Councilman, supervisor O’Farrell dies

Dennis O’Farrell, who served on both the Fort Dodge City Council and the Webster County Board of Supervisors, died Saturday at age 76 in the John and Lin Simpson Health Center.

O’Farrell served on the City Council from 1996 to 1998. He was appointed to the governing body in July 1996 to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Bill Ashby. He then won a special election to keep the seat.

In 1998, he was elected to the Webster County Board of Supervisors. He served as a supervisor from 1999 to 2002.

O’Farrell tried a political comeback in 2009, when he ran unsuccessfully for the City Council.

His community service wasn’t limited to elected office. He volunteered with the former Main Street Fort Dodge program, the W.H. Johnston Foundation which supported the Fort Dodge Public Library, Frontier Days, the Urban Visions Advisory Board, the Martin Luther King Living the Dream Committee and Daybreak Rotary.

He received the Main Street Fort Dodge Volunteer of the Year Award in 1991.

”He wanted to be part of everything that went on in the community,” said former Councilwoman Jane Burleson.

She said O’Farrell proposed naming a street after civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. In early 1998, a section of North 26th Street between Second and 10th avenues north was designated Martin Luther King Drive.

O’Farrell was a native of Wyoming and an Army veteran who moved to Fort Dodge in 1979. His professional career included jobs with Messenger Printing, Wickes Buildings, and Norwest Card Services.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming.

With his son, Patrick, he co-authored a novel, ”West Point Warlord.”

Funeral services will be held Monday at 10:30 a.m. in Sacred Heart Church, 211 S. 13th St., with Monsignor Kevin McCoy officiating. Burial will follow at Otho Cemetery in Otho. A visitation will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Laufersweiler-Sievers Funeral Home, 307 S. 12th St.