Carl Roderick Dennis, 97, of Lawrence, Kansas, formerly of Palm City, Florida and Mount Vernon, Illinois, passed away at February 18, 2021 at Neuvant House of Lawrence in Lawrence, Kansas. He was born April 14, 1923 in Mount Vernon, Illinois to the late Carl Wesley Dennis and Gladys Merle Dennis Kolkemeier.
Carl eloped with his childhood sweetheart and love of his life, Naomi Jo (Neal) Dennis, on September 7, 1941 in Perryville, Missouri. She preceded him in death on January 18, 2004. Carl is survived by his daughter, Judith Ellen Ricklefs of Topeka, Kansas; three grandchildren, Scott Ricklefs of Overland Park, Kansas, Brian (Tynet) Ricklefs of Springfield, Missouri, and Elizabeth Ricklefs of Lawrence, Kansas; eight great-grandchildren, Jordan (Weston) Pollum, Haley Ricklefs, Sydney Ricklefs, Gus Cordova, Brynn Cordova, Rae Cordova, Nora Ricklefs, Porter Ricklefs; and one great-great-grandchild, Brooklyn Pollum.
In addition to his parents and beloved wife of sixty-two years Carl was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Robert Ricklefs.Carl was Career Military, beginning in the Marine Corps during his college years then transferring to the Army, the branch from which he eventually retired. He later became a civil servant for the United States Air Force.
He was involved in both World War II, during which time he was part of the 4th Regiment – China Marines – tasked with protecting Shanghai, and the Korean Conflict, in which he was one of the Chosin Few after the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Mr. Dennis was active in the United Methodist church no matter where he lived, including the First United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon, Illinois.
His devotion to his faith and his thirst for spiritual knowledge led family and friends to view him as somewhat of an “amateur Biblical scholar”, reading and studying many materials and books on the subject. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge #163 in Stuart, Florida, a Shriner, and the past State President of the High Twelve while living in Florida. Carl lived a long amazing life and will lovingly be remembered as a personal superhero to his beloved family. The Dennis family would like to express how thankful they are for all of the staff at Neuvant House for taking care of Carl.
A Funeral Service will be held Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 1:00 pm at Mount Vernon Memorial Gardens Chapel in Woodlawn, Illinois with Reverend Victor Long officiating. Full Military Rites will be held by American Legion Post #141 at the cemetery. Entombment will follow at Mount Vernon Memorial Gardens in Woodlawn, Illinois. Memorials may be made in Carl’s honor to Shriners Hospitals for Children.
The Funeral Service will be available for live streaming via Zoom. Please go to zoom.us/join and enter the Meeting ID: 891 0850 3574Please remember to observe social distancing at this time. We are limited to 50 people in our building at a time. Following the CDC and NFDA regulations, we encourage everyone to wear a mask. They will be made available, upon request.