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D ennis was born in San Mateo. Graduated from Los Gatos High and received a degree in Psychology from San Jose State University in 1969. Early in life he lived in Japan. After college he worked in Alaska and traveled to Europe where he eventually managed the infamous bar and restaurant, Mother Earth’s Lost and Found in Paris. There he met Maria Pietri, his wife of 25 years. Dennis and Maria returned to the Bay Area where Dennis worked as a carpenter. During this time, their daughter, Honorine, was born. In 1986 Dennis joined South County Housing and found his life’s work. He started as a project director and in 1997 became the CEO. During his tenure Dennis was involved in the construction or more than 3,000 affordable housing units in Santa Clara, San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz. In his lifetime, Dennis was responsible for managing the construction of over one billion dollars’ worth of affordable housing. Dennis Lalor steered South County Housing through some great years and some very difficult years. In the end he had to guide the agency through liquidation. Changes in legislation and the recession hit the agency hard. The process of shutting down South County Housing weighed heavily on Dennis but all the while, he remained an advocate for affordable housing. He traveled the country sharing his expertise. Over the years, this interesting man from the small town of Gilroy became a nationally-recognized expert on affordable housing. Dennis served on various committees of LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) and received a LISC Scholarship Award in 2005 and Rural Champion Award in 2015. In 2018 LISC asked its peers, partners and collaborators to provide a single word to describe Dennis. The following “Wordle” was shared with Dennis before he passed away. the agency. And in smaller more personal issues like when Manuel Huerta, a mentee of Dennis at SCH, was confronted by an angry homeowner ranting about “poor people.” Dennis responded in a firm and compelling manner that “poor people” were not bad people. He then proceeded to quiet the protest with dignity and a convincing pitch for his affordable housing project. Jean Zlotkin, his companion and travel buddy during the last few years, noted that even in the last months of his battle with a brain tumor, “He suffered well. He found joy in his life’s work. He cared a heck of a lot for the down and out.” South County is grateful for having such a capable and multi-faceted advocate for affordable housing. Fittingly, at the end of the Celebration of Life event held for Dennis Lalor, his friend, Peter Alsing, sang “The Parting Glass,” a traditional song popular in Ireland and Scotland, often sung at the end of a gathering of friends. Oh of all the money that e’re I spent I spent it in good company and of all the harm that e’re Ive done alas it was to none but me for all I’ve done for want of wit to mem’ry now I can’t recall so fi ll to me the parting glass good night and joy be with you all Gang of 5: David Ferrier, Stan Keasling, Dennis, Peter Carey, John Mealey Dennis was often associated with the “Gang of Five,” CEO’s of various affordable housing associated organizations in California. For nineteen years this group met twice a year to reinforce each other and work for better affordable housing in California. The bond among them was so strong that over their 19 years of meetings, only twice were one of the “Gang” missing. Dennis had impact on big-picture issues like the fact that none of the affordable housing units in the South County Housing (SCH) portfolio was lost in the shutting down of GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Dennis, Matt Huerta, Seth Capron, Ellen Weech, Paul Weech at the groundbreaking for Camphora Apartments in Salinas. december 2018-january 2019 87