Cover photo for Dennis O'Hara's Obituary
Dennis O'Hara Profile Photo
1940 Dennis 2016

Dennis O'Hara

May 20, 1940 — November 21, 2016

Loving and dedicated Husband and Father, Dennis G. O'Hara passed away peacefully and unexpectedly, on the morning of November 21st, 2016 surrounded by his adoring family. He was 76 years old. Denny was Prince charming to his wife and soul-mate of 53 years Carol (Schopfer), a dream-father to his seven children, and the most magical and engaged grandfather to his 15 beloved grandkids. Denny and Carol met when they were 14 years old, and on Thursday November 17th, they joyfully celebrated the 62nd anniversary of their first date.

Dennis was born in Syracuse, NY, May 20, 1940, one of four children of the late Edward and Elizabeth (LaFrance) O'Hara; he was raised in the Twin Hills section of Syracuse. After his marriage to Carol, they raised their children first in Liverpool, and then moved their family to the beautiful hills of Pompey.

Denny believed strongly in the pursuit of knowledge, which continued throughout his entire life. His love of literature and deep curiosity about the world was instilled in everyone around him. He is an alumnus of Christian Brothers Academy (1958), Le Moyne College (1962), and Syracuse University Law School (1965). He loved Syracuse and planted deep roots in the community. He was a fan of the Orangemen, a lover of Green Lakes, and thoroughly enjoyed teaching his kids how to ski at Toggenberg Mountain.

A respected litigator with deep appreciation for the legal process, he enjoyed over 50 years as a member of the NY Bar Association. Acknowledged as one of the leading authorities in New York State on education law, Denny has proudly represented school districts and individuals since 1965. As a trial attorney, Denny was admitted to practice before several Federal District Courts, the second Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court and was a fierce advocate for workers' rights. He truly loved his work and his dedication to the law and justice for others was second only to his devotion to his family, which never waned, deepened with every day, and was never taken for granted. His big, bold heart will live on in everyone who knew him.

In addition to his wife, his memory is carried on by his son Dennis George Jr (Deege) and his children Kelsey and Keeley; Kevin Charles (KC), his wife Frances, and their children Grace, Brogan, Colin and his wife Allie; Erin, her husband Bryan Cole and their daughters Rose and Opal; Meghan, John Sasso and their sons Rohan and Ben; Nell, her husband Tom Touchet, and their children Lyle and Tess; Liz and Craig Formoza and their children Evie, Ella, Jack and Emma; and Matthew and his wife Nicole LeBoeuf. He also survived by Sister Mary Ellen and Father John Schopfer, his brother Ward A. O'Hara, his sister Margaret Morse, and is now joined in spirit to his sister Bonnie O'Hara. He was also beloved by many cousins, nieces, nephews and cherished friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Dennis G. O'Hara to Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet of 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110, The Brady Faith Center 404 South Avenue, Syracuse, NY, 13204, or Francis House 108 Michaels Avenue, Syracuse, NY, 13208. Calling hours are at Burns Garfield on Friday from 4-7, and services will be held on Saturday, at LeMoyne College Chapel at 11am.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dennis O'Hara, please visit our flower store.


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