An obituary for Denis Caulfield

Aug 08 | 2019

On 4 July the moving industry lost one its most treasured sons: Denis Caulfield passed away suddenly in France, aged 75.

Denis looking dapper at the BAR conference in Spain, 2006

As Tony Richman, fellow former president of FEDEMAC said, many who knew him will remember his smile, friendship, easy-going nature and ability to mix so well with all ages and all nationalities.  “He was a great socialiser, superb host and great company to be with whether it be on a one-to-one basis or in a larger group.”

Denis was from Dubin Ireland but spent part of his youth studying in Europe giving him the opportunity to become multilingual. There he married Murielle (from France) and settled in Brussels.

He worked with Office Des Propritieres Menkes, a leading Ceti member in the 1980/90’s in Brussels where he had a close association with FIDI.  He was an early contributor to the FIDI Academy and many in the industry will remember his entertaining training style.  Denis returned to his native Ireland for the benefit of his two children’s education (Fiona and Patrick).  There he joined Oman in Dublin to help build the company’s success.

Denis was always the life and soul of any party“Denis had truly kissed the Blarney Stone giving him the gift of the gab and had it equally in French which was of great assistance in OPMenkes where they had little English,” said Patrick Oman. “Denis became the sales manager and was very active on the Brussels moving scene which was the centre of the industry at that time. He was a close friend of Bob Ziegler and Jean Pierre who was president of FIDI and was a regular in the FIDI office during Michael Scott’s time there.” At OMAN he worked hard with Patrick to build the company’s success.

Niall Doris, Chairman Oman-Beverly Smyth, said he was saddened to hear of Denis’ passing and Rob Gilbert, President of FIDI Ireland passed on his deepest sympathies to his family.

Tony Richman said he believed it was during his time at FEDEMAC that Denis was able to use his social skills to the best, forging links between the Federation and the various supply companies, encouraging ideas and innovative possibilities to increase the professionalism of the industry. He also had a long-term commitment to the ‘Young Movers’ organisation that has helped to unite movers throughout Europe.

Dr Ellen Troska, who worked with Denis at FEDEMAC, said that he was an extraordinary personality. “His ability to interact with people, regardless of age or nationality, was remarkable,” she said. “With his open and cheerful character he was able to win people over for the matters that were close to his heart. At the same time he was a very good listener who always showed interest in what others had to say. For FEDEMAC he opened many doors that without him would have remained closed. For example, he was exactly the right man at the right time when it came to expanding the Association into the new East European Member States during his presidency and afterwards. Denis’ glass was always half full and never half empty. I am grateful that I was able to accompany Denis in his work for FEDEMAC over a long period and for the friendship that grew out of it.”

Many will remember Denis’ sense of fun at conferences, including his spontaneous plays that both highlighted key issues in the industry and kept everyone entertained. Some of them were very funny.  The moving industry has a habit of attracting people of unique character.  Denis, more than most, influenced the lives of those he met with his own infectious brand of professionalism and joy. His passing will be mourned by all those whose lives he touched.


Denis was always the life and soul of any party

Denis looking dapper at the BAR conference in Spain, 2006

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