Dennis J. Root
1954 - 2020
Hackman Family Funeral Homes - Hackman Chapel
114 S Nottawa St
Sturgis, MI
Dennis James Root, age 66, of Burr Oak Township, unexpectedly left this world Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at Sturgis Hospital.
He was born in the same place on May 28, 1954, and except for a brief time, lived his entire life in the Burr Oak area. He led an adventurous life, playing and coaching sports as well as loving his family and friends. His final day was spent doing what he enjoyed most … being with his family.
Dennis was born to Bruce and Donna (Smart) Root, who preceded him in death. Together with his siblings, Bruce (Gayle) Root, Dawn Root and Jake (Sally) Root, he completed their family. He graduated from Burr Oak High School in 1972 and attended Grand Valley State University before enlisting in the Army and serving our country as a communications specialist.
After his tour of duty, he came back home and met his sweetheart Jeanne Strudas, whom he married Feb. 25, 1984, in Burr Oak. He became the awesome father of Jena Root, and twin sons, Cass and Cole Root. He then proudly became "Papa" to his adored grandchildren, Brooklynn and Isaac. Dennis will wait in Heaven for his wife, children and grandchildren, as well as his siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews, friends and co-workers and his dogs Scrappy and Shada to someday join him for a wonderful reunion.
His family was and is the center of his universe and in its periphery was anything having to do with sports. Dennis loved football, softball and golf especially, and coached countless teams grateful for his leadership in the Burr Oak Community. He also served as president of the Burr Oak school board for many years. In his "spare" time, he was a journeyman electrician for 35 years out of IBEW Local 131, retiring in 2016. Dennis, however, didn't let any grass grow under his feet after retirement and spent the majority of his time helping his family with remodeling projects, spending time with his grandkids and playing golf with his brother. He truly lived life to the fullest, helped others to be their best and was there for anyone in need. Dennis made time for others, even when he seemed to not have any.
In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service celebrating and honoring the life of Dennis Root will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, at the Burr Oak School softball field (Boyer Field). Full military honors will be conferred by Capt. John J. Kelley Post #1355 VFW and the U.S. Army Honor Guard. Dennis' family asks that in light of the COVID-19 situation, you bring your own lawn chair to the service and wear your favorite sports team attire. Please wear a mask and observe social-distance guidelines. Private burial of the ashes will take place at a later date at Burr Oak Cemetery in Burr Oak.
The event may be live-streamed for those unable to attend. Please watch the funeral home website for details if live-streaming becomes available.
Memorials may be made to the Dennis Root Memorial Fund or Burr Oak Athletic Department.
Hackman Family Funeral Homes of Sturgis is honored to be entrusted with the arrangements.
Please leave condolences, memories and messages of encouragement on the funeral home website for the family to read at A video honoring Dennis' life will be available on the funeral home website as well.
Because Dennis left this world a much better place than he found it, we ask that you make an effort to do the same. He will be sorely missed by all who were lucky enough to know him. Today is a gift, tomorrow is not promised, so make it count.
Published by Sturgis Journal from Oct. 26 to Oct. 27, 2020.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Memorial service
Burr Oak School softball field (Boyer Field)
Funeral services provided by:
Hackman Family Funeral Homes - Hackman Chapel
Sponsored by Hackman Family Funeral Homes - Hackman Chapel Hackman Chapel of Hackman Family Funeral Homes.
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14 Entries
I was lucky enough to work with Dennis at Upjohn back in the 90's . He was always a blast to work with and was an outstanding electrician. There was no one I'd rather work with when we were "running 2 inch on the trestle " in the middle of January.
Joseph Lamons
December 18, 2020
I was stunned and saddened to learn that Dennis had left this earth. In my humble opinion there are few people in our world of Dennis Root’s caliber and character. I consider myself fortunate to have called him my friend and while he’s gone, I will keep the memories of good times we shared.

I met Dennis around 1975 (geez – can that be possible) while playing football at Grand Valley. I was from Flint and had never heard of Burr Oak. But he loved Burr Oak and talked about it all the time.

Along with attending classes and studying, we found time on most days to play Atari Ping-Pong or throw the Frisbee around the yard before heading off to practice. A time or two we might have drank a beer after practice but, I’m sure it was just one. It’s probably better to keep the rest of the college stories to myself. Along with athletic ability, Dennis had natural leadership qualities. He was a smart student and could be quite funny.

Dennis set a standard for those he came in contact with (without being overt about it). He was humble and patient, but not someone to trifle with. He had a good moral compass and integrity. He was an example of what doing the right thing at the right time looked like. Dennis was a good friend, and I know he adored Jeanne and his children and generally loved life. I remember attending Dennis and Jeanne’s wedding and, seeing them together, I knew instantly that my friend was “all in” for this girl. For all these reasons, and many more which have been described by others on this page, his passing will have a far-reaching impact on both his loved ones and his community. However, anyone who encountered Dennis came away from the experience the better for it. I know I did. His time on this earth made it a better place. He left us with a great example to follow. So, while it will be painful to go on without him, we must try our best, and do our best. It is what he would want.
Christopher W. Lewis
October 30, 2020
My heart breaks for the entire Root family. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with each of you during this difficult time.
Michelle McNamara
October 29, 2020
I was truly sorry to hear about Dennis. May he rest in Peace.
Mark Morhart
October 29, 2020
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief. Dennis and Jeanne were great together. Love and prayers to the entire family.

The Shriner Family, Tom, Pam, Angie, Jamie, Danielle, and Ben
Pamela Shriner
October 28, 2020
Pamela Shriner
October 28, 2020
a loved one
October 28, 2020
Good friend who i enjoyed playing sports with. We played together in the Pigs and Freaks Football game and both won MVP awards. Dennis was defensive MVP and I was awarded offensive MVP.
We also played many softball games together on Starlight Softball Team where we usually covered the centerfield area together. I am honored to have many good memories of our friendship and as team mates. R.I.P. Dennis, until we meet again.
Keith Tozer
October 27, 2020
As a young man when I was messing up, which was often, Dennis always set me straight. Somehow he knew how to get through to young people even when he was young himself. I’ll always remember his consistent and patient way of mentoring. A great man gone too soon.
Phil Keeslar
October 26, 2020
My deepest condolences to my dear friend Jeanne and the family. I was honored to be apart of their wedding. He was always smiling, and such a great man!
Dennis your burning daylight!!
He knows in heaven what that means!❤
Dawn & Jorge Hernandez
October 26, 2020
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends. Praying for you and the family.
Cyndi Monty
October 26, 2020
Dennis was truly one of the nicest and most gentle souls I ever had the pleasure of knowing. It’s no wonder that God has called him home early.
You will be missed, Dennis. Until we meet again.
Mox Ruge
October 26, 2020
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
Penny Waltke
October 26, 2020
The Hackman Family and the entire staff extend to you our most heartfelt sympathy.
Hackman Family Funeral Homes
October 26, 2020
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