Obituary: Obituary for Dennis O'Neill

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Dennis Keith O'Neill of Gardnerville passed away Dec. 22, 2010, at Carson Tahoe Hospital.

Mr. O'Neill was born Oct. 9, 1939, as Dennis Keith Fitzgibbon to Lola May (Woodward) and Edmund Henry Fitzgibbon in Albany, Calif. After Edmund's untimely death, Lola married Edward O'Neill.

Mr. O'Neill attended the University of Hawaii, Manoa and graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Arts in Public Administration. He received his Juris Doctorate from Lincoln University Law School, San Jose, Calif.

As battalion commander Major O'Neill (pilot) led a tactical air assault helicopter squadron with the U.S. Army, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Dak To, Republic of South Viet Nam. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Purple Heart. The government of New Zealand honored him with the Victoria Cross.

He was district circulation manager of the San Jose Mercury News. For a brief time, he worked for the Public Defender's Office of Santa Clara County. After moving to Lake Tahoe in 1983 he was a casino host and later hotel investigator at the High Sierra Resort. He worked at the Carson Valley Inn, Minden, and was a substitute teacher with the Douglas County School District.

He is preceded in death by his parents and former wife Diane Friesen. He is survived by his wife Martha, and children Kathryn and Michael of Gardnerville; son Daniel and daughter Colleen O'Neill-Schleich of California; sister Patricia and husband Jack Reilly; brother Michael and wife Karen O'Neill and brother Tom and wife Sandy O'Neill of California; two grandchildren, two nephews and numerous cousins.

Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010, at Lone Mountain Cemetery, Carson City. Arrangements are being made through Autumn Funerals and Cremations, Carson City.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Salvation Army.


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