Obituary: Richard Dennis, 98, of Ludington.

February 10, 2022

Dick Dennis

Obituary: Richard Dennis, 98, of Ludington. 

Richard Ross “Dick” Dennis died peacefully at home Friday, February 4, 2022, at the age of 98. He was born January 20, 1924, at his home farm in Victory Township, Ludington, Michigan, the son of Charles G. Dennis II, farmer, and Blanche B. Brown, homemaker.   His parents were from Victory Township and after they married, moved to the farmhouse on the east corner of Angling and Fountain Roads.  Blanch died in 1956, and Charles followed her in 1975.

Dick was the third of five children.  He was preceded in death by: his wife, Loretta; his son, Thomas; brothers, Charles and Donald, who died shortly after birth; brother, Charles the II; sister-in-law, Evelyn; sister, Evelyn, and brother-in-law, Roy.

Dick is survived by his son, Richard Dennis II; daughter, Mary Kay Dennis; son, Jim; his daughter-in-law, Liz; grandchildren, Ginger, Jessica (Rob), Richard III, Thomas (Taylor), Chelsea (Chad); his great-grandchildren, Taylor (Alec), Jacob (Makelya), Hannah (Josh), and Logan; and his great-great-granddaughter, Presley; younger brother, Lawrence “Larry”; sister-in-law, Margaret Marrison; brother-in-law, William (Mary) Sherlock Jr.; and several nieces and nephews.

Dick grew up on the family farm in Victory Township, where he worked and played in some form most of his life. He loved competition in all sports, especially fast-pitch softball.  He began playing in a men’s fast-pitch league at the age of 11 and started to pitch soon afterward.  At the start of Dick’s freshman year at Ludington High School, he had to leave school to take care of the family farm and support the family when his father broke his leg.

During World War II, Dick entered the Army Air Corps in 1943.  He served as a mechanic in Guam.  Throughout his time in the Army Air Corps, he played both baseball and fast-pitch softball.

After the war, work was hard to find, but Dick was hired as a mechanic because the company that hired him sponsored a fast-pitch softball team and wanted him to pitch for the team.  In 1947, when Dick was pitching for the Abrahamson-Bannon team, they became the first fast-pitch softball team from Mason County Area to win a state championship.  He also pitched for other teams throughout his life.  In 1976 Dick was an inaugural member of the Mason County Fast-Pitch Hall of Fame and a 2013 inductee of the Mason County Sports Hall of Fame.

Dick married the love of his life, Loretta Jane Sherlock, on September 9, 1950.  After they were married, Dick started a career at Dow Chemical where he was employed for 30 plus years and retired as a Bromine Plant Foreman. Dick and Loretta bought a home in Fourth Ward of which he was still the owner of at the time of his death.  They were both active members of St. Stanislaus Parish, which eventually merged with St. Simons.

Dick and Loretta gave their four children, Dick, Mary Kay, Tom, and Jim, their love, time, and treasure, as well as a love for all animals.  They enjoyed camping and outdoor activities, especially at the Ludington State Park.  They also enjoyed bowling together in their younger years, and Dick liked to golf, playing until the age of 88.

Dick was an active lifetime 4th-degree member of the Knights of Columbus and of local Pere Marquette Council 1492.  He did many works of the Knights and often coordinated the Annual Tootsie Roll Drive for intellectual disabilities.

Dick turned the family farm into the Victory Tree Farm for Christmas Trees and Ornamentals upon retirement from Dow Chemical. Family members sold trees throughout the years but mainly during the Christmas Tree Season in Lansing.

The family would like to thank the many dedicated caregivers who helped Dick, mainly through hospice and especially his daughter Mary Kay Dennis who put her life on hold to take care of her parents for several years.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Ludington Area Catholic School, St. Simon Parish, or donate as Dick did for years to St. Jude and Shriners Children’s Hospitals, often mentioning Alec and Caleb from the Shriners commercials.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2 p.m., Saturday, February 12, 2022, at St. Simon Catholic Church, with Father Wayne B. Wheeler presiding.  Interment will be in the Pere Marquette Catholic Cemetery in the spring.  Visitation will be held Friday, February 11, 2022, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service, Pere Marquette Chapel, Ludington, where the Rosary will be prayed at 6:30 p.m.  Visitation will also be held Saturday at St. Simon Catholic Church from 1 p.m. until time of Mass.

Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements.

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