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 www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.
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.