In memory of
Dennis James Reilly
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In memory of
Dennis James Reilly
Dennis James Reilly, 68 Retired F.D.N.Y. firefighter Dennis James Reilly, 68, retired F.D.N.Y. firefighter, Dennis James "Ace" Reilly, 68, of Cary, NC, beloved husband, brother and friend, passed away February 14, 2021 at his home following his battle with cancer. Dennis was born on May 11, 1952 in Staten Island, New York to John and Margaret (Chorman) Reilly. He was the third of six brothers. From an early age, Dennis showed tenacity and a gift for athletics. He obtained two degrees in the physical sciences and excelled in football at Missouri Valley College where he was voted MVP in 1974, and was later inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in October of 2012. Dennis enjoyed his new career as a history teacher and football coach, and then in 1976 was fortunate to sign a contract with the NY Giants, but was released during pre-season to later become a professional heavyweight boxer, professional actor, stand-up comedian, and international fitness instructor & presenter at the world's most elite health spas. Dennis committed his life to helping people and became a New York City firefighter in May of 1983. During his tenure at the fire department he was the nozzle man who was never afraid to run into a blazing inferno. He was a fireman's fireman. Dennis worked through the early morning hours on the day the Twin Towers fell on 9/11/2001, and returned to Ground Zero search & rescue operations for many days thereafter. He lost many friends and colleagues on that fateful day and participated in numerous fundraisers to help the spouses and families of those lost, which included 2 charity NY Police vs. NY Fire heavyweight boxing matches where his contenders were 20 years his junior. Dennis had heart and soul. Shortly after 9/11 Dennis proposed to the love of his life Cindy, who at the time was a flight attendant for Continental Airlines. They were later married in March of 2003. Dennis retired from the New York City Fire Department in May of 2003 and enjoyed his retirement years with his wife and their two Himalayan cats and little Pekingese, Suki, in Florida, and later relocated to Cary, NC in 2009, where he pursued his writing passion and published his first book, "Jobs, Heroes, Zeroes and Thieves!" and was currently working on a second publication. Anyone who knew Dennis would say that he lived his life big and he lived it with gusto, compassion and grit. Dennis was known for his bravery, strength, athletic ability, humor, compassion, and empathy. He was loved by everyone who came in contact with him and went out of his way to help any person in need. He made a huge impact on the lives of so many. He rooted for the underdog and believed that persistence and hard work defined the character of an individual whether rich or poor. Dennis' brother Ray quoted, "He was the best brother you could ever ask for, he always had your back and could always make you laugh." Dennis loved all of his furry kids, Ziggy, Misty, Sweet Tart and Suki with an intense compassion, and was a devoted and loving husband. To Cindy, Dennis was her "gentle giant" and the love of her life. Dennis will be tremendously missed by so many whose lives he inspired and hearts he touched. Dennis is survived by his wife Cynthia Reilly of Cary, NC, five brothers, John Reilly of Surprise, AZ, James Reilly and wife Karen of Mamaroneck, NY, Daniel Reilly and wife Frances of Roulette, PA, Raymond Reilly of Manalapan, NJ, and Patrick Reilly of Surprise, AZ. Also, nephew Michael Reilly and wife Lisa of Tucson, AZ and great nieces Shea and Skylar Reilly, niece Bridget Reilly of Mechanicville, NY, and second cousin Stephen Chorman and wife Susan of Apex, NC. Also, mother-in-law Elizabeth Preuc, and 3 brother-in-laws Randall Preuc, Kenneth Preuc and daughter Chelsi, and Robert Preuc and wife Fay. He was preceded in death by John Reilly (father) and Margaret Reilly (mother). The family extends a special thank you to the Cary Fire Department and the New York City Fire Department. They provided incredible support during this difficult time. Memorial mass is planned at St. Michael The Archangel Church on Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 11:00 am. Memorial contributions may be made to the Town of Cary Fire Department, the NY Police & Fire Widows and Children's Benefit Fund, or the Wounded Warrior Wake Funeral and Cremation 600 Gathering Park Circle Suite 101 Carry, N.C. 27519 (919) 465-09
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Services Provided By
Wake Funeral Service
600 Gathering Park Cir Ste 101
Cary, NC 27519
Show Service Dates ╲╱
In memory of
Dennis James Reilly
Dennis James Reilly, 68 Retired F.D.N.Y. firefighter Dennis James Reilly, 68, retired F.D.N.Y. firefighter, Dennis James "Ace" Reilly, 68, of Cary, NC, beloved husband, brother and friend, passed away February 14, 2021 at his home following his battle with cancer. Dennis was born on May 11, 1952 in Staten Island, New York to John and Margaret (Chorman) Reilly. He was the third of six brothers. From an early age, Dennis showed tenacity and a gift for athletics. He obtained two degrees in the physical sciences and excelled in football at Missouri Valley College where he was voted MVP in 1974, and was later inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in October of 2012. Dennis enjoyed his new career as a history teacher and football coach, and then in 1976 was fortunate to sign a contract with the NY Giants, but was released during pre-season to later become a professional heavyweight boxer, professional actor, stand-up comedian, and international fitness instructor & presenter at the world's most elite health spas. Dennis committed his life to helping people and became a New York City firefighter in May of 1983. During his tenure at the fire department he was the nozzle man who was never afraid to run into a blazing inferno. He was a fireman's fireman. Dennis worked through the early morning hours on the day the Twin Towers fell on 9/11/2001, and returned to Ground Zero search & rescue operations for many days thereafter. He lost many friends and colleagues on that fateful day and participated in numerous fundraisers to help the spouses and families of those lost, which included 2 charity NY Police vs. NY Fire heavyweight boxing matches where his contenders were 20 years his junior. Dennis had heart and soul. Shortly after 9/11 Dennis proposed to the love of his life Cindy, who at the time was a flight attendant for Continental Airlines. They were later married in March of 2003. Dennis retired from the New York City Fire Department in May of 2003 and enjoyed his retirement years with his wife and their two Himalayan cats and little Pekingese, Suki, in Florida, and later relocated to Cary, NC in 2009, where he pursued his writing passion and published his first book, "Jobs, Heroes, Zeroes and Thieves!" and was currently working on a second publication. Anyone who knew Dennis would say that he lived his life big and he lived it with gusto, compassion and grit. Dennis was known for his bravery, strength, athletic ability, humor, compassion, and empathy. He was loved by everyone who came in contact with him and went out of his way to help any person in need. He made a huge impact on the lives of so many. He rooted for the underdog and believed that persistence and hard work defined the character of an individual whether rich or poor. Dennis' brother Ray quoted, "He was the best brother you could ever ask for, he always had your back and could always make you laugh." Dennis loved all of his furry kids, Ziggy, Misty, Sweet Tart and Suki with an intense compassion, and was a devoted and loving husband. To Cindy, Dennis was her "gentle giant" and the love of her life. Dennis will be tremendously missed by so many whose lives he inspired and hearts he touched. Dennis is survived by his wife Cynthia Reilly of Cary, NC, five brothers, John Reilly of Surprise, AZ, James Reilly and wife Karen of Mamaroneck, NY, Daniel Reilly and wife Frances of Roulette, PA, Raymond Reilly of Manalapan, NJ, and Patrick Reilly of Surprise, AZ. Also, nephew Michael Reilly and wife Lisa of Tucson, AZ and great nieces Shea and Skylar Reilly, niece Bridget Reilly of Mechanicville, NY, and second cousin Stephen Chorman and wife Susan of Apex, NC. Also, mother-in-law Elizabeth Preuc, and 3 brother-in-laws Randall Preuc, Kenneth Preuc and daughter Chelsi, and Robert Preuc and wife Fay. He was preceded in death by John Reilly (father) and Margaret Reilly (mother). The family extends a special thank you to the Cary Fire Department and the New York City Fire Department. They provided incredible support during this difficult time. Memorial mass is planned at St. Michael The Archangel Church on Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 11:00 am. Memorial contributions may be made to the Town of Cary Fire Department, the NY Police & Fire Widows and Children's Benefit Fund, or the Wounded Warrior Wake Funeral and Cremation 600 Gathering Park Circle Suite 101 Carry, N.C. 27519 (919) 465-09
View Full Obituary ›
Services Provided By
Wake Funeral Service
600 Gathering Park Cir Ste 101
Cary, NC 27519
Show Service Dates ╲╱
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