DENNIS RAYMOND O’FARRELL
Dennis Raymond O’Farrell, 76, of Fort Dodge, died on Saturday, January 4, 2014, at the John and Lin Simpson Health Center at Friendship Haven. He was born January 20, 1937, in Rock Springs, Wyoming to Timothy Joseph and Mary Magdalene (Kirby) O’Farrell. He had five brothers and three sisters.
He graduated from Rock Springs High School. Dennis was a Boys’ State delegate, lettered in football, and held several elected offices in high school. Dennis attended Regis College in Denver from 1955-56 and transferred to the University of Wyoming in Laramie in 1956, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and he met his future wife, Edwina (Eddy) Dawson of Fort Dodge, IA. At the University of Wyoming, Dennis was listed in Who’sWho of 1960, was president of the state-wide Young Democrats, was an Army ROTC cadet, a member of the Journalism Honors Society, was news editor of the Branding Iron, and graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1960 with a degree in Journalism.
He married Eddy Dawson on October 4, 1958, in Laramie, Wyoming, and in their 55 years of marriage, they shared a lifetime of great love and laughter.
Dennis was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Intelligence service branch with training at Fort Benning, GA and Fort Holabird in Baltimore, MD, and was assigned to supervise military intelligence at the Phoenix, AZ Federal Building and later had U.S. Army Reserve duty in AZ.
He spent his career in executive positions in Human Relations, Management Recruiting, and Sales in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and California before Dennis and his family returned to Iowa in 1979. In CA, he served as the Tustin High School PTO president. In Fort Dodge, Dennis did sales work with Messenger Printing, PSI, and Wells Fargo Card Services and served terms as a City Council-at-Large member and as a Webster County Supervisor from 1996 to 2002.
Dennis was an active member and President of Day Break Rotary, and Martin Luther King, Jr. “Living the Dream” Committee, was a long-time Master of Ceremony at the Otho Cemetery Memorial Day service, helped with the Frontier Days activities, and was a board member of the Public Library Foundation. His commitment to community service was widely recognized and he received The Main Street Fort Dodge Volunteer of the Year Award in 1991. He was a lifelong member of the Democratic Party and held various positions within the party including serving as an Alternate Delegate from New Mexico at the 1968 National Democratic Convention in Chicago. He was an usher and greeter at Sacred Heart church.
His interests included: politics, reading, movies, pool playing, creative writing, sports and singing in later life. Dennis was a passionate patriot and a compassionate soul. His life was full of humor, spirited conversations, service and love. He touched many lives and will be deeply missed.
He is survived by his wife: Eddy; sons: Patrick (Laurie) O’Farrell-Bettendorf, IA and William (Amina) O’Farrell-Lower Gwynedd, PA; grandchildren: Kyle-Houston, TX , Brad-New York City, NY, Kristen-Bettendorf, IA, and John, Thomas, Michael, Christina, Ryan Dennis, and Juliet-Lower Gwynedd, PA; great grandchildren: Rashawn and Kierra-Bettendorf, IA. Dennis is also survived by his brother-in-law: Phil Linney-Refugio, TX and his sisters-in-law: Linda O’Farrell- San Diego, CA and Pauline O’Farrell-Farmington, NM; along with his nephews and nieces: Anita (John) Isaacson-Dallas,TX, Emerson (Kirie) Linney-Cedar Falls, IA, Ginny (Craig) Knoblock- Marian, IA, Colleen (Charlie) West and Laureen Powell-Cheyenne, WY, Kathleen (Michael) Kottenstette-Laramie,WY, and Tal (Cindy) O’Farrell and Kim Notochin-San Diego, CA. He will be sadly missed by his many grand nieces and nephews. Lucky, his dog, misses being his faithful companion.
Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, his auntie-mom (Alice Kirby O’Farrell), and his five brothers (Ted, Bill, Jack, Bobby Jim, and his twin Dan) and his three sisters (Mary, Peggy, and Cathy), an infant son, Dennis Dawson O’Farrell, his father and mother-in-law Dr. Emerson and Paulyne Dawson, and his sister-in-law Dr. Mary Sula Dawson Linney and his brother-in-law (Eddy’s twin) Tom Dawson.
Visitation will be Sunday, January 12, 2014, after 3:00 PM at Laufersweiler-Sievers Funeral Home in Fort Dodge, where there will be a rosary at 3:00 PM and a vigil at 7:00 PM. Funeral services will be at 10:30 AM, Monday, January 13, 2014, at Sacred Heart Church of Holy Trinity Parish with Msgr. Kevin McCoy officiating at the Mass of Christian Burial. Family graveside services at Otho Cemetery with full military rites by V.F.W. Post 1856 and the U.S. Army Honor Guard will be held following a luncheon at Corpus Christi parish hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in Dennis O’Farrell’s memory be made to: John and Lin Simpson Health Center, Almost Home, Holy Trinity Parish, or Fort Dodge Public Library Foundation.