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Denis Richard O'Brien

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Denis Richard O'Brien Obituary
O'Brien Denis Richard O'Brien, 68, late of Langley, British Columbia, Canada, died suddenly on April 18, 2017 in California while once again traveling across country to visit, entertain, and celebrate his many friends and family. Denis was born and raised in Ohio but lived, worked, and made lifelong friends in cities across the U.S., New Zealand, and Canada. After graduating from Westerville High School in 1966, he served proudly in the United States Marine Corps, receiving a Purple Heart in the Vietnam War. Following military service, he earned a BA in Biology from The Ohio State University, a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Virginia, engaged in successful post-doctorate work in the neurosciences at Harvard, and taught for nine years at the National School of Pharmacy in Wellington, New Zealand. Subsequently, thanks to events involving an old Charlottesville watering hole called The Mousetrap (long, long story), Denis became interested in practicing law and and helping others navigate the legal system. After reading the law under noted Charlottesville Attorney Benjamin Dick for several years, Denis passed the Virginia Bar Exam on his first attempt in 1998. He then practiced law in Amherst, VA for several years before accepting a position in 2006 as a U.S. Patent Attorney with a prestigious law firm in Vancouver, Canada. From 2011 until his recent retirement, he maintained a private law practice in Langley, British Columbia. In the Pacific Northwest, Denis successfully combined his skill as an attorney with his lifelong enjoyment of and participation in the outdoors while also continuing to produce beautiful and varied artistic pieces. In addition, he was a voracious reader on all manner of subjects, a lifelong birder, an enthusiastic blogger, a published author, and a storyteller in the finest tradition of telling stories. Denis was preceded in death by his parents David and Peggy O'Brien, and his brothers Scott and Don "The Doctor" O'Brien. He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Pat and Ken Moyle; by Aunt Shirley Goodwin and his Goodwin and O'Brien cousins. Missing him especially are Carol Dyche O'Brien of Amherst, VA and Nevalyn Nevil of Westerville, OH and the countless friends he made on his long, adventurous, and winding road. Surely speaking for all those who knew him through the years, a younger cousin said recently: "Denis is a legend to me." Amen to that from all of us. Wherever and whenever friends and family remember Denis, please raise a smite, a glass, a mug, a pitcher, or a keg to this dear one we will never forget. His remains will be buried at sea by the Navy and Marine Corps at his request. Donations in his memory may be made to the Myser Family Parkinson's Disease Research Fund at The Ohio State University Foundation, 1480 W. Lane Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43221, or to a .


Published in The Columbus Dispatch on June 24, 2017
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