Dennis L. Sharpe
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June 4, 1940 - August 18, 2014
Dennis Leroy Sharpe, 74, stepped quietly from this life into God's peaceful rest on August 18, 2014 after an extended illness. A Memorial Service to honor and celebrate his life will be held at 1 PM on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at the Nampa First Christian Church, 619 12th Ave. So., Nampa 83651 with military honors by the personnel from the Idaho Army National Guard. Services are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th. Ave. So., Nampa - 442-8171. There is an online guest book available at www.nampafuneralhome.com.
Dennis was born on June 4, 1940 in Huron, South Dakota the eldest of five children born to Victor and Helen Sharpe. As a teenager, Dennis enlisted in the Army. He used to tell the story that they never found out he was only 16 until they went to issue him a driver's license. Dennis stayed in the Army Reserves for 23 years, eventually serving as the mess sergeant for the Unit.
He and childhood sweetheart, Gayle Hunter, married in February 22, 1958 - they were married for 44 years. Dennis and Gayle moved their family from San Mateo, CA to Nampa in 1968. They purchased the country acreage and began to make a home for themselves and their four children: Matt, Trish, Terry, and Mark. As years passed, the town grew up around the Sharpe farm and the fields his children played in were converted to commercial property and city subdivisions, but Dennis refused to allow his acreage to become "city". Dennis did most of the remodels and additions to the house himself and later in life worked side by side (as the Crew Boss) with his family to make improvements.
Nampa First Christian church is where Dennis and his family began attending as soon as they moved to Nampa and Dennis has attended there ever since. Dennis was always active in the church, teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir, and holding numerous positions. Dennis was recently recognized as a Deacon Emeritus. His strong connection to the church led to being involved in the Boy Scouts Troup that met at First Christian Church. Scouts was an important part of Dennis' life. He started as a scout as a boy and went on to become a scout leader, assisted with camps, helped boys earn badges and Eagle Scout ranking. At one point, he even organized an Explorer group for teen boys and girls. For many years it could be said that if there was a Scout event for Troop 118, Dennis was a part. He was instrumental in keeping the Boy Scout program at First Christian alive through many generations of Boy Scouts.
Dennis worked for the U.S. Post Office for 38 years, retiring when he was 55. He started at the Post Office in California and transferred up to Idaho. He had many different responsibilities, his official title was "Mail Expediter", and mail was serious business. He worked hard and he expected those around him to work hard to get the mail out to customers. At the same time Dennis loved to have fun and would sneak a little fun into the mail room on occasion.
Dennis was proud to be a Lion. He served as President of the Treasure Valley Lions and also several terms for the Nampa Lions over the years. Dennis held many other offices as well. Lion Dennis loved Christmas and he loved being able to help the less fortunate. He organized food and toy drives for many years with help from his fellow lions, willingly delivering a box of fixings for Christmas dinner and toys for the kids. Yet, Christmas was never really Christmas for Dennis until his "Santa's Helper" suit came out. He helped Santa, who was too busy at that time of year to make so many public appearances, by being the Mall Santa, the Santa for many parties and groups, and his own grandkids received special visits from Santa every year. Gayle joined him as Mrs. Santa for many years, until her passing in October 2002. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Sharpe were even invited to help light the Nampa City tree several times.
Hunter, Traveler, Fisher, Camper, Handyman, Woodworker: Dennis loved those titles. But his favorite title was Grandpa. He loved spending time with his kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and great great grandkids. Dennis would often invite all the family for BBQ's or family holiday celebrations, so he could gather his family into one place and share their company. Family was important, which was a good thing because his children certainly gave him much family to love.
In 2005, Dennis married Elin Howard. They planned to spend their retirement days traveling the country in their motorhome. Just leaving the farm work behind and enjoying life on the road. They did get to travel to several places and see all of the sites in-between. But they also got to spend long quiet days fixing up the yard and the property together…more and more often with the company of the next generation of Sharpe kids.
Every morning, Dennis would very studiously read the newspaper from front to back. After the obituaries he would state very matter of factly, "well, my name wasn't in there, guess I have to go to work". He would drink the last of his coffee and walk away from the table. Well, great patriarch and friend, today is the day your name is here. May you enjoy a well-deserved rest!
Dennis was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Gayle; one grandson; and one great granddaughter. He is survived by his wife, Elin. His siblings: Vicki, David, Janis, and Kenny. His children: Matt (Diana), Trish (Bart), Terry (Mark), Mark (JC) and his stepchildren: Lynn (Kim), Karra, Chuck (Tina), and Julie. His grandchildren and their spouses: Kenneth, Kelly, Richard, Robert, Mike, Melissa, Jeff, Isaiah, Patricia, Maraya, Wayne, Nicole, Melvin, Samantha, and Cindy; and his step grandchildren and their spouses: Misty, Mickellus, Jorie, Kendra, and Megan. He is also survived by a horde of great and great great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, and cousins, all of which he loved very much.
The family would like to thank the staff at Davita for their excellent care as well as Dr. Hunt and Dr. Mallea and their office staffs for their care of Dennis over the last years. Thanks also to Heart 'n Home Hospice for their care. Donations may be sent in the name of Dennis Sharpe to Boy Scout Troop 118 in care of the First Christian Church, 619 12th Ave. So., Nampa, Idaho 83651 or donations may also be sent to the Nampa Lions Club, P.O. Box 606, Nampa, ID 83653 in Dennis' name.
Nampa Funeral Home Yraguen Chapel
415 12th Avenue South Nampa, ID 83651
Published in Idaho Press Tribune from Aug. 21 to Aug. 24, 2014