The fishing world lost one of its finest ambassadors today. At the age of 90, Capt. Omie is reunited with his creator. Most anyone who has fished on a boat in North Carolina, and especially offshore in North Carolina, has at least heard his name. He was a legendary charter boat captain out of Oregon Inlet, a legendary and pioneering boat builder, and above all, an endearing and extraordinary human. I was privileged to work for his much younger brother Capt. Tony Tillett on the legendary Carolinian. Tony is also a fine man, and much more soft spoken than his older brother. Some might argue that he was an even better fisherman, and he has his own very unique story and was right there with Omie in building many of his masterpieces.
If you never had a chance to meet Omie, it’s tough to know how impacting he was on so many people. He was a man who you could spend one minute around and feel instant, honest, true human love. He was a true Christian in that he loved everyone around him, even those he really didn’t know or had not spent much time around and probably even his enemies or adversaries, if he had any. That is a quality which is extremely rare, and that is the essence of who he was. He wasn’t just a fine fisherman and boat builder, he was one of the finest people I ever knew. If I had half the love in my heart that Omie had in his, I’d be a better person for it. He set the bar high for everyone, and I hope that I can achieve just a little of what he did in his long life just by loving other people the way he did.
Rest in peace and smooth sailing Capt. Omie!