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Dennis Everd Gresham


1938 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Dennis Everd Gresham Obituary
Gresham, Dennis Everd

1938-2016



Dennis Gresham, 77, passed away peacefully January 20, 2016. He is survived by wife Elisabeth; daughter Toni; in-laws Eva, Walter and Toby; niece Audrey and nephew Victor; beloved cat Rocky; neighbors/ family angels Shirley and Albert Anderson, and many other wonderful friends.

Dennis was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the youngest of nine children. By the age of nine he was a fine shot and already responsible for hunting "something for supper" for his impoverished country family.

Dennis showed an aptitude for mathematics at a young age and ultimately received a scholarship to Texas A&M, later attending University of Texas at Austin, where he met Liz while playing table tennis at the student union. They were married on May 11, 1967 and began their lives together (as do so many young couples) on a meager income. Their lives would revolve around table tennis for decades to come; Dennis was New Mexico state champion several times; they helped found the Albuquerque Table Tennis Club, hosted many tournaments, and after a night of play, the club would troop down to Shakey's Pizza to enjoy pizza and beer. Dennis was never more delighted than while watching world class table tennis; he and Liz traveled to the World Championships on six different occasions to destinations such as Sweden, England, Croatia, Germany, and Japan.

He had a passion for fishing the icy lakes of northern New Mexico (Latir Lakes were a favorite destination) that required some hair-raising drives in vehicles completely inappropriate for the task. One trip up the miserable excuse of a road was made in a 1939 Army Jeep with five people and one dog perched precariously on top of the pile of gear, one in an ancient Dodge pickup on which three of the four tires went flat en route, and one crazy trip up the mountain in a pink 1956 Buick sedan (resulting in a dent which permanently removed a quarter of the gas tank's capacity); he became an instant legend with the few others who made it, with great difficulty, in their 4-wheel drives.

Dennis began a career in computer programming at the University of New Mexico at a time when a degree in computer science didn't exist. He worked through the era of punch cards and tape decks to modern programming, a steep evolution of technology which was never easy to keep up with, and he ultimately retired in 2007. Countless times through the years he was called to work in the middle of the night to salvage a critical program gone wrong. Few people realize how many major functions in a large university rely on programmers doing countless extra hours of work under near-impossible deadlines, and then coming in at night (that was when big programs had to run) to "fix a bug." Dennis thrived under these conditions and was known in his workplace as the man who could save the project.

He remained a simple country boy at heart and a bit of a homebody, but never mind because his wife dragged him along on countless adventures during their life together. Dennis and Liz rowed their custom dory through the massive rapids of the Colorado River and took dozens of backpacking trips through the quiet solitude and incredible beauty of the Grand Canyon. They traveled to gorgeous destinations throughout Europe, including France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and an amazing trip to Istanbul. Dennis also had a silent passion for philosophy and spent happy hours at home poring through dog-eared volumes by Plato, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. It can't be said enough: live life now and don't put off your bucket list. Dennis managed to squeeze several bucket lists into his life. He was the constant companion to wife Liz for almost five decades and will be very dearly missed. We love you Daddy!
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Jan. 24, 2016
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