MEETING AND MARRYING
family website for
the next generations
Donald Dennis growing up in Fowler,
Left: Don and his parents, Florence
and Leo Dennis, in Syracuse, NY,
where his father spent WWII as a
chemist with the US Department
of Public Health.
They lived in the Queens section
of NY City for two years and
then moved upstate to Syracuse,
living there for three years.
Don began school in Syracuse.
The family moved to Fowler, CO
when he was in the second grade,
Right: Gen, Ann and
Marlene. Ann's family
lived at Dupree, SD until
her 4th grade, when they
moved to Spearfish, SD for 3
years and then settled in
Sturgis, SD until the
The farm at
Dupree is still
in the family.
pics to enlarge)
Ann, Marlene and Karen
1957 - Don and parents,
(click to enlarge)
Gen and Casey Miller,
Your social life revolved around your school,
your church groups and
your job. Don's
and work locations are pictured above.
During his junior and senior years of high
school, Don was projectionist at the Valley Theater in Fowler.
Late in his senior year he worked building river jetties. As
that job was winding down, Milford Switser
stopped him on the street and asked him to round up a crew of guys to
go to Pueblo and work during a strike at Wonder Bread. Darrell Fedde distinguished himself by unloading a
full railroad car of 100# bags of
flour in half a day, with no help. It had taken a day and a half
for two union guys to do the same. Don was put on the
packaging machine, catching the bread as it came down the belt and
passing it over to rolling shelves. After the
first day of doing this for 8 hours, he woke up that night passing his
pillows across the bed.
Click to enlarge... payslips from Kellner Jetties Co and
Continental Baking Company.
Managing the Spur Theater in
summer job in 1958. In the summer of 1959 he went back to LaVeta and worked for Charlie Masinton in his stores. Ah, LaVeta!
Those stories will have to wait for the book.
Click to see full crowd picture
Courtesy LaVeta Historic Preservation Committee
and Kathy Kiernen Martin
Charlies in La Veta
Don (left) in Army
after high school.
Bob Vaughn & Darrell Fedde
Don was #107 in the
canister at the top
West Peak in 1958.
Growing up in Sturgis, Ann worked at the Dakota Theater; during summers a car hop at A&W
Drive-In, winters a soda jerk at Carl's Confectionery; worked for the weekly
newspaper. Summer of 1957 worked at Palmer Gulch resort.
on each, for pages behind blue links below)
Sturgis High School
Ann went to college in Denver
from high school in 1958.
They met in
on December 6, 1958, when Don and
to Ann's 18th birthday party
to visit his
Fowler friend, Chuck Hogue.
TYPE A meets RESERVED!
First, a year and a half of being
great close friends, weekend visits packed with activity, lots of
letters back and forth (Pueblo is 120 miles south of Denver) and
having such fun with a large group of friends.
Pauline Hoffman, Don Dennis, Chuck
on February 14, 1959, when
Ann met Don's family
and was a weekend guest at their home in Fowler, CO.
Don's mother, Florence,
Don and Ann
in Sturgis, SD to
meet Ann's family.
mom Gen, sister Karen.
Seated: dad Walter (Casey) Miller and Don.
Four Aces' "Melody of Love"; Ella's "Embraceable You".
Donald's Drive-In, E. Colfax, 24c tacos & 49c french dips!
The Tamale Man on the
corner in downtown Denver.
Hiking in the Rockies...exploring back
Listening to beautiful music.
Love can Transform
Into beauty and splendor
and sweetness and grace.
OCTOBER 31, 1960
Don proposed and gave
Ann a lovely ring. They were due at the
home of some friends, within walking
distance, for a Halloween Party. It had
been raining, Denver's streets and walks were a little icy, and not
wanting the lady to get muddy, he gallantly
picked her up, started walking .....
lost his footing and promptly deposited his
new fiance in a pile of slushy mud. Ever
good natured, Ann laughed and they decided
to go to the party long enough to show off a
January 13, 1961
Joan, left...Ann, right.
Then the forever part!
Several months of excluding all others, heart to heart forever;
married a little more than two years after they met.
Pauline Hogue, Ann and Don Dennis, Chuck Hogue
Chuck and Pauline Hogue, Paul Weiland, Laurie
Bandel, and Don and Ann drove to Brush,
CO for the wedding.
Pastor Bob Morgan of the Brush
Methodist Church married them. He had been a school principal
in Fowler, CO when Don was growing up, and was a friend.
After the wedding, all enjoyed a wedding dinner, and then headed home. Paul
(a good friend from both high school and college days) rode with the newlyweds the 170
miles back to Pueblo. However the electrical system failed
on Don's car and in the middle of a dark, COLD January night, they
drove slowly and carefully, with no lights and no heater!
(Bob Morgan passed away at 81,
on Sept 27, 2006 in Cheyenne, WY).
Left, Ann's mom,
Gen Miller, Don and Don's mom,
Florence Dennis, visiting their first apartment. 2/61
Don and Ann's first few dates were
at D C Truckers basketball games in Denver.
years later, August 2007, in the mail, totally
unexpected, came a book on the National Industrial
Basketball League, written by Robin Buchan and Bruce
Kitts; "LONGSHOT, the Story of the Buchan Bakers" one of
the teams in the League. Talk about bringing back
Bruce Kitts had worked in
Fairbanks in the early 70's, remembered Don was from
Colorado and figured he was familiar with the League.
Little did he know! To the right is a program Don
saved from March 7, 1959, one of
those early games.
Take a look at
After Marriage....A good life begins......
College, Children, Career...
Pictures from Sports
Illustrated - Midnight Sun Game 2007
The Alaska Goldpanners above, team Don managed
from 1967 to 2013.
click below for:
Fox TV - Goldpanners, Don, Midnight Sun Game
Magazine article on the Goldpanners
Touching The Game, Alaska premiered in
Fairbanks on Friday 6/19/09
It was years in the making. On
Touching The Game, Alaska
premiered in Fairbanks, AK as part of the
Midnight Sun weekend festivities. The city of Fairbanks
celebrated the Summer Solstice all
weekend long kicking off with the
long-awaited documentary on the Alaska
The 2-Disc Touching
the Game, Alaska DVD was released on 11/30/09.
At a price of $19.95, the DVD
features the full-length director’s cut
of the film as well as plenty of extra
features and unseen footage.
technical: Todd Dennis
"a most patient teacher"
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