Central Coast’s self-proclaimed “Eco-hooligan” Bill Denneen dead at age 93

Posted at 10:23 AM, Sep 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-25 19:38:00-04

A longtime social and environmental activist known on the Central Coast as the “Eco-hooligan” has died.

Friends of Bill Denneen confirmed his death on Facebook and passed along well wishes.

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill remembers Denneen for more than his signature long white beard and running shorts. Hill said Denneen was a man of passion and compassion.

“A real roll model, he could talk to people regardless of whether they agreed with him or not,” Hill said.

Denneen, who died Monday morning at the age of 93, came to the Central Coast after a stint in the military. 

According to social media posts, he moved to the area in 1960 to teach biology at Santa Maria High School. 

He later taught at Allan Hancock College for 25 years before retiring.

Denneen made a name for himself as a tireless environmentalist.

Hill doesn’t believe Denneen will every truly “rest in peach,” because he was too much of a fighter for what he believed in.

“He’ll be a restless spirit wherever he goes because he was brave and caring and at an age when most people are taking it easy,” Hill said. “I don’t think Bill took it easy until he had no choice.”

Friends have been sending well wishes via Facebook, remembering the many causes he got behind over the past several decades.

Denneen’s cause of death is not immediately known.