July 31, 1946 - May 13, 2018
Dennis Michael O'Mara, a life long resident of Wallkill NY, passed away on May 13, 2018 at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla NY. The son of Edward J. O'Mara and Margaret (Doherty) O'Mara, Dennis was born on July 31, 1946 in Newburgh NY; he was 72. He was born with Spina Bifida, a spinal cord defect, which was one of many challenges that he faced in life. Dennis faced all of his challenges with a quiet strength, dignity, positive attitude, and good humor. Even though this handicap limited him physically, Dennis was community focused throughout his life and he never let these challenges limit his life.
Dennis was a graduate of Wallkill High School, class of 1965. He also spent half of every school year at Haverstraw Rehabilitation Center High School, now called Helen Hayes Hospital.
Dennis was a member of the Wallkill School Board for 28 years, BOCES Board, the Wallkill Public Library Board, Wallkill Community Prison Committee, Horton Hospital Volunteers and the St. Patrick's Day parade Committee which he was very honored to have served as the Parade Grand Marshall. These were some of the many organizations that Dennis dedicated his time and energy to. He was a tireless advocate of education for all students, which included academics, boys and girls sports, the theatre, chorus, band and the arts. One of his proud legacies is initiating elevator access to all floors at the middle school. Dennis coached Little League teams and there was no doubt the students of the Wallkill School District were his students. In 2014 Dennis was honored for his "Years of Service and Time to the Wallkill Central School District" by the Wallkill Alumni and Community Education Foundation. In 2018 he will be one of a number of honorees by BOCES for Excellence in Education. Dennis was especially proud of his niece, Bridget O'Mara Green and his nephew, Collin O'Mara Green for becoming teachers and educators in their own right
Dennis loved life, history, travel, sports, and family to name a few. He was able to visit relatives in Ireland, family in California, our National Parks, and travel throughout Europe. Dennis was a lifelong NY Yankees, Giants and Rangers fan, and of course all of the Wallkill HS sports teams. He could easily have taught a college level course on the American Civil War. It has been said that 80% of life is showing up, by that measure Dennis has left a legacy of a life well lived, a public well served and a family and community well loved.
Dennis is survived by his loving sisters, Maureen O'Mara and Eileen O'Mara-Garcia and their husbands, Richard Bazelow and Ralph O'Mara-Garcia; a nephew, Collin O'Mara-Green, and a niece, Bridget O'Mara-Green and her husband, Daniel Thomas; also cousins: Maura and Bill Rose, Kevin and Nancy Cowherd, Stephen Cowherd and Anne Staudt.
Friends may call from 3 to 6 p.m., Friday, June 1 at Millspaugh Funeral Home, 22 Bank St., Walden, NY. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 2 at Most Precious Blood Church, 42 Walnut St., Walden NY. Burial will be at St. Charles Cemetery in Gardiner NY. Everyone is invited, after Mass to the Wallkill Ambulance Corp Building, 231 First St., Wallkill, NY, for a reception in honor of Dennis to celebrate his life. Please come and share stories of what Dennis meant to you.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Wallkill Central School Scholarship Fund P.O. Box 310, Wallkill NY 12589 in memory of Dennis O'Mara.
Arrangements were made by Millspaugh Funeral Directors; for directions or condolences please visit millspaughfuneralhome.com