Dennis Michael O'Brien
O'Brien, Dennis Michael passed away peacefully on September 26, in Minneapolis, with his beloved wife Anita, their children, and grandchildren by his side. Dennis was born April 22, 1950 in Chicago, Il, the oldest of three children born to Dennis and Dolores O'Brien, née Kelly. He graduated from Leo High School in 1968 and went on to graduate from Dartmouth College. In 1970, he married the love of his life, Anita Letz. They moved to Rhinelander, WI, in the early 80s to raise their family in an eclectic-pioneer style. Fond memories include catching pheasant, or all manner of fleeing livestock, straightening used nails, and collecting maple sap to watch it catch fire each spring. And while every escapade did not end in success, he exposed his children to innumerable experiences for which they are endlessly thankful and will forever cherish. Dennis spent his life engaged in the union, joining his first at age 16, and ended his career as a staff rep for AFSCME Council 40, where his deep passion for workers' rights allowed him to organize and negotiate for public employees. Dennis was heavily involved in politics; a life-long Democrat, he volunteered for countless campaigns across many states. An avid sports fan, he rooted for any Chicago team, and proudly claimed to be a White Sox fan since the age of 6 when his father introduced him to the team. A true to form Irishman, he possessed the gift of the gab and loved to tell a joke and engage in spirited debates with his family and friends to whom he was deeply devoted. Dennis was preceded in death by his parents and by his sister Mary Kay and brother Timothy. He is survived by his wife Anita; their children Shannon (Jason Van Hunnik), Erin, Brendan, Kerry, and Colleen (Mark Andrews); grandchildren Ian, Mira, Aidan, and Jack; and countless friends. A celebration of life will be held at a later date in Chicago. People wishing to honor Dennis' lifelong commitment to workers' rights can send donations to: Voce De La Frontera: vdlf.org/ 1027 S. 5th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204 or rhinelanderareafoodpantry.org/ 627 Coon St Rhinelander, WI 54501
Published on October 3, 2021
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