A tragic accident in the Twin Cities’ south metro has claimed the life of Fr. Dennis “Denny” Dempsey, a pastor at St. Dominic Church in Northfield who once served the St. Michael Parish back in the early 1990s.
Since his tenure here in St. Michael – which ended, according to records, around 1993, Fr. Denny had traveled as missionary to Venezuela, where he spent nearly 15 years, before coming back to the Twin Cities area.
Since his return, Fr. Denny was not only pastor at St. Dominic but also served the Archdiocese of St. Paul by presiding over Mass as many south metro parishes over the last many years. Fr. Denny remained involved in the Venezuelan Mission, making more trips to South America during the last two decades. Fr. Denny was ordained in 1980, at the age of 30. Most recently he was also serving the parish at Church of the Risen Savior in Burnsville.
According to police reports, Fr. Denny was riding his bike nearly the intersection of Dakota County Highway 42 and 145th Street West in Rosemount when he was hit by a driver around 3;30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 25. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A suspect – a driver with several arrests on his driving record – was taken into custody at the scene but has not been charged.
Fr. Dempsey – an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed canoeing and hiking as well as biking, is preceded in death by his parents, Christopher and Marie Dempsey. He is survived by his brothers, Chris (Diane) and Brian (Lynda); sister Arlana (Patrick Campbell) Dempsey; sister-in-law Helen; nieces, Kristin (Dave) Soderholm, Annette (Brian) Connelly, Judith (Kieshawn Kearney), Rose (Adam) McLaughlin and Alison (Justin) Thomas; many great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.
A visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, 2021 at the Church of St. Dominic, 104 Linden St. N., Northfield, Minnesota, with a vigil service set for 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021 at the Church of the Risen Savior, 1501 County Road 42, Burnsville, Minnesota, with a visitation preceding the Mass, starting at 9 a.m. Internment will take place at Resurrection Cemetery.
Memorials are preferred to The Archdiocese – Venezuelan Mission. Kessler and Maguire Funeral Services are assisting Fr. Dennis’ family with arrangements.