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Kenneth Michael Dennis

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Kenneth Michael Dennis Obituary
HENDERSONVILLE-December 24, 1948 - April 28, 2015
Dr. Mike Dennis, 66, longtime resident of the Western NC mountains, passed away at his home in Mills River, from Parkinson's disease complications. Mike was born on Christmas Eve, 1948 in Pensacola, FL to the late James and Jean Dennis. He was an outstanding Pediatrician for 32 years and since retirement, he has been a dedicated philanthropist for local charities and a Patron of the Arts
Dr. Mike was also a loving Father, Grandfather and Brother. He is survived by two children, Sherry and Jason – son and daughter of Susan Dennis; two grandchildren, Olivia and Zachary; and three sisters – Paula, Dorothy and Susie.
Dr. Mike graduated with honors from the University of Florida in 1970, where he also attended medical school, finishing with several awards for excellence. He completed his pediatric residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas – followed by a one-year cardiology fellowship at UF in Gainesville, FL. He started his pediatric career in Waynesville, NC in 1977 then built and opened his first solo pediatric practice in Clyde, NC. Ten years later, this country doctor moved his family to Laurinburg, NC where he continued as a pediatrician in a group practice for 3 years.
For close to a decade, Dr. Mike served as treasurer of the North Carolina Pediatric Society, which he considered an honor and a privilege. In 1991, the family moved back to the Western NC mountains, where Dr. Mike spent the next 17 years doing what he loved, treating children at Hendersonville Pediatrics and Rainbow Pediatrics. He retired in 2008, but continued to be known as "Dr. Mike," reaching out to so many in the community with a stethoscope and an open heart. In 2009, surrounded by his family, Dr. Mike received the high honor of the North Carolina Pediatric Society Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award.
For decades, Mike enjoyed fly fishing all over the world, even teaching many others the art of casting. More recently, Dr. Mike has gone above and beyond to support Parkinson's research, local musicians and the farming community, spreading love and humor. He has been very generous with his time, promoting events that helped important causes, which included creating and leading his own children's comedy camp at the Hands On Children's Museum in Hendersonville. Inspired by his own daughter with cerebral palsy, Dr. Mike also spent a lot of energy reaching out to special needs kids across NC.
The family will have a private "celebration of his life" on Sunday. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Dr. Mike can make memorial contributions to Hope Academy (ministry for children with disabilities) at 403 Rutledge Dr., Hendersonville, NC 28739 or Hands On Children's Museum at 318 N. Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792.
Condolence cards may be sent to the family at www.jacksonfuneralservice.com or to PO Box 945, Hendersonville, NC 28793.
Published in The Times-News on May 2, 2015
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