In Memory

Dennis Kissane

Dennis Kissane passed away recently (June 2014).  The world is a lesser place for his passing. We had long telephone conversations a couple of times over the past year.  He suffered from adult onset diabiates.  Personally, I do not like the thought of a world without Dennis.  He was highly intelligent, thoughtful, and very insightfull in unconventional ways.  Life can be difficult for such people, but they make life much more meaningful and challenging for those of us who are more conventional.  We shared many a hearty laugh over life and its absurdities.  He was a wonderful athlete, a boon companion, and a great human being.  I will miss him greatly.  Rest in Peace dear friend.

James Heitsch

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06/24/14 08:39 AM #1    

John Skipper

I did not know Dennis well but I remember him from my days writing up Oak Park HIgh School sports for Oak Leaves, the weekly newspaper. As I recall, he was a "walk on" on the baseball team and added colorful moments not only through his pitching but his personality. His old teammates could tell you better than I can, but I remember his as being a real character and pretty sure of himself. Dizzy Dean used to say, "It ain't bragging if you can do it" and Dennis could do it. I would love to read some reflections from some of his old teammates  

06/24/14 01:20 PM #2    

Randy Kadlec

No one who played baseball with Denny could ever forget him. From the iconic "tryout" on the old baseball diamond (striking out the entire starting team in street shoes and hitting a mammoth drive into the stadium door, prompting Jack Kaiser to ask him what classes he was enrolled in), to seizing the moment and telling opposing batters what pitch was coming, to goofing around on the sidelines with the finest knuckeball this backup catcher has ever had the pleasure to try to get a mitt on, to engaging us all with his offbeat, but quick intelligence-- to hearing about his pinnacle pro moment, striking out Harmon Killebrew at an exhibition game in Milwaukee for his triple A team. So sorry to hear about the passing of one of the most unique members of our class.

06/27/14 10:27 PM #3    

Margaret Ross

I didn’t know Dennis in high school, I met him when he tagged along on a date with I can’t remember who – we went downtown to see “Goldfinger.” He charmed me right off the bat and I fell in love with his goofiness. Through the years, he came in and out of my life, ringing my doorbell out of the blue at all hours of the night, and he was always welcome, sometimes at 3 a.m. When I was in a bad mood, he could make me laugh and forget about whatever it was that was pissing me off. His greatest compliment to me was that I never apologized about my house being messy. Dennis was such an amazing, funny, brilliant, interesting and freaking handsome guy.  I wish I had been able to see him one more time. 

09/17/15 09:31 AM #4    

James Nicolai

God bless Denny. Played some baseball with him, marveled at his talent and if I remember correctly he played for the White Sox for a while. Amazing speed on his fastball, amazing talent and a really good guy! :


01/12/16 05:01 AM #5    

Kathleen Bacom

Jim, you're right!  Dennis did play for the Chicago White Sox system, minor leagues!  How cool is that!

Rest in peace, Dennis.

07/13/16 12:41 PM #6    

James Nicolai

I agree with James! 


01/07/20 02:07 PM #7    

Les Golden

I know this is tardy, but one day years ago I asked Coch Kaiser who was the best ballplayer he ever coached and he said Kissane.  I'm pretty sure my memory is accurate on this.  A relative of his, perhaps by marriage, Sharon Kissane, lives in Barrington.  A writer's agent and also a bit of a character.  I've been trying to get the park district to create a real stadium at Ridgeland Common and name it Jack Kaiser Stadium.  I even created a mockup architect's sketch.  To no avail.

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