Dennis Wilson

Dennis Wilson

Dennis G. R. Wilson Sr., 79, of Essex Fells, NJ, passed away peacefully with his loving family by his side on Friday, November 8, 2019 at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. Son of the late Gerard and Vivian (Martenis) Wilson, he was born on May 4, 1940 in East Orange, and grew up in Bloomfield and Glen Ridge. He later lived in Caldwell, followed by Essex Fells. Dennis graduated Glen Ridge High School in 1958, where he was a football All-State Second Team selection as a fullback and linebacker by the Newark Star-Ledger and a Third Team choice by the Newark Evening News. He won the Group I state championship in the shot put and placed third in the discus. Dennis attended Dartmouth College where he played football and was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. He then transferred and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Ursinus College in 1963. At Ursinus, Dennis was a member of the Alpha Phi Epsilon fraternity. He was captain and awarded Most Valuable Player of the Ursinus College Track & Field men’s team in 1963, which won the MAC Championship, the first men’s championship in the college’s history. He received his Master of Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University (F.D.U.) in Marketing and would later serve as an adjunct professor at both F.D.U. and Essex County College. Over his career, Dennis would spend more than a decade as with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office under Brendan Byrne and Joseph Lordi overseeing special interest investigations. He would go on to be a private sports media entrepreneur. Dennis initiated the financial process that brought the Nets to New Jersey and served as General Chairman of the Official Welcome of the NBA franchise to New Jersey. The event held March 15, 1978, was the first-time a Nets game was televised live in New Jersey. He also served as President of the Metropolitan New York Football Writers Association, was custodian of the Lambert Awards, and would be the longest serving member of the Gagliardi Trophy selection committee. He was also the architect of the NCAA Division III All Star Game that is now known as the Aztec Bowl and which is now run by the American Football Coaches Association. As the only three-term President of the West Essex Chamber of Commerce, in 1976 he created the first-ever corporate-sponsored scholastic tournament in the nation--the West Essex Chamber of Commerce Holiday Festival Basketball Tournament, featuring four teams and included boys and girls brackets at the varsity, junior varsity and freshmen levels. He served on the boards of St. Vincent’s Hospital formerly in Montclair, The Bridge, and the Essex County Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. He loved coaching the Essex Fells Bengals for 10 years and being involved with the West Essex junior wrestling program. He coached numerous little league teams, was Vice President of the West Essex football boosters club, and was involved with the YMCA’s Indian Guides. Throughout his life, he was an avid sports fan, loved football and especially the New York Yankees. Dennis is survived by the love of his life Isabel; three proud sons, Dennis Jr. and his wife Alison of Basking Ridge; Brian and his wife Schelli of West Caldwell; and Kevin and his wife Angela of West Caldwell; his beloved grandchildren, Kayla, Abigail, Mckenzie, Peter, Gerard, Kevin Jr., and Marie; his sister Vivian Moran of VA; as well as nieces, nephews, cousins, and their families. Visitation will be on Thursday, November 14, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Shook-Farmer Funeral Home, 45 Roseland Ave, Roseland, NJ, shookfarmer.com. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Aloysius Church, 219 Bloomfield Ave, Caldwell on Friday, November 15 at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations in Dennis's memory may be made to the National Football Foundation Essex County Chapter, 481 Eagle Rock Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052.
May 4, 1940 - November 8, 201905/04/194011/08/2019
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Obituary

Dennis G. R. Wilson Sr., 79, of Essex Fells, NJ, passed away peacefully with his loving family by his side on Friday, November 8, 2019 at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. Son of the late Gerard and Vivian (Martenis) Wilson, he was born on May 4, 1940 in East Orange, and grew up in Bloomfield and Glen Ridge. He later lived in Caldwell, followed by Essex Fells. Dennis graduated Glen Ridge High School in 1958, where he was a football All-State Second Team selection as a fullback an...

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Events

Nov
14
Visitation
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11/14/2019 04:00 PM11/14/2019 08:00 PM Thursday, November 14 2019
04:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Shook-Farmer Funeral Home
Visitation
45 Roseland Avenue
ROSELAND, NJ 07068
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Dennis Wilson's visitation
Nov
15
Service
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11/15/2019 10:00 AM Friday, November 15 2019
10:00 AM
St. Aloysius Church
Service
219 Bloomfield Avenue
Caldwell, NJ 07006
United States
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Dennis Wilson's visitation