Official Obituary of

David Douglas O'Reilly

March 14, 1943 ~ February 16, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old

David O'Reilly Obituary

David Douglas O’Reilly was born on March 14, 1943, the eighth and final child of Loretta Marie Castonguay and William Patrick O’Reilly, in Oakland, Maine. As the youngest of the flock, he enjoyed the (at times tough) love and protection bestowed on him by his brothers and sisters.

He passed at nearly 81 years old on February 16, 2024, in Aurora, Colorado during a snow and ice storm he would not have enjoyed.

He is predeceased by his parents; siblings John, William Jr., Mary “Betty” (Metcalf), Arthur, Charles, and Katherine; and beloved nephew Michael Goodridge. He is survived by his sister, Georgia (Goodridge); his children, Justin and Jamie (Chris Vasquez); former wife, Mary (Kinnison); and nieces and nephews Kimberly (Russell), Cynthia Goodridge, Bill Goodridge, Mary (Altofer), Michael O’Reilly, Carole (Yoder), Kathleen (Zetune), Syndy (Solivan), Tanya (Wise), Jennifer (White), and Jeremiah Johnson.

Dave stayed along the east coast in his youth. He met his future wife, Mary, by chance, as she was from Colorado and ended up in Connecticut after a road trip. She stayed there and worked in a woolen mill, eventually moving in with a friend in Stafford Springs, who happened to be Dave’s neighbor. After dating for a couple of years, they got married in Sedalia, Colorado, and after returning to Connecticut for a time, they moved permanently to Colorado. They lived in various places, including Lake George, Aurora, and Denver, and finally settled in Commerce City, where they purchased their first home.

Not content to stagnate in a single industry, Dave tried many careers in his life. He proudly worked for his brother, John, at his O’Reilly Shell Station in Oakland, Maine, as a youth. He worked at McCallan’s Auto Parts, AMF Cuno, and Milton Bradley, among other places, while still out east. In Colorado, Dave worked as a truck driver for the now-defunct Interstate Motor Lines, as a security guard at Stapleton International Airport, and retired as a foreman at Wright & McGill (Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle Co.). Following a few years of retirement, he worked as a tutor to persons with disabilities at the Community College of Denver while earning an associate degree in mathematics and a Bachelor of Arts in History, eventually becoming a Mathematics Professor at CCD. He retired for good in 2011, even though he really didn’t want to.

Dave was an urban-dwelling outdoorsman with varied interests. While on the east coast, he taught children how to enjoy and survive in the wilderness as a Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts – a passion that he continued in a different troop in Colorado. He spent a lot of time camping, fishing, and hunting all over the state with friends and his children. Dave was also a sensei at a karate dojo for a time in his younger years. Dave the craftsman enjoyed creative projects: he made his own Osage orange long bow, arrows, and a deer hide quiver to go with them; he made wooden swords for his children and their friends; he built, and maintained for years, a miniature Boot Hill Cemetery, complete with funny epitaphs and a tiny fence; he customized the inside of his van in order to use it as a camper; and many more creative projects strewn about his life.

Dave was known for his unique style of fashion. He had a flair for wearing camouflage prints, plaids, fringed leather jackets, and prints of nature images – his favorite shirt for a time had a very realistic rattlesnake on it that spooked one coworker at CCD. He loved Irish sweaters, cardigans, and Celtic jewelry. Other days, he favored Broncos, Avalanche, Nuggets, or Rockies jerseys and comfortable shorts. He had an array of hats that impressed: ballcaps of all his favorite teams and businesses, Stetsons, boonies, and ushankas (one had accidentally been set afire!). Sometimes he mixed pieces that didn’t quite go together, but rather than coming off as goofy, his outfits showcased his personality and highlighted him in a crowd.

In true Dave form, he decided in 1993 to build up his small home, tripling the existing structure in size and finally getting the concrete driveway he’d wanted for a long time. After doggedly battling the city over permits and plans, construction began in 1994, with friends, his children, and neighborhood teens helping along the way. The finishing touches were completed in 1996.

Dave’s benevolence preceded him. He freely gave of his time to the children in his family and his friends’ families, often taking them on excursions to the outdoors, restaurants, amusement parks, and to movies. He loved to dress up as Santa Claus, volunteering during Christmases to the joy of many kids, even appearing at a Christmas event for Governor Lamb at the Capitol and in a commercial for the old Aurora Mall. He was active in his church communities, volunteering at outreach events at the Nazarene church he attended in the 1990s, and becoming heavily involved in the Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus when he became a member at Our Lady Mother of the Church in Commerce City. As a Knight and Church member, he spent many happy days helping with the food bank, breakfasts and fish frys, maintenance, installing monuments, donning his regalia and honoring other Knights, and fundraising for the community. He served terms as Grand Knight and District Deputy. There were many instances over the years in which Dave helped those in need with money or groceries, no matter if he was financially well off. In one case, he fed and clothed the children of a neighbor for months after discovering their parents neglected them. He kept a watchful eye on the kids until authorities stepped in.

Dave had many meaningful friendships in his life. He made some of his most cherished friends while working at Wright & McGill, spending time with them and their families with his own family in tow. There were many wonderful barbecues, birthday parties, and nights out at the drive-in. He was loyal to his friends, even sitting at the bedside of his long-time friend, Ralph Edwards, as he passed away. He met another long-time friend, Jeff Martinez, while volunteering at Our Lady Mother of the Church. They have been inseparable since and have enjoyed many trips to Jeff’s cabin and Saturdays just shooting the breeze. Jackie King and Dave became fast friends through their love of music and birds; they sang in churches together, went on birding trips, and she shared her love of multi-cultural foods with him. She also convinced him to go back to college, earn his math and history degrees, and teach with her at CCD. There are many Knights that Dave enjoyed working with, especially during the community breakfasts.

Dave would thank, if he could say it himself, all of his wonderful friends, family, and neighbors for the beautiful experiences he had in his life with them. Jeff, Jackie, Ralph, Carolyn, Kurt, Gary, Nancy, Richard, and so many more friends: thank you for being with him and loving him the way he deserved – you were truly important to him and treated him with respect and sincerity. Kathy, Georgia, Cindy, Kim, Billy, and Mikey, and the rest of the clan: thank you for all the fun you had with him while he still lived out east; he never forgot any of those memories and loved all the letters and phone calls throughout the years. Mary: thank you for loving Dave and remaining friends even after the divorce; he may not have always been nice about it, but he appreciated that you stayed in his life. Justin: thank you for being there for Dave the last few years, doing what you could to help him around the house and making sure he took his medicines and had what he needed each day.

If Dave impacted your life in a positive way, and you feel the need to do something nice because of it, help someone with a hot meal, call someone you love that you haven’t spoken to in a while, or take your kid fishing – these are the kinds of things that meant the world to him

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