Owner Gene Gilhooly Passes at Age 94

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Eugene E. “Gene” Gilhooly, who was part owner of Schoolyard Stable and was a regular at Maryland racetracks for many years, passed away Aug. 17 after a bout with pneumonia. He was 94.

Gilhooly and his wife, Inez, raised two daughters after moving to Annapolis. He was an elementary school principal for more than 30 years at schools in nearby Linthicum, Tyler Heights and Davidsonville. His students adored him and he kept in touch with many throughout his life. 

Schoolyard Stable over the years partnered with other people and entities, including Jim Leary and Sola Dei Gloria Stable (trainer Hugh McMahon), in racehorse ownership. McMahon trained for Schoolyard Stable in recent years, and Gilhooly was often at Laurel Park in to watch his horses compete. He also enjoyed handicapping races and playing 10-cent superfecta boxes.

Gilhooly is survived by his daughters, Brenda Gilhooly of Lakeland, Fla., and Nancy Purdy of Annapolis; his brother Ray; grandchildren Julie, Tim, Christopher and Cara; great-grandson Lincoln; his dear friend Marilyn Roberts; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his wife and his older brother, John.

Gilhooly, who regularly stopped by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association offices to chat, will always be remembered as a vibrant, energetic and outgoing man who frequently referred to himself as “the happiest man on Earth.” In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date through John M. Taylor Funeral Home in Annapolis.