1942 - 2021
Hackett-Livingston Funeral Home
208 W Clarinda Ave
Shenandoah, IA 51601
Dennis "Denny" DeWild 1942 - 2021 It is with a heavy heart that we share Dennis Eugene DeWild of Shenandoah, Iowa passed away on Saturday April 3rd, 2021. Denny was born to Mabel and Henry DeWild on November 14th, 1942. While those that are blessed enough to know him on a personal level, know him as "Denny", "DDW", "Mr. D", or "Duane"; his given name Dennis, was picked for him based on a musical soloist his parents saw on Lawrence Welk. Over the years, his family would watch the musical variety show during the winters and his mother would proudly share the decision to name him Dennis because it was not a typical Dutch name and therefore unique. Hull, Iowa was home to Denny as a child. Small towns always had a special place in his heart as "you're all neighbors and you help each other". His family lived about 4 miles outside of town. He spent his days baling hay and sorting hogs and cows. He was self-described as the perfect child that never got in trouble. He also shared during his High School years, that he and several of his friends took a cow up to the 3rd floor of the school and left it there over the weekend. As he chuckled, he shared that getting the cow back down was the real challenge. Growing up, Denny had his mind set that he would be a real-life cowboy one day and when he wasn't working on the farm, he would ride his pony around imagining that cowboy life. In high school, his teacher opened his eyes to the military and piqued his interest in accounting. Denny graduated High School in 1961 and enlisted into the Iowa Army National Guard. Denny served in the 133rd Infantry where he achieved the rank of Specialist 4. April of 1965, Denny was honorable discharge from the Iowa Army National Guard to enlist and serve in the United States Army, to which he also received an honorable discharge in March of 1969. Denny achieved a degree in Accounting through the University of Omaha. He forwent the party scene in college and instead spent his time outside class working for Loop Parking, parking cars. It is here that he developed his habit of driving with both feet, one foot for the break, one foot for the gas. A habit that drove his wife crazy as the years went on, but much to her protest, would never be broken. With his degree, he took a role assisting nursing home centers around Iowa, traveling to support the new centers as they opened. In 1978 he traveled to Shenandoah, Iowa to assist in the start-up of Garden View Care Center. He loved the town for that small town feeling he grew up with and requested to stay, becoming the Administrator of GVCC. In 2010, Denny attempted to give the retirement life a try, but we all know that working was just too much of his life to call it over at the young age of 68. After just 2 years of retirement, he returned to the workforce as Administrator for Elm Heights Care Center where he continued his career until September of 2017 before finally settling into retirement. While Denny spent many hours in the workforce, he never missed the opportunity to cheer on and participate in his children or grandchildren's activities. Family gatherings and involvement were top priority. Once he was able to focus on hobbies outside of work, he began to spend many hours in his workshop creating one-of-a-kind wood pieces that now decorate the homes of many friends and family members. When not in the shop, you could find Denny tending to his yard, which provided a peaceful venue for quality friendship conversations, cocktails, bird watching, feeding the squirrels or walking his dogs over the years. If not at home, Denny could be found on a beach listening to the ocean waves, preferably Jamaica, Aruba or Mexico where the food was good, the beer was cold, the laughter had, and the beach never ended. Denny served over 44 years in the Elks, Lodge #1122. The Elks became his home away from home and his second family over the years. He served as the Exalted Ruler four times over the years; an honor that he was proud to share and respected greatly. The Elks National Foundation held a special place in his heart for the work and commitment to youth in the local communities. He also served over 20 years with the Red Cross and a member of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church. He respected the Optimist Organization as well and often thought of joining them, however they met at 7am and if you know Denny, well, that was just not an option. Denny lived up to his unique name as many will agree, there are far and few in between that can compare to his kindness, friendship and love for those around him. He and his wife, Beck, raised their children Nicky, Henry (Hank), and Adam in the same small-town life that he grew to love. He admitted that discipline was not his strong suit, and instead lived life (and parenting) by the motto "Don't rock the boat!". He believed that actions teach children more than words and therefore lived his life setting the examples through his daily actions. His children describe him as compassionate, loving, and supportive. Always there to lend a hand, fix a problem or just simply talk on the other end of the phone. Always just a phone call away. Endless amounts of close friends would agree. Denny is preceded in death by his parents, Mabel and Henry DeWild, his granddaughter Sydney Carpenter and his sidekick dog Alex. He is survived by his wife of almost 31 years, Becky DeWild; children- Nicky Carpenter of West Des Moines, IA, Henry (Hank) DeWild and wife Stephanie of Plattsmouth, NE and Adam Sondag and wife Amanda of Urbandale, IA; 6 grandchildren- Avery Carpenter, Charleigh & Kodi DeWild and Abel, Ellis & Boden Sondag; sister Cheryl Scholten of Sioux Falls, SD; numerous nieces, nephews, a host of friends and his walking partner Roscoe. Celebration of Life Services were held on Monday, April 12, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Shenandoah with Staci L. Shearer officiating. Special music for the service included Bethann Tillman singing and playing "I Can Only Imagine", other song selections were "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art". The Elks Lodge Officers offered a special burial ritual. A private family burial was held prior to the services at the Rose Hill Cemetery, where the Shenandoah American Legion Color Guard offered military rites. Memorials were suggested to the Elks National Foundation, the Shenandoah Ambulance Service or the Shenandoah Police Department. Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at Hackett-Livingston Funeral Home was honored to have been entrusted with the arrangements.
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Published by Shenandoah Valley News Today on Apr. 14, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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