Dennis O’Leary of Chestnut Hill died on December 10th following a valiant year-long battle against esophageal cancer. He was 73 years old. He is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Sue (nee Potter), daughter Deirdre of McLean VA, daughter and son-in-law Megan and Mark Parisi of Rockville MD, and brother-in-law Don Potter of Los Angeles CA.
Dennis was an investigator for more than 35 years before his retirement from the Commonwealth in 2011. Prior to his time with the state, Dennis investigated criminal cases for the Delaware County District Attorney’s office.
Dennis grew up in Southwest Philadelphia where he attended Catholic schools. He graduated from West Catholic High School in 1957 and went on to attend St. Joseph’s University. While studying there, he participated in theatrical productions before enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1958, where he continued engaging in his love of the stage while stationed overseas in Germany. After being honorably discharged in 1961, Dennis returned to Philadelphia where he soon joined the Philadelphia Police Department. He served as a police officer for six years before returning to finish college at Glassboro State (now Rowan University), earning a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
Dennis met his wife, Sue, in 1965. They were married in Philadelphia in 1967 and had two daughters. The couple lived in Southwest Philadelphia in the same house in which Dennis himself had been raised, and eventually moved to Chestnut Hill where they resided until his death.
Dennis was a man of many interests and hobbies. He was a voracious reader and lifelong student of history, foreign languages and cultures, and poetry. He was also a lover of music of all types and was often attached to a set of headphones listening to some new or old treasure. Dennis spent a great deal of time indulging his love of the outdoors. Tinicum National Wildlife Refuge was a favored place of his to visit and enjoy the green space and birds, but he was also happy walking his daily four-mile circuit in Chestnut Hill or sitting among his many birdfeeders in his backyard.
A memorial service was held at Craft Funeral Home in Erdenheim PA on December 15. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be made to the American Cancer Society. He will be greatly missed.