QUILLIGAN, Denis Joseph Sr. age 90, of Seminole, on March 29, 2013, one of the greatest men in the world went to be with Jesus. He passed to eternity while living in Blountville, TN with his daughter by his side. He was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Marilyn Oldridge Quilligan, his parents William. H. Quilligan and Mary Hackethal Quilligan, his brothers Maurice "Jack" Quilligan and William "Bill" Quilligan. Survivors include son, Denis J. Quilligan Jr. and wife Dawn Elizabeth; daughter, Dawn Joanne Frantzen and husband Thom; grandchildren include Jim Wyckoff, Joe Frantzen, Scott Donachie, Bethany Frantzen, Cheyanne Anderson, Paul Frantzen and others; great-grandchildren include Leigha Frantzen, Kyle Wyckoff, Finley and Bonnie Donachie. Denis was born in Granite City, IL on April 4, 1923 and grew up during the Great Depression. As a young musician, he occassionally played trombone with Big Bands and as well, on Mississippi River dinner boats, but the attack on Pearl Harbor shortened his musical aspirations and he joined the Merchant Marine. He rose to the rank of Chief Quartermaster, sailing aboard three ships, including the "American Sailor", sailing to Europe from Nova Scotia through the gauntlet of German submarines in the Atlantic. When the war ended and his ship was decommissioned, he started his employment as a patrolman for the City of St. Petersburg the very next day, rising to the rank of detective. He was the first police officer in Florida to graduate from the FBI National Academy in Washingon, DC, with Edgar J. Hoover at the helm, and eventually accepted a position as Chief Investigator for the State of Florida State Attorney's office, in Pinellas and Pasco counties. When he retired from public service, he opened his own private investigation service and worked with renowned attorneys on high-profile cases. He eventually ended his working career and spent his golden years with Marilyn, the love of his life, enjoying music, golfing, fly fishing and traveling. With a deep soft voice, big Irish nose, square jaw and 6'5" frame, he could be your best friend, or worse enemy if he didn't care for you. He was a man of integrity in all areas of his life, always upholding the law. Denis loved life and lived it to the fullest, doing volunteering work at Morton Plant hospital, telling jokes at every chance, vacationing in Ireland, playing music with his friends and whistling. He loved to laugh and people loved to make him laugh. Lastly, a special thanks to Jane Oldridge, Frank Frantzen and family and friends who spent time with him in his waining days, keeping him comfortable and just being present for him. He surely is missed!
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Published in the Tampa Bay Times on June 16, 2013