Irish immigrant, self-made Wall Street giant and 2005 Grand Marshal passes
It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Denis P. Kelleher, Grand Marshal of the 2005 Parade. “This great honor humbles me,” he said in 2005. “I never imagined when I came to America as a very young man that someday I would lead the greatest parade in the world.” “Dennis epitomized the true spirit of a St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal, a family man, community leader, and avid supporter of a wide variety of worthy causes. He was a class act, said Sean Lane Chairman St Patrick’s Day Parade Board
The son of a shoemaker, Denis Kelleher attended St. Brendan’s College in Killarney, Co Kerry, Ireland where he envisioned New York as a land of opportunity. “Growing up in Ireland,” Mr. Kelleher recalled, “I thought New York was the city of possibility and now I know that’s a reality.” Just two days after arriving in America in 1958 at the age of 18, Denis Kelleher started working as a messenger for Merrill Lynch. In less than a month, he was promoted to payroll clerk. Eventually, he pursued the higher education that he promised himself and that his mother had encouraged, earning his undergraduate degree in the evenings at St. John’s University, while learning the ropes and climbing the ladders of various financial services firms. For the rest of his life, he continued his affiliation with St. John’s and served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.In 1981, Mr. Kelleher founded Wall Street Access, a brokerage and financial services firm with more than 400 employees. With more than 40 years of experience in the securities industry, Mr. Kelleher received many honors for his steady successes, including recognition by Irish America magazine as one of the Top 100 Irish American business leaders on Wall Street. He helped fund the education of hundreds of Catholic school children through the Inner-City Scholarship Fund of the New York Archdiocese, and lent his time, financial support and expertise to numerous community and charitable organizations. He, along with other Irish Americans, worked quietly behind the scenes to advance political stability and peace in Northern Ireland. “Denis Kelleher exemplified the true immigrant success story. He was first and foremost a proud Kerryman, a proud son of Ireland and a proud New Yorker. We will miss Denis and thank him for his 35 years of dedicated service on the Parade board of Directors. He supported the Parade all the way” said Hilary Beirne Chairman St Patrick’s Day Foundation, NYC. “We extend our sincere condolences to his wife Carol and family at this difficult time”.
Visitation: CASEY FUNERAL HOME, 350 Slosson Ave, Staten Island, NY 10314. Saturday, November 30, 2019: Time 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm and Sunday, December 1, 2019: Times 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm – 9:00 pmMass of Christian Burial: ST. ANN’S CHURCH, 101 Cromwell Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10305, Monday December 2, 2019: Time 12:00 pm – 1:00 pmEntombment: MORAVIAN CEMETERY, 2205 Richmond Road, Staten Island, NY 10306 December 2, 2019 Time 1:30 pm – 2:00 pmMemorial donations may be mail to The New World Preparatory Charter School, 26 Sharpe Avenue, Staten Island, New York 10302