MONTEREY – Dennis Creighton Sharp died Monday, August 12, 2013 at Ave Maria Convalescent Hospital in the company of family and friends who sang his spirit on its way. He was 78 years old.
He was born in Mansfield, Ohio in 1934 to Catharine Colegrove and J. Myron Sharp. He and his parents moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was 8, and it was there he began his newspaper career, writing "The Sharp News," which his father duplicated for him to distribute around the neighborhood. He attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio, graduating in 1957.
His professional career in journalism began directly after college when he went to work for the Newark, Ohio Advocate. His strengths: intellect, discernment, a finely-honed sense of responsibility and fairness, and a wonderfully dry sense of humor were appreciated there. He became assistant to the managing editor, and they remained life-long friends. Dennis continued his career at the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Post Gazette, the Columbus, Ohio Dispatch, and the news service at Ohio State University
during the turbulent student demonstrations of the early 1970's. He moved to Monterey in 1973 and joined the Monterey Herald, where he worked as copy editor, religion page editor, arts and entertainment editor, and ended his career as editorial page editor. He retired from the Herald in 1997.
During that time he also pursued his interests in religion and education by serving several times on the vestry of All Saints' Episcopal Church in Carmel, serving as Senior Warden there in the early 1990's and as a delegate to most of the yearly conventions held by the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real from 1988 to 2009. He also joined the board of the All Saints' Day School in Carmel Valley in 1986. He was chairman of the board there from 1989 to 1993 and vice chairman from 2001 to 2003. He continued on the Day School board until 2012, when he became member emeritus.
In his life after retirement Dennis filled his time with volunteer service that reflected his varied interests and his dedication to whatever he set his hand to. He joined the board of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area for several years. He continued his service to All Saints' Church and School and joined the volunteer staff at the SPCA of Monterey County, where he walked dogs and, when his mobility diminished, made follow-up phone calls to people who had recently adopted animals. He also was a weekly visitor to the Day School at 8:15 every Thursday morning when the students have their Songfest. These last activities gave him great satisfaction as his health declined and helped to keep his spirit strong.
During his life, Dennis met a number of physical challenges with determination. He never allowed them to stand in the way of his interests and his great desire to contribute. He has touched many lives with his spirit. He is survived by his wife, Deborah, of Carmel; his sister and brother-in-law, Carolyn and Larry Yates, of Wellsville, Pennsylvania; his nephews Brandon, David, Shane, and Nathan Yates; his grandniece and nephew, Nala and Alexander, and his beloved cat, Isabella.
A service celebrating his life will be held at All Saints' Church in Carmel on September 7th at 3:00 pm. Contributions honoring his spirit may be sent to All Saints' Church, P.O. Box 1296, Carmel 93921; All Saints' Day School, 8060 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel 93923; or the SPCA of Monterey County, P.O. Box 3058, Monterey 93942.