Michael Craig Dennis, 58, passed away February 16, 2014 at his home in Stanchfield, Minn.
He was born to Norval and Margaret (Larson) Dennis March 6, 1955 in St. Paul, Minn. He was baptized May 8, 1955 and confirmed May 17, 1970 at Braham Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Mike attended 1st and 2nd grade at Braham Schools in Grasston, Minn. where he always said they had the greatest mashed potatoes and gravy. When he broke his leg during a bike accident, he was homeschooled for a year. He attended St. Johns Catholic School in St. Paul where he had to learn a hymn a week. He finished his high school days at Braham Area High School and graduated in 1973. When Mike was in 10th grade, he started his hobby of farming when his dad bought a couple of pigs for him to raise. He was happy to take care of them. In the fall of his junior year, he bought some calves and started raising cattle and farming crops on the home farm. This hobby turned into a full time passion, which he later passed onto his son.
Mike applied at UPS and was hired September 1973 as his full time job outside of the farm. In 1985, Mike became a semi-driver for UPS. He worked at UPS for 32 years and retired in 2005. When he retired, he dedicated the rest of his time to his family and farming. During his time at UPS, he was active in the Union and supported the workers as a Union Steward for many years. In his 32 years at UPS, Mike made many long lasting friendships and was always there if anyone needed him.
He was active in many different organizations including: Siloa Evangelical Lutheran Church, Teamsters Local 638, National Farmers Organization, and Braham Moose Lodge. He also volunteered at the local Braham Area Food Shelf to support families in need.
Mike met the love of his life, Kay, and married her April 28, 1979. They had two children, Michael Craig Dennis Jr. and Jessica Kay (Dennis) Olson. In addition to the farm, Mikes other love was his family. He would do anything to take care of them and be there for them. Michael Jr. married Jena (Greig) Dennis July 13, 2013 and they live in Braham, Minn. Jessica married Paul Olson May 23, 2009 and they live on the farm Mike grew up on in Stanchfield, Minn. Mike had one granddaughter, Vera Marie Olson born Dec. 27, 2012. She was the joy of his life and he and Kay helped with daycare while Jessica and Paul were at work. Mike was so excited for the birth of his next grandchild that is due July of this year.
He was so proud that his son was following in his footsteps and had the love for farming. He was able to teach him how to work the land and raise animals. Another proud moment for him is when his daughter and son-in-law moved into the house he grew up in and started to raise pigs in the old pig barn. He never thought he would see pigs in there again, but Paul rebuilt the pig barn and started to raise them as a hobby.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Norval and Margaret Dennis; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Dorin and Vera Adams.
He is survived by his wife, Kay of Stanchfield; son, Michael (Jena) Dennis Jr. of Braham; daughter, Jessica (Paul) Olson of Stanchfield; granddaughter, Vera Olson; grandbaby Olson due this July; sister, Lynda Dennis of Stanchfield, sister-in-law, Karen (John) Johnson and families of Litchfield; cousin, Adrienne Olson; many other relatives and friends.
A Funeral Service was held Saturday, February 22, 2014 at the Braham Ev. Lutheran Church with Rev. Dave Everett officiating. Music was provided by Tim Ronning, Kelly Baker and family, and Mindy Johnson and family. Casket Bearers were Roger Bell, Lee Southerland, Dean Bondeson, John Heidelberger, George Hultman, Rick Peterson, Bob Steffen and Fred Matzer. Honorary Casket Bearers were John Windorski, Curtis Bengston, Bob Anderson and Pat Gerold. Interment was in the Rice Lake Cemetery in Braham.