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Dennis Austin O’Brien
Dennis “Denny” Austin O’Brien peacefully passed away at 87 with family by his side, on Sunday, April 16, 2023. Dennis is known for his innate positivity, gener- ous heart, infectious sense of humor, and athleticism, and he will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
Dennis dedicated his life to
working (and playing!) hard
to attain success in all parts of life most significant to him, including a life of sports (swimming, squash and golf), real estate, husband, father and grandfather, to a blended family of six children, eleven grandchildren, nu- merous beloved family dogs, and 35 years as a devoted AA member and sponsor, nurturing countless others to their meaningful lives of sobriety.
Dennis was born on Sept. 14, 1935 in Evanston, IL and grew up in Akron, OH. Upon graduating from high- school, he hitchhiked the 250 miles to Oxford OH, with his sight set on securing a spot on Miami University’s swim team as a walk-on. His grit and determination paid off as he became the university’s first All-American swimmer. He also represented the Phi Delta Theta frater- nity as an elected leader.
Following college graduation, Dennis married his fel- low Miami U. sweetheart Marnie (McKee/Roti) and they raised their four children, Mike, Kelly, Patti and Dan, in Pennsylvania and Colorado.
Dennis returned to Miami after decades as a National Masters swim champion and record-holder to be the first swimmer inducted into the Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame.
No matter where his life and career took him, including serving our country in the U.S. Army Reserve, Dennis found a sport to excel in, even becoming a state and re- gional champion Squash player in Denver Colorado for a decade before the family moved to Durango, CO, in 1973. Dennis became real estate broker for the newly opening Tamarron Resort. Dennis was also a dedicated longtime board member of the Hermosa Cliffs Fire Protection Dis- trict, Durango Swim Club and frequent guest speaker for Fort Lewis College business students.
In the early 1990’s, Dennis met his match and future wife, Trudy Klatt, and for the next 30 years, they were an inseparable pair, competing in Masters swimming, play- ing and competing in golf tournaments and enjoying time with their blended family, pups and friends.
After 45 years at Tamarron/Glacier Club, Dennis retired in Sun City West, AZ where he and Trudy spent their days at the recreation centers, pool, golf courses and relaxing with family and friends.
Dennis is survived by his first wife, Marnie Roti, and their children, Mike, Kelly, Patti, and Dan, and wife Trudy O’Brien and her children, Beth Bishop, and Danny Klatt, and eleven grandchildren; all inspired to carry Dennis’ legacy forward. A celebration of life will be held, date to be determined.
Memorial donations may be made to the Durango Mas- ters Swim Club, Durango/LaPlata County (or your local) AA Chapter; Hospice of the Valley (AZ).