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John R. DENNIS


1922 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
John R. DENNIS Obituary
Age 92, of Maple Grove Passed away Saturday, May 3, 2014 Born in Minneapolis, MN of Ukrainian immigrants. Preceded in death by beloved wife of 50 years, Ellen. Survived by daughter Mary Harms (Fred); sons Nicholas (Pamela), Michael (Rebecca), David (Yupa); 10 grandchildren & 7 great-grand-children. John was a talented local musician & educator. He studied violin under Harold Ayres, concertmaster of the Mpls Symphony Orchestra. He began instructing music at age 18 as a faculty member at Luther College. During WWII, on active duty JUN42-JAN46, he served as a medic with the 1263 Combat Engineer Brigade in the ETO. During his Army career, he played shows with Carmen Miranda, George Jessel, and Judy Garland. Post WWII, John founded the Mankato Symphony, being its first conductor. He taught music in the Bloomington Public Schools from 1961-1984, primarily strings at Kennedy Sr. High. John played professionally in the orchestra pit for various opera & theater productions, including travelling Broadway productions such as "Hello Dolly" starring Carol Channing. He was a member of the Ice Follies Orchestra for 23 years. As a member of the Zuhrah Shrine, John initiated and organized numerous concerts benefiting children injured by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. John enjoyed spending time with his family at Lake Vermilion. His music and life will be lovingly remembered. Funeral Service: 3:30 PM, Fri, May 9 at Sunset Funeral Chapel, 2250 St. Anthony Blvd NE, Mpls. Visitation one hour prior. Memorials preferred to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka Music Program. SUNSET 612-789-3596 www.SunsetFuneralServices.com
Published in Pioneer Press on May 6, 2014
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