Wayside Recovery Center is saddened to learn of the passing of long-time board member Dennis John ‘D.J.’ Leary, who served Wayside from 1975 to 1986 and again from 1989 to 1998.
D.J. received the 2011 Wayside Mission Award in honor of his passionate commitment to breaking the cycle of addiction for women, children and families. He called his time on the Wayside board, “the most important thing of his life.”
D.J. started his media career as a radio reporter and disc jockey at KDWB. He later served as long-time media adviser to Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and became a well-respected and influential adviser in politics, journalism and public relations in Minnesota. D.J. served as adviser, member or board member for dozens of organizations including the Society of Professional Journalists, the Public Relations Society of America, the State of Minnesota Board of Public Defense and the Minnesota State Fair.
D.J.’s dedication to the women and families of Wayside often went beyond the call of duty, including personally assisting a young woman to enter treatment and building new partnerships to advance Wayside’s mission. We are grateful for his contribution to Wayside Recovery Center and know his legacy will continue to have a lasting impact on the women, children and families we serve for years to come.