and Dave Stevens, also attended the dedication.
“I met Bob a couple of years ago,” Collins said. “He’s a wonderful human being and he’s dedicated to what he does. He’s just a very, very nice man, and our prayers go out to him.”
Abele, who has fought cancer for several years, said the honor was a total surprise.
“I’m absolutely astounded that all these people are here,” he said.