Dennis O'Brien

Anchorage resident Dennis James O'Brien, 78, died Oct. 9, 2006, at his home.

A service will be at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. The Rev. Tom Lilly will officiate.

Mr. O'Brien was born March 25, 1928, in Chicago. He attended De La Salle High School in Chicago, Miami University, Ohio, and received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois in 1954.

He served in the Army from 1946 to 1948 and became a resident of Anchorage in January 1960 after driving the Alaska Highway. He was employed at RCA Service Co., Enstar Natural Gas Co., Carrs and Hughes, Thorsness law firm and retired from Delaney, Wiles law firm in 1995.

Mr. O'Brien was a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Benedict's Catholic churches and the Downtown Rotary Club. He was an early Fur Rendezvous pioneer and co-founder and past president of the Legal Administrators Association. He was a 10-gallon donor for the Blood Bank of Alaska and was a volunteer at the Holy Family Cathedral Library.

"He was a voracious reader!" his family wrote. "He enjoyed reading (especially history), traveling and spreading the word of the beauty and charm of Alaska.

"Mr. O'Brien was a devoted husband and father and the very proud grandfather of little Ruari, who brought so much joy to the last 19 months of his life."

Mr. O'Brien is survived by his wife, Mariben O'Brien; daughters, Kim O'Brien and Cara O'Brien-Holen; son-in-law, Davin Holen; grandson, Ruari O'Brien-Holen and all of Anchorage; sister and brother-in-law, Frances and Michael Vestuto; and brother and sister-in-law, William and Helen O'Brien, all of Chicago; six nieces and nephews, their spouses and children.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charities Mr. O'Brien supported: the mission work of Dr. Susan Nagele, Dept. WEB, P.O. Box 307, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0307 and St. Joseph's Indian School, Chamberlain, SD 57326 (

Arrangements are with Kehl's Forest Lawn Mortuary.