Dennis Edward Wales
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Wales, Dennis Edward age 78, died at home on August 3, 2020, in Scottsdale, Arizona surrounded by his family. Born in Toledo, Ohio, Denny was the son of Harvey Sr. and Henrietta Wales, and graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1959. After marrying, he worked as a computer programmer before earning his BBA from the University of Toledo. He enjoyed his career as a commercial insulation salesman for Owens Corning in Toledo, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Scottsdale, Arizona before retiring after 35 years. Denny was passionate about his work with Right to Life. He received awards in both Michigan and Arizona for his volunteer service. He was proud of his fifteen years as a basketball referee. Denny had a unique, playful and mischievous sense of humor and his stories, both true and embellished delighted all. He is survived by his wife of 56 years Jan, daughter Beth Denhof (Dan), son Doug Wales (Lisa), grandchildren Alex, Rachel, Matt and Luke Denhof and Ian and Aidan Wales, and two brothers. Funeral Mass will be held in Arizona. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to Right to Life or Hospice of the Valley Scottsdale, AZ. Visit for online condolences.

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Published in Grand Rapids Press from Aug. 6 to Aug. 9, 2020.
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8 entries
September 16, 2020
I just heard about Denny. My prayers for your family. Denny and I were basketball officiating partners for about 7 years. I always enjoyed working with him. Several times a year we would travel to Central Montcalm HS just so we could stop in Greenville for a great fish dinner. He also gave my daughter who is now 33 one of the 6 foot Pink Panthers stuffed animals his company represented when she was about 3. A truly great man that I had the honor to call a friend.
Richard Nawrocki
August 10, 2020
I would like to say how sorry I was to see Denny passed away. He was a boyhood friend and we had a lot of fun growing up. He would drive his dads 1953 chevy all over and we would go to sock hops and had a lot of fun. He was a great guy and he will be missed . I lost track after high school but I knew he would would do good things. RIP old friend from Everett street. I know how you loved T U against B G good times. my prayers go out to your family which i know you loved. Tommy (Pickells) okonski
thomas okonski
August 10, 2020
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Robert Sheahan
August 10, 2020
What one can say about Denny Wales would fill a whole book......his attributes and honorable qualities were huge in number, as were his wonderful stories. He is a man of great Faith and even greater love of family. Spending time with him was always filled with laughter and Would end with a giant bear hug. He left an ever-lasting positive impression on any who met him.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you Jan, Beth, and Doug and your families as you remember Denny today with his Celebration of Life. May you be comforted by all those who shared a deep love and appreciation for Denny as there are so many of us. Love, Shana
Shana Helmholdt
August 10, 2020
Denny and Jan Wales extended their family friendships from the Helmholdts and specifically Shana , to me 16 years ago. I was blessed to have their friendship and they helped to give me a familial anchor, when I needed one. Being with Denny was like opening up a box of chocolates and not knowing what you were going to get: a lesson in harmless flirting ; a raucous story; encouragement; wisdom or a joke you couldn’t tell in Church. He was bigger than life and he cast a long shadow of memories and good times.
Thank you Denny!
Mike Sheahan
August 7, 2020
My deepest sympathy to the Wales family. I have great memories from when Denny coached the IHM girl’s basketball team and Denny, Leo Drongowski and I attended the HS girl’s volleyball tournaments. Denny was fun to be with. He will be missed.
Bill Joure
August 5, 2020
So very sorry for your loss, as well as ours. Denny was a great guy and we had great times together. He is in a better place and he will be missed.
Jim & Ann Burns
August 5, 2020
Denny entered our lives about 45 years ago, when the Wales moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, became our neighbors and very quickly good friends. We were fast friends but bitter rivals during football season.
(GO BLUE) Even tho we moved to Arizona our friendship endured, with visits from Jan & Denny. Lo & behold on one of the visit he was notified that he was being transferred to Arizona. Hurray!
Explored the SW & California on vacations with them. It has been such a privilege to have Denny as a friend all these years with his playful personality, quick wit & bountiful supply of entertaining stories.
He will be within our hearts forever! Don & Mary Helmholdt
Don & Mary Helmholdt
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