Patrick O’Reiley was a major benefactor for FFRF and following his death, FFRF named the new editorial wing in its Madison offices after him.
O’Reiley was born Jan. 31, 1924, in New Haven, Ind. and died Aug. 12, 2013, at his home in San Diego after an extended bout with prostate cancer at the age of 89.
He was a mortar gunner in the 42nd Infantry Division during World War II and was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery during a battle in France in January 1945. He married Anna Popa on Jan. 1, 1947, and they lived together until her death in 2009. After moving to San Diego in the 1950s, Patrick worked in different positions within city and county governments before getting a position as the San Diego Zoo’s personnel director in 1962. He retired in 2008, and his 46-year tenure made him the longest-serving in the zoo’s history.
He was generous with his money and time, and made gifts to the San Diego Humane Society, the San Diego Foundation and the Nature Conservancy, and, of course, FFRF. He is survived by one son, Tim, who lives in Las Vegas.