Dennis â�?�?Roryâ�?�? Oâ�?�?Connor Rory O'Connor passed away on Easter morning at the Hudson Healthcare Center in Hudson, where he had been staying for the past month. Born Dennis Richard O'Connor on Oct. 4, 1929, in Sioux City, IA, to Dennis Michael O'Connor and Dalia Elizabeth Ledell O'Connor, Rory was raised on the family farm across the road from Union County Park. He graduated from Beresford High School in 1947 and from The University of South Dakota in 1951 with a BA in speech (radio-television). Rory worked as a radio announcer in Sioux City, IA, until 1952, then served in the Army for two years during the Korean War, stationed near the Black Forest in Northern Germany. He moved to New York City in 1954, where he was an actor for over 20 years in numerous productions in theater, television and film, including plays off-Broadway and off-off Broadway, dinner theaters, stock companies, a daytime soap, TV commercials and the films The French Connection and The Valachi Papers. When Rory returned to southeastern South Dakota in 1975, he moved a beautiful old house built by a Swedish carpenter to the top of the highest hill on the family farm — one of the highest points in Union County. He loved the ample old home and the spacious views in all directions. He kept himself busy renovating the place and giving tours to all the I-29 travelers who found their way to his door just to have a look inside his grand old house on the hill, and he gave shelter and love to the many dogs and cats who also found their way to his door. After his return, Rory continued his love of theater by participating in many local productions, including the lead role in The Silver Whistle and director of Sx Rms Rv Vu, both at the Sioux City Community Theatre, Oliver at the Akron Community Theatre, Mame at USD, and the lead role in The Dakota Descendents of Ola Rue at USD. He also wrote, produced and directed the play Lights, a dinner theatre sponsored by the Vermillion Area Arts Council. Rory was a connoisseur of jazz and of everything Hollywood in the era of the classic movies. He was a gourmet cook and loved to host gala dinners and attend parties and talk late into the night with his friends – often sharing his appreciation of the silver screen and his knowledge of the great stars and films of the 20s, 30s and 40s. He moved to Wakonda around 1995, and to Vermillion Assisted Living in 2006. He was admitted to the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls last December with a brain tumor, and remained at the VA until he moved to the Hudson Healthcare Center last month. Rory is survived by his sister Patricia A. Berg, his brother-in-law Adrian Berg, and his nephew Joel Berg, all of Edina, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents. A memorial celebration will be held in Rory's honor at a time to be arranged. Please contact Iverson-Siecke-Kober Funeral Home for further details.
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