Class of 1963
Inducted in 2024
Dennis was inducted into the SHSAA Hall of Fame in 2024.
After graduating South High in 1963, Dennis joined the Army National Guard, 867th Engineer Co. as a heavy equipment operator and served for six years. Dennis answered his next call to public service in September of 1968, when he joined the Omaha Police Department. During his time as an officer, Moran was an accident investigator, undercover narcotics officer, and personal security to Mayor Bernie Simon. He particularly took pride in helping the families impacted by traffic accidents, remembering letters from them showing gratitude for both his deep compassion and professionalism in the face of a serious injury or loss of life.
The most unforgettable event of his policing career occurred on August 17, 1970, while responding to a distress call at a vacant house on Ohio Street. Dennis was one of seven officers injured in the devastating explosion, which tragically took the life of his partner. Officer Larry Minard, Sr. Despite his injuries, Dennis continued to serve and protect the Omaha community before his retirement where he celebrated 30 years with OPD.
Community service was not Dennis’s only passion, he quickly found a love for real estate (residential and commercial) after purchasing his first home from his father, fixing it up, and selling it 8 months later for a “nice profit.” He was hooked. In 1980, he set his sights on a new venture when he became the owner of the Dundee Theatre. He credits the general business course he took from Miss Wagner at South High School with providing the skills needed to set up the bookkeeping for his small business. As a result, Omaha acquired the only “Art House” style theater in the state at the time, playing foreign and independent films previously unavailable to the community.
With the inclusion of his other theaters, Omni Four Theaters in Council Bluffs, IA and the Westwood Cinemas 8, Dennis created spaces for filmmakers to premiere their work and for Bollywood to find an audience an ocean away from home. Many young people remember the magic of midnight movies and families could enjoy discounted tickets and affordable concessions — Moran sought to create spaces where everyone could enjoy a night at the movies.
And, if this wasn’t enough to keep Dennis busy, he also owned and operated a video rental business named Dundee Main Street Movies with his wife Janet Moran-1976 along with opening Fenwick’s Diner in 1990 — a restaurant for those looking for good food, real homemade ice cream, and an authentic 50s diner experience.
Dennis now lives the retired life, enjoying traveling with his wife Janet and spending quality time with his family. They will be celebrating 37 years of marriage in May 2024 and have two children.