Sir Dennis Michael Finnigan, Sr. of Lake Oswego, Oregon, passed away on Monday, December 28, 2020 at the age of 92 after a short illness and stroke.
Dennis is survived by his wife, Barbara Pfeiffer Finnigan and his nine children and their spouses: Cecilia Finnigan (Patrick), Eileen Finnigan Blair (Martin); Dennis Jr. (Debra); Kathleen Finnigan Frydenlund (Bruce); Peggy Finnigan Dudenhoeffer (Jack); Teresa Finnigan (Guy); Timothy (Jennifer); Kevin (Kari); Marie Finnigan Miyaishi (Tomoaki); fifteen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren; two brothers, Robert and Paul; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their families.
Dennis was born on August 10, 1928 in Kenmore, New York, to parents Charles Marcellus Finnigan and Marie Florence Jacobs. He was the fourth boy in a family of six surviving boys and one girl. His mother died at the age of 37 in childbirth which also took the life of a sister, Sheila. His father never remarried and raised the family unassisted after the boys drove several housekeepers out of the house. Dennis’ siblings were James, Gerald, Robert, Kathleen, John and Paul. Dennis attended grade school at Christ the King in Synder, NY, graduating in 1942. He graduated from Amherst Central High School in 1946 and joined the US Air Force at age 18 where he served at various bases from 1946-1949. He graduated from Stanford University in 1953 and also attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1953 and 1954. After graduating, Dennis took a job at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, CA where he spent 28 years in various senior management consulting positions, the last being Vice President of International Operations. Dennis left SRI in 1981 to form his own consulting company and continued working with international clients until he semi-retired in 1996. Dennis continued to be involved in co-founding several companies engaged in Voicemail, telecommunications, teleconferencing and related services. Over the years, his extensive travel took him to almost every continent and he continued throughout his lifetime to maintain contact with former clients and friends all over the world. Dennis received numerous awards from SRI for his long service there, including being named a charter member of the SRI Hall of Fame. One of his most cherished professional accomplishments was being honored by the King of Sweden by being knighted and inducted into the prestigious Royal Order of the North Star for his contributions he made toward the development of the Swedish economy.
Dennis’ most cherished personal accomplishment was his family. Dennis and Barbara met at Sunsweet in San Jose in 1949, married in 1951 and raised 6 girls and 3 boys at their home in Los Altos, CA. In 1993 Dennis and Barbara moved to West Linn, OR to be closer to several daughters and grandchildren. They celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary in June 2020.
Dennis’ life revolved around family with Barbara and his children, as well as with frequent celebrations and dinners with his and Barbara’s huge extended family of siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, and close friends. The family spent many summers and ski seasons at the family cabin in Soda Springs, CA. He and Barbara continued to travel during his retirement years, with numerous trips to Cabo San Lucas, Hawaii, Europe, and Japan to visit family and friends.
Dennis made friends wherever he went, taking the time to talk to everyone he met. He commanded respect and admiration from those in his personal and business relationships. Those who knew him described him as a giant among men, a grand human being, a man of principle with a strong Catholic faith, a dear friend and wise mentor, smart, funny, and a wonderful family man. He will be dearly missed.
Due to the pandemic, no funeral services are planned at this time. Memorial services and a celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date. Interment will be at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, CA.
In lieu of flowers, tribute gifts in Dennis’ name can be made to support the Resident Fund at Mary’s Woods, 17400 Holy Names Drive, Lake Oswego, OR 97034. You may also give securely online at www.maryswoods.org/about-us/giving/.
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