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Percy Dent

1919 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Percy Dent Obituary
Percy O. Dent

January 7, 1919

April 12, 2013

A family has lost its Patriarch and while the emptiness will be felt for many years, the memories and stories of this amazing father, grandfather and great-grandfather will extend for many future generations. Percy Dent, affectionately called PapaDad by family and close friends, passed away on Friday after a brief illness. A member of the Greatest Generation, he was born in Missoula, MT on January 7, 1919. His mother died when he was just 9 months old and he was raised by his widowed father on a remote homestead on Truly Bench near Great Falls, MT. His lonely childhood created a man that placed a high value on friends and family and he spent his lifetime nurturing strong ties to his family, his long-time friends and making new friendships wherever his life and travels took him. Percy was drafted into the Army in 1944 and sent to the Pacific warfront. He was involved in the battle of Okinawa, was seriously wounded and awarded the Purple Heart medal. His story was featured in a 3-part series in several years ago ( and he was honored by Admiral Mike Mullen, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a Veteran's Day reception in Washington DC in 2008. Percy was married to Betty E. Lawson in 1940 and widowed in 1964. He married Nora Dunn in 1977 and was again widowed in 2012. Percy had several successful careers: first in construction in Montana and Eastern Washington, then as an entrepreneur owning a TV repair business in Pullman WA, then as an electronic technician working in Juneau AK on the Alaska Communication System, then as a torpedo engineer at Keyport (WA) Naval Undersea Warfare Engineering Station, and finally returning to construction and entrepreneurship in 1980 as a co-founder and partner in DKM Construction Company in San Francisco. Percy retired in 1989 and began his next adventure as a dedicated traveler. He and Nora bought a travel trailer and spent months touring the country, hitting most of the Lower 48 states and even spent one summer with their RV touring Alaska. They traveled to China, to Australia and New Zealand, to Mexico and to France/Italy/Switzerland. They cruised to Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean and truly loved the adventure of new people and places. In recent years, Percy and Nora divided their time between their Reno home and their home in Yuma AZ, traveling between the two cities in their 32' RV "home on wheels" which they both enjoyed immensely. Named PapaDad by his first two grandsons decades ago, the moniker stuck and today the entire extended family of sons, daughters, spouses, grandchildren and their spouses, and great-grandchildren (as well as a lot of close friends) call him by the name he loved - PapaDad. He is survived by daughters Penny Pompei and Pam Christensen, sons Christopher Dent and David Dent, son-in-law Carl Pompei, daughters-in-law Madeline Dent and Diana Dent, plus grandchildren D'Arcy Swanson, Bob Christensen, Kelsey Dent, Alyssa Dent, Kyle Dent, Maren Dent and Dennis Dent and great-grandchildren Ryan Swanson, Jared Swanson and Rylee Christensen. A strong competitor, he will especially be remembered for his love of table games like dice and pinochle and as soon as kids in the family could count they were included in whole family games of Hearts or "Oh hell". He also had an amazing sense of humor which he generously shared with family and friends even to the last days of his life. The family wishes to extend a special thanks to the outstanding nurses and staff of Renown Hospital for the excellent care they provided during his recent hospitalization. Funeral services will be held on Friday, April 19th at 1:00 pm at the Mountain View Mortuary, 425 Stoker Avenue in Reno.

Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Apr. 16, 2013
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