Dennis John Patrick O'Neill (1928 - 2014)

7 entries
  • "Pat, Sarah, Denny, Peggy, D'Arcy, and Casey, I am so sorry..."
    - Mike Gibbs
  • "D'Arcy...What an amazing celebration of your dad's life..."
    - Debbie McManus
  • "Pat and children, Maggie told me today of Dennis' death and..."
  • "It was an honor and privilege to know Dennis O'Neill..."
    - Gloria Dittus
  • "May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow."
    - kimmy wilson rowe
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Dennis John
Patrick O'Neill
Formerly of Rowayton
"In thy face I see the map of
honour, truth, and loyalty.”
-William Shakespeare
Dennis John Patrick O'Neill, 85, died peacefully at home in Highland Beach, FL on Thursday, June 26th with his beloved wife of 52 years, Patricia (Skelly) O'Neill by his side. He was the loving father to Sarah O'Neill Gerwin, Dennis J. O'Neill II, Peggy O'Neill, D'Arcy O'Neill and Carey O'Neill and grandfather to Taylor Angele O'Neill.
Born on July 13, 1928 in Dowagaic, Michigan to the late Dorothy (Cunningham) O'Neill and Dennis John O'Neill, he was the oldest of seven children. Denny was raised in Cleveland, Ohio and attended Georgetown Preparatory School, in Washington, D.C. graduating in 1947. Denny went on to earn his AB from the University of Notre Dame in 1951. He was a third generation graduate. In 1950, he was named Editor of the University Yearbook, The Dome. Twenty five years earlier, his father also served as Editor of The Dome of 1925. They are only father and son who share that honor and distinction.
After graduation, he served for four years as a U.S. Navy journalist during the Korean War. He returned from service and began his career in Cleveland, OH working for Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), a division of Scripps Howard Newspapers. In 1961, he married Patricia Skelly at St. Rose of Lima Church in Cleveland. After being named Eastern Division Manager of NEA, he and Pat moved to 10 Downing Street in Greenwich Village in New York City.
With their growing family, they moved to Rowayton, CT. Denny continued to work for NEA, but his heavy travel schedule kept him away from his family. Driven by his desire to spend more time with his family, Denny left his job at NEA and started his own Real Estate Company, Dennis O'Neill Associates in Rowayton where he worked until his retirement in 1999.
His faith in God and the importance of family guided every aspect of his life. He had a deep concern for the less fortunate. Always putting the needs of others before his own, he liked to say, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
He was a generous, loving father and husband. His five children were his pride and joy. The deep love he had for his wife Pat was the greatest gift he gave his children. He was a man of strong character and integrity. He embraced life fully, always had an optimistic outlook and stressed the importance of gratitude for the gifts we have been given in this life.
Denny was a wonderful storyteller, who had a quick wit, a mischievous sense of humor and a bold sense of style. He loved sports, especially baseball and golf. He was loyal to his boyhood team, the Cleveland Indians and made several pilgrimages to the Master's Golf Tournament in Augusta and was present when Arnold Palmer competed in The Master's for the last time, marking his 50th consecutive appearance in that event. He cherished his time on the golf course with his children and his golfing buddies. At the age of 75 he achieved what every golfer dreams of, the elusive Hole in One. Fortunately, he was part of a foursome that day so he had witnesses to verify his achievement!
He was active in Notre Dame Alumni activities over the years and served for several years as the President of the Notre Dame Club of Fairfield County, CT. In 1970 he was named the Notre Dame Man of the Year. He liked to joke with friends that he was proud to fly the flag of Notre Dame in Ivy League country.
Denny is survived by his wife, Pat, his children, Sarah and (Michael Gerwin), Dennis John, (Theresa Valenti), Peggy O'Neill, D'Arcy O'Neill and Carey O'Neill and one grandchild, Taylor Angele O'Neill. He is also survived by sisters, Anne (O'Neill) Wallace, Susan O'Neill and a brother F. Michael O'Neill. His sisters Mary (O'Neill) Monroe, D'Arcy (O'Neill) Secord and brother, Patrick O'Neill predeceased him in death.
A Mass of the Resurrection will be offered for Dennis John Patrick O'Neill on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 10 a.m., St. Ignatius Loyola Church, 980 Park Avenue Manhattan, NY 10028. Memorial donations may be made to St. Lucy Catholic Church, 3510 South Ocean Boulevard, Highland Beach, FL 33487.
Published in The Hour on July 10, 2014
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