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Joseph Michael Dempsey

November 12, 1946 – February 18, 2023

Joseph Michael Dempsey

It is with great sadness and tremendous gratitude that the family of Joseph Michael Dempsey shares the news of his passing.

Mike, a legend in his own mind (his words) joined his Heavenly Father on Feb. 18 at the age of 76. He was a remarkable man who attended Mass every day from the age of 13, ran 60 marathons, and told the longest, corniest, most painful “dad jokes” ever inflicted on relatives.

Mike worked for Cincinnati Financial for 35 years. He seemed to love every minute of it, reveling in the wonderful friends and co-workers he acquired.  This enjoyment was surpassed only by the hours he spent running and talking about running with his “cronies.”  Mike lost his final race against Alzheimers, which he ran with courage and dignity.

Mike leaves a large family to cherish his memory and emula­te his ethics: his devoted and saintly (his words) wife of 53 years, Joan, their children, Joseph Dempsey (Carrie), Elizabeth Horstman (Kevin), Theresa Dempsey (Jon) and Shawn Dempsey (Tosh). He also leaves his cherished grandchildren: Monica, Eileen, Michael and Cecilia Dempsey, Ben, Will, Reese, Matthew and John Horstman, Lily Dempsey, and Amanda and Emily Popp.  Mike was predeceased by his sister, Peggy Jonas (Jerry) and his brother, Bill Dempsey (Joy).  He leaves behind his loving siblings, Eileen Dempsey (Wayne) Dan Dempsey (Jennifer) John Dempsey, and Matthew Dempsey (Teresa) and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held Thursday, 23rd of February 2023 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at The Arlington Memorial Gardens Funeral Home, 2155 Compton Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45231 (follow the blue line to the left when entering the memorial park). Services for Mike Dempsey will be held on Friday, February 24, 2023, at 10:00 AM at St. Therese Little Flower Parish, 5560 Kirby Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45231.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Athenaeum of Ohio (seminary) or any Catholic charity.



Thursday, February 23, 2023 at 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

The Arlington Memorial Garden Funeral Home


Friday, February 24, 2023 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

St. Therese Little Flower Parish


Friday, February 24, 2023 at 11:30 AM

The Arlington Memorial Gardens

Guest Book

“The world was a better place with Mike in it. It was an honor to work with Mike, at CFC, but even more so, to call him a good friend & marathon partner. He will surely be missed by all who were blessed to know him…”

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“Dear Dempsey family, It is with a heavy heart that I write this. As one of the many Wilkins, there are so many connection between our families in our days in HP and at St. Mary’s . Mike was a gentle ‘big brother’ to me when I was a “Gregorian” and then my 3 semesters at St. Greg’s. I echo Jerry Federle’s comments; Mike was a gentle giant always with his crooked smile and hearty laugh. When we lived in Mt. AIry, he was a regular sight on Colerain or North Bend as he trained for yet another marathon. Our paths did not cross much in the last several decades, but he was a man I always admired. You are in my thoughts and prayers, Mark M. Wilkins”

“I went to St. Gregory’s Seminary for 4 years with Mike. He was not “a legend in his own mind”. He was a LEGEND! Mike was one of the most likeable, funny people anywhere. If you ever met him, you liked him immediately. I’m sure he’ll be missed by many. Peace and comfort to all of you.”

“I am sad that Mike left this world, but that sadness is purely for his family. He was a man of God and I know he is with our King Jesus right now, and I celebrate his going home. He was a blessing and a joy to be around and I will cherish all the memories I made with him and his family. I love you all!”

“My deepest sympathies to Mike’s family and friends. I always enjoyed seeing him in the halls and hearing another funny story of his. Always a smile on his face. He will be missed.”

“Mike was truly a rara avis, using his professional knowledge for a better world, always with a smile, unforgettable. It was my pleasure to have worked with him for many years at CFC. My sympathy to his family. Bob Morgan”

“I will miss Uncle Mike. I always enjoyed visits with him and was happy to see him again last summer. I fondly remember golfing together, canoeing all over the inlets of Ocean Isle and how much fun he had “on the open road” when he took my moped for a spin many years ago. Prayers and best wishes for him and the family.”

“I’m so sorry to hear the news about Mike. I really enjoyed working with him at Cincinnati. He always had us laughing with his anecdotes. My sympathies to your entire family.”

“So sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. I knew him from CFC. What a remarkable, kind man. His obit is spot on. We’re all a little better for having know him. Prayers for those left behind…..Greg”

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