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Dooley, Dennis O.

dooleyJuly 13, 2021

Dennis O. Dooley was born September 1, 1936 in McAllen, Texas to Olwyn Dooley and Kathleen Walsh Dooley.  He passed away peacefully on July 13, 2021.

Dennis left McAllen to attend St. Anthony’s Junior Seminary in San Antonio where he graduated in 1954.  He continued his studies with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate where he received his Master of Divinity from Oblate School of Theology and was ordained in 1966.  As a priest, he served as a Vocational Director for the Oblates visiting parish schools throughout the United States and as a parish priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Colorado Springs, CO.   

Dennis moved to Houston in the early 1970’s where he worked in the real estate field after obtaining his sales and broker licenses.  During this time he met and married Nancy Henkel, his wife of 45 years.

He then moved to San Antonio where he earned his Master of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University and went to work for the Bexar County Probation Department where he worked in the Intensive Supervision Program, a new program to help rehabilitate felons to avoid prison and remain in society.

After retiring from the probation department, he worked for South Texas Psychological Services where he tested and interviewed people applying for Medicare and Medicaid services.  Throughout his life he gave of his time to be of service through many volunteer activities.

Dennis lived a life of faith and never lost his passion for helping others whatever the situation; he always knew the perfect thing to say.  He had so much knowledge of church and family history to share as he was a lifelong learner with an inquisitive mind.   He was always able to relate scripture to our daily lives and was a counselor and mentor to so many.

Dennis had a love for the Spanish language.  As a child he heard Spanish in his home and community; he then continued to take courses and classes to learn and understand more about the culture through language.  He took every opportunity he had to use his Spanish.  He spent time in Mexico and with a family in Costa Rica as he enriched his understanding.

Dennis enjoyed sports.  He played baseball (beginning with his father and brother in the Valley) and basketball in his younger years, then golf throughout his adult life.  Dennis had a beautiful Irish tenor voice and loved to sing Irish songs (as he did at home for his mother), Spanish songs, or any favorite song at every opportunity to the joy of all around him.

He never met a stranger either for conversation or willingness to help.  He always loved to tell a good story, and his sense of humor, pleasant smile and charming personality made it all the more enjoyable.  His favorite trips were spending time with family, and his tours of San Antonio were a favorite with all generations of family and friends. 

Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, 2 sisters: Virginia Nowatnick and Mary Ruth Strangeways, and 2 brothers:  Jack Dooley and Donald Dooley.  He is survived by his wife, Nancy; sister-in-law, Antoinette Dooley and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.