Past and present Steamship Authority managers and board members warmly recalled the contributions of Robert O’Brien this week, the former long-serving Barnstable boat line governor who died last month.

Mr. O’Brien died Sept. 25 at the age of 93 in Yarmouth. He grew up in Hingham and had formerly been a career Coast Guardsman, serving for 30 years after his graduation from Boston College, including as a seaman in World War II. He retired in 1981 with the rank of captain.

Mr. O’Brien (third from right) at commissioning of the ferry Island Home. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Mr. O’Brien served on the SSA board for 25 years and was the second longest-serving member of the board, SSA general manager Robert Davis said at a meeting of the port council this week. Four new vessels were brought online during his time on the board, and he played an active role in the redesign of the Hyannis terminal, among other things.

“Mr. O’Brien was very instrumental during his tenure. Speaking on behalf of the staff we are very appreciative of his contributions to the Steamship Authority over the years,” Mr. Davis told port council members.

“Bob was a lovely person and pleasure to work with, a true gentleman in the best sense of the word,” said Ron Rappaport, who was the Vineyard boat line governor from 1993 to 2000.

Robert Murphy, a former longtime member of the SSA financial advisory board, agreed.

“He was always such a gentleman to work with,” Mr. Murphy said. “It didn’t matter whether there were opposing views — and there often were — he was always willing to listen. We were glad to see him on the board . . . he came with background because he had been in the Coast Guard, he had been around the water all his life and had experienced so much. It’s a real loss.”

Former longtime general manager Wayne Lamson added his recollections.

“Bob quietly served the SSA and the town of Barnstable with great distinction after a long career with the U.S. Coast Guard,” Mr. Lamson said in a text message.

“His many contributions to the success of the SSA included overseeing the expansion of traditional ferry service between Hyannis and Nantucket, the initiation of Nantucket high-speed passenger service and numerous capital projects.”

Mr. O’Brien began serving on the board when the Barnstable governor was a nonvoting member. He later became the first voting member from Barnstable after the board was reconfigured and grew from three to five voting members. Throughout, he brought a steady hand to a board that was sometimes prone to volatility and political infighting.

“He served on the board for many years without having a vote, but the other members always respected and valued his input,” Mr. Lamson said.

Mr. O’Brien retired from the board in 2016. The SSA annual report was dedicated to him that year.

He was predeceased by his wife of 61 years in 2018, and a son. He is survived by two daughters and their husbands, and three grandchildren.