Dennis Patrick O’Meara, 67, a Wall Street banker and life-long soccer enthusiast who helped shape the early development of collegiate soccer in the Northwest, died Saturday, Feb. 16, in Las Vegas of cardiac arrest. There will be a funeral Mass at Ascension Church in Southeast Portland, Thursday, March 14 at noon.

A remembrance is also being planned to coincide with the opening of the UP men's soccer season in late August.

Mr. O’Meara was born at Portland’s St. Vincent Hospital May 28, 1951, to Edward and Frances (Sullivan) O’Meara and grew up on the slopes of Mount Tabor in Southeast Portland, graduating from Ascension Elementary School. He attended Central Catholic High School, Portland State University and graduated from the University of Oregon School of Journalism in 1974.

From 1974 to 1978, Mr. O’Meara coached the first men’s varsity soccer team at the University of Portland. In addition to his coaching duties he managed all travel arrangements, coordinated media relations with the school’s athletic department, recruited volunteer assistant coaches and advocated on behalf of the program with the athletic department, sponsors, the university’s administration and alumni.

He was public relations director for the original North American Soccer League Portland Timbers Soccer team in the mid-1970s. In this capacity he conducted the club’s first college draft for the 1976 season. In 1977, the team was recognized as having the longest winning streak in the nation, bringing national attention to the Pilots. Mr. O’Meara and the team were inducted into the Northwest College Soccer Hall of Fame in 2017.

"Dennis was an incredible man who deeply loved Portland soccer," Pilot men's soccer head coach, Nick Carlin-Voigt, said in a story at the University of Portland’s Pilot’s website. "For decades he loyally supported UP soccer and will be remembered as an architect in the program's storied history."

Mr. O’Meara went on to spend five years as a top aide in Oregon and Multnomah County governments and interstate commissions at legislative and executive levels.

He married fellow state legislative staffer Barbara Genova in 1982 and they moved to New York City, where he received an MBA in finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Mr. O’Meara was a corporate finance officer with Bank of America in New York City before joining Fuji Bank and its successor institution, Mizuho Corporate Bank, where he specialized in corporate lending, credit policy and loan portfolio management. He advanced to become senior vice president/deputy general manager, managing the internal research group for Mizuho, the world’s second largest bank. He was the first non-Japanese staffer appointed to a senior credit position in the bank’s 110-year history. He returned to Oregon in the late 2000s before retiring in Grand Junction, Colorado, in 2014. During his time back in Portland he also volunteered as boys’ soccer coach at Westside Christian. His team made the state playoffs two of the three seasons he coached there. He also volunteered to oversee communications and publicity for the “Jimmy Conway Testimonial,” a series of events to pay tribute to a former Portland Timber player.

He was preceded in death by his parents and nephew, Connor Wyman. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Genova, of Grand Junction, Colorado; sisters Kathleen O'Meara-Wyman (Tom Wyman), Vancouver, Washington; Maureen Uhlmeyer (David) Portland; nephew, Patrick Wyman (Arden Anlian) and great-nephew and niece, Ames and Ellis Wyman, Los Angeles; nephews Ryan and Kevin Uhlmeyer, Reno, niece Shannon Uhlmeyer, Portland; cousins Kate McGuire, Portland and James McGuire, Forest Grove; brother-in-law Richard Genova (Marjorie), Grand Junction; nephews, Anthony Genova (Debi, Giselle, Gabrielle), Nicholas Genova, Grand Junction; Dominic Genova (Nastasia), Vancouver, BC; Marcus Genova (Kelly, Alexander), Festus, Missouri; Alan Genova (Alyce, Antonio), Parker, Colorado, and numerous cousins.

The family has asked that donations be made in Mr. O’Meara’ memory to UP Men’s Soccer in support of the physical, academic, and personal development of the student athletes in the program at’Meara.