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Ralph E. Dennis Jr.

1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Ralph E. Dennis Jr. Obituary
Ralph E. Dennis, Jr.

MUNCIE - Muncie Attorney, Ralph E. Dennis, Jr., passed away on Saturday, July 23, 2016, at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.

He was born in Marion, Indiana, in 1925 to Ralph E. Dennis, Sr. and Martha Elnora Bahr. Ralph's maternal grandfather, Amel Bahr, along with his brothers, were cofounders of Bahr Bros. Manufacturing in Marion, IN, which made castings for the paper mill industry. Ralph's fondest childhood memories were of the days he spent with his grandfather at the Foundry. Many years later, Ralph would become a part owner, an officer, and member of the Board of Directors of Bahr Bros. Manufacturing.

In 1937, Ralph's parents purchased Service Cleaners in Muncie, and they moved here where his family operated the Cleaners until 1965. Ralph's mother died in 1963 and his father in 1973.

Ralph attended Emerson School while living in Marion, and then after his move to Muncie, he attended Riley Elementary School, Wilson Middle School, and graduated from Muncie Central High School in 1944. In December 1943, prior to his high school graduation, Ralph enlisted in the Navy's V5 Flight Program. On March 1, 1944, he reported to Wabash College for active duty. While at Wabash, he was transferred to the V-12 Naval Line Officer Program and in March 1945 was transferred to Dartmouth College. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in June of 1946 after being commissioned as an Ensign in the Naval Reserve. He returned to Dartmouth for a brief period, receiving his A.B. Degree from that institution in 1946. He then enrolled in the Indiana University School of Law graduating in 1950.

He began his law practice in 1951 and in 1956 entered into partnership with Perry W. Cross which lasted for many years. In 1980, he formed a partnership with Thomas Raisor and that firm later added another attorney, Frederick W. Wenger. That firm now exists as Dennis, Wenger and Abrell P.C. where Ralph practiced until his death - a legal career of more than 65 years.

He served as Muncie City Judge from 1951-59. He was Trustee of Muncie Community Schools from 1960-63 and was City Attorney of Muncie from 1964-67.

During his professional career, he also served as an officer, director, and owner of several corporations including Lift-A-Loft Corporation, Bahr Bros. Mfg., Eastern Electric Supply Company, Indiana Farms, Inc.; Townsend Tree Service, Inc.

In 1959, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for outstanding community service from the Junior Chamber of Commerce. In the same year, he received the Good Government Award from the Muncie Jaycees.

He was a member of the American Bar Association, Indiana Bar Association, Delaware Country Club, Elks, Masonic Lodge, Am Vets, and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

In addition to his loving wife, Barbara, whom he married in 1985, he is survived by daughters, Nancy Barefoot (husband, William, deceased.), Muncie; Kathi Polk (fiancé, Gregg Ragalie ), River Forest, IL; Mary Saler (husband, Jeff), Bellbrook, OH; sons, Amel Dennis, Muncie and Ralph E. Dennis III, Muncie; stepdaughter, Amy Longfellow (husband, Robert), Mason, OH; grandchildren, Christopher Barefoot, Alex Barefoot (wife, Courtney), Maryann Barefoot (fiancé, Ted Fahey), Max Polk, Elizabeth Polk Barker (husband, Ryan), David Saler, Mark Saler (wife, Yuchen Zhang), Emily Saler; and step-granddaughters, Emma Grace Longfellow and Annalise Longfellow; and great-grandson, William Oscar Barefoot. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Virginia Lea Harter, in 1981.

Ralph will be remembered by his family as a kind, loving and generous husband, father and grandfather who was always able to see the good in every individual he met.

Friends may call at The Meeks Mortuary and Crematory, Washington Street Chapel from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 29, 2016. A private interment will be held at Elm Ridge Mausoleum.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Camp Crosley, c/o Muncie YMCA, 500 S. Mulberry Street, Muncie, IN 47305 or to the .

Online condolences may be sent to the family at
Published in The Star Press on July 25, 2016
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