University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Remembering Edward J. O’Reilly, Jr.

Edward Joseph O'Reilly, Jr., professor emeritus of chemistry, Grand Forks, died at sea Nov. 24, 2012.  He was 86.edward-oreilly

Edward "Joe" O’Reilly, Jr. was born Aug. 21, 1926 in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Edward Joseph, Sr. and Bertha (Schierloh) O’Reilly. He grew up in Queens, New York and attended Public School 136 in Queens and St. Johns’ Preparatory School in Brooklyn, where he was graduated in 1944.

He began his college education at St. John‘s University in Brooklyn before entering the U.S. Navy during World War II. He served in the Pacific as an ET-3 electronics technician. He returned to St. John’s where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1948. During the fall of 1948, he began graduate studies at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. From 1951 to 1952, he served as an assistant instructor at the Waterbury Branch of the University of Connecticut. He received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Connecticut at Storrs in 1953.

From 1952 to 1954, he was employed as a chemical analyst with the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) in Washington, D.C. He then returned to the University of Connecticut at Storrs where he served as an assistant professor of chemistry during the academic year 1954 to 1955.

In the fall of 1955, he joined the chemistry faculty at the University of North Dakota, where he taught for 38 years before retiring in 1993. For a number of years, Dr. O’Reilly taught night classes at the Grand Forks Air Force Base and also taught in the summer school INMED (Indians into Medicine) Program on the UND campus.

He married Jean Ann Carpenter on Nov. 29, 1952, in Richmond Hill, N.Y. She preceded him in death on Aug. 28, 1987. He married Diana (Day) Deats on June 30, 1988 in Grand Forks.

For a number of years, he was active with the Grand Forks branch of the Civil Patrol. During the years of 1955 to 1988, he was a member of St. Michael’s Parish. Since 1988, he was been a member of Holy Family Parish where he was been involved in various committees, a eucharistic minister, home and hospital visitor, and active in the Holy Family Knights of Columbus Council. He was a longtime member of the American Chemical Society and an active member of the International Dinner Club and St. Anne’s Guest Home volunteer.

He is survived by his wife, Diana Deats-O’Reilly, Grand Forks; sons, Edward Joseph O’Reilly, III, Colorado Springs, Colo., The Rev. Timothy (Wilma) O’Reilly, Ordway, Colo., Kevin Patrick (Rui) O’Reilly; Happy Valley, Ore.; daughters, Alianna “Maureen” Maren, McLean Va., Ann Marie (Steve) McNeil; Algonquin, Ill.; grandchildren, Rachel O’Reilly, Colorado Springs, Mao (Aaron) Ong, Vancouver, Wash., Cassandra Riley, Chicago, Sean McNeil, Algonquin, Ill., Edward Julius O’Reilly, Angela Ruth O’Reilly, Samuel Isaac O’Reilly, all of Ordway, Colo.; great-grandchildren; step children, Kim Deats, Wichita, Kan., Lanai Deats, Grand Forks, Stewart (Janet)Deats, Flagstaff, Ariz.; step-grandchildren, Gabriel Elias Figueroa, Thomas Figueroa, both of Grand Forks; brothers, Francis (Helen) O’Reilly, Ardsley, N.Y., Vincent (Tamiko) O’Reilly, Mahopac, N.Y.; sisters, Patricia LeClerq, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Maureen O’Reilly, Plymouth, Mass.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jean Ann Carpenter O’Reilly; an infant son, James Isacc O’Reilly, and his parents.

-- Courtesy of Norman Funeral Home.