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Dennis Franc Rich

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Dennis Franc Rich

Born: June 12, 1950; in Crystal Lake

Died: June 10, 2014; in Rohnert Park, CA

Passed away at home on June 10, 2014, after a six month battle with lung cancer and related complications in Rohnert Park, CA. Native of Crystal Lake, IL. Age 63. Graduate of Crystal Lake High School (class of 1968).

Beloved husband of Carolyn Park Rich for 26 years. Devoted father of Shannon Rich, age 24, and Jonathan Rich, age 21. Loving son of Irmgard Rich Svejcar and the late James C. Rich of Crystal Lake IL. Adored brother of Patricia (George) Collier of MacClenny, FL, and the late Donald Rich of Crystal Lake. To everyone else, he was an amazing brother-in-law, son-in-law, step-brother, uncle, cousin, friend and neighbor. It's difficult to describe a man's life in a few paragraphs, but Dennis was a special guy who touched many lives.

Proud Army veteran, 25th Infantry, served 1969 - 72 in Vietnam and returned home permanently wounded. Awarded two Purple Hearts, Air Medal, and the Bronze Star for his acts of selflessness and bravery in combat. He began a long recovery and a series of career changes and moved to California to start a new life in 1979. He had been a bartender, restaurant manager, truck driver, shipping manager, a firefighter, and then moved on to commercial construction as a service manager, repairing and training air and gun-powder tools. He was just as great at breaking things as fixing them. He retired in 2007.

He passionately enjoyed everything outdoors: camping, hiking, backpacking, skiing, sailing, stargazing and big campfires, exploring beaches, mountains, deserts, and spending time with a group of friends lovingly called the "Big Dogs". These friendships have lasted over 30 years. He was a big kid at heart, and was often the life of the party; with his German heritage, he always loved a good beer. He was a devoted dad, supporting his kids in Cub Scouts, swimming, track and cross country and many outdoor and travel adventures.

His interests included anything science or history related, news, politics and current events - he would love to discuss any and all. He loved science fiction, reality TV, YouTube, classic cars, 60's and 70's music.

His antics and sense of humor were legendary, as was his devotion to family and country. Most recently his friends and family will recall his love of birds, he fed dozens of them daily.

A memorial service and celebration of Dennis's well- lived life will be announced at a later time this summer (one event in California, one in Crystal Lake).
Published in the Northwest Herald on June 15, 2014
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