Brian Aromando loved surfing. After he died in a motorcycle accident last month, Maine’s surfing community showed its love for him.

About 125 surfers from across southern Maine came together on July 25 to paddle out to the Rivermouth break in Ogunquit to pay tribute to a man who was a local legend.

Brian Aromando in his happy place. Photo courtesy Aromando family

Mr. Aromando, of Ogunquit, died July 18 from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident in York. He was 57.

He was remembered this week as an adventurous, selfless and free-spirited guy who lived life to its fullest.

“It was amazing that so many people cared for him,” said his wife, Whitney Ott, of Ogunquit. “I think he would have been blown away by the outpouring of love. I don’t think he really realized how people felt about him.”

Mr. Aromando surfed mostly at the Rivermouth. He was also known to surf Moody Beach in Wells and Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport. Ott said he was happiest when surfing.

“He would come out of the water with a big smile on his face,” she said. “When the waves were up, he was out surfing. It was the place he found the most peace and serenity. It was his magic place.”

He surfed throughout his life with his brother, Randy Aromando, of Biddeford. Together they frequented breaks very few people know about, and others no one knows about, he said.

The memorial paddle was a fitting tribute to his big brother.

“Guys were coming up to me and just bawling,” Aromando said. “People are just crushed.”

Brian Aromando grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts, a loving son of Ellen and Ronald Aromando. The family resettled at Moody Beach in 1977. He spent most of his life in the Ogunquit and Wells area and worked at various local restaurants.

Mr. Aromando graduated from the University of Southern Maine and the University of Maine School of Law. He lost his license to practice law in 2010. Ott shared Thursday that her husband struggled with depression.

“Through all the dark times in his life, Brian never gave up,” his wife said. “He kept pushing through. In the last year, he’s never been in a better place. Things were turning. He was genuinely happy and feeling optimistic.”

In recent years, Mr. Aromando waited on tables at Gypsy Sweethearts Restaurant and Bar in Ogunquit. He and his wife managed property rentals and the Art and Soul Gift Gallery in Ogunquit.

The couple were married for 35 years and lived in Ogunquit. He was a loving father of their two daughters, Mallory Aromando, 16; and Daisy Aromando, 19.
Ott said he was an incredible father, one who was always there for his girls. On Thursday, Ott shared an Instagram post Daisy Aromando wrote about her father.

“My dad taught me a lot of things: how to shred, how to free dive, but most importantly how to push myself,” his daughter wrote. “He gave me a love for the sea and a desire to live life with passion. I’m forever grateful. I was so incredibly blessed to have such an intelligent, kind-hearted, one-in-a-million man for a father. One who always put others first and one who would never say no to an adventure.”

Ott shared stories of their early adventures together, such as traveling cross country, skiing in Lake Tahoe, camping and exploring in Costa Rica.

“He was very adventurous. He made everything exciting,” she said. “He’s always been very inventive and creative with gifts and things. One time he made me a jewelry set out of a climbing rope. He gave it to me in a fancy box. He was a true romantic.

“He had such a good soul. He was so caring. He would do little things. If we had a horrible fight, I’d wake up in the morning and he would play silly stuff like John Denver or James Taylor, or some ACDC song. …”

Mr. Aromando was beloved and active in the Ogunquit area. He was known for walking with his English setter Piper.

At the time of his death, he served on the Ogunquit Planning Board. Ott said he was often referred to as the voice of reason.

“He was thoughtful and right-minded and would have made an excellent mediator,” she said. “He was empathetic, always caring about others and wanting to help.”

Mr. Aromando had a strong commitment of service to others. He was an active member of southern Maine’s 12-step recovery community. At the time of his death, he had 28 years of sobriety. Ott said his sobriety was an important part of his life.

“He was really generous with his time and energy,” his wife said. “He really felt compassion for people going through hard times because he could relate to those people. People keep coming up to me saying that he helped them in ways I wasn’t aware of. Our phone would ring off the hook. He would answer in the middle of the night.”

Mr. Aromando was an experienced motorcyclist. The investigation into the July 18 accident is ongoing, said York police Sgt. Nikolas Piskopanis.

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