Dennis O'Reilly, age 84, died July 6, 2007 at his home in Tonto Basin. He was born in Dallas, Texas on Jan. 18, 1923 and came to Arizona with his parents, Pat and Hattie O'Reilly, at the age of nine. He always considered himself an Arizonan and truly loved this state.
From an early age, his love of the outdoors and the working cowboy lifestyle often defined who he was and made up a large part of his character.
In his early youth he worked in the Golden Turkey Mine in Yavapai County, at Castle Hot Springs Resort, and eventually came to know and ride many of the cattle ranches in all parts of Arizona.
He joined the United States Navy at the outbreak of World War II and served as an electrician's mate first class on the Destroyer USS Saufley DD465 in the South Pacific. He left his ship in Shanghai, China and was honorably discharged in 1945.
His position in the Navy prepared him for a longstanding career with Arizona Public Service in Phoenix.
After WWII, he married, lived in central Phoenix and helped raise three children.
He was a parishioner of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Phoenix.
The last years of his life were spent living in his beloved Tonto Basin with his animals, old-timers, fishing buddies and friends.
Mr. O'Reilly is survived by his brother, Patrick O'Reilly of Phoenix; sister, Reba Walker of Sun City; former wife, Mazie (Kennard) O'Reilly of Phoenix; son, Dennis D. O'Reilly of Prescott; daughter, Maureen Delair of Bellingham, Washington; son, Paddy O'Reilly of Tucson; granddaughter, Nancy Patricia Shaw of Scottsdale; grandson, Peter David O'Reilly of Lake Havasu City; and five great-grandchildren, Hannah, Olivia, Patrick, Dennis, and Juniper.
A remembrance and memorial will be at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, July 14, 2007 at Messinger Payson Funeral Home followed by a service at 11:30 pm. at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Payson. Internment will be 1:30 p.m. at the Gisela Cemetery in Gisela, Arizona.
Donations in Mr. O'Reilly's name may be made to Holy Angels Church/School, 143 S. Broad Street, Globe, AZ 85501.