Joe Dennis "Old Joe", age 83, of New Hartford, died Sunday, June 21, 2009 at the Cedar Valley Hospice House in Waterloo.
Joe was born on October 20, 1925 in Meadville, Missouri, the son of Joseph and Minnie (Fruen) Dennis. He attended school in Meadville until the sixth grade and then started his adventure as a cowboy / ranch hand. He left Missouri on his black Morgan horse and headed west where he would find employment with the Pitch Fork Ranch in Kansas and later the King Ranch in Texas. Joe then worked at a CCC Camp in Texas until entering the United States Navy in 1942 at the age of 17. Joe served during WWII on the destroyer USS McDougal. After being discharged from the Navy in 1945 Joe returned to Missouri for a short time and then moved to Iowa, where he met and later married Eunice Stirling at the Janesville Methodist Church On January 22, 1949. The couple made their home in New Hartford and Joe went to work for John Deere in Waterloo. Other places Joe worked during his life include Clay Equipment, Chamberlain Manufacturing, Berry Tool and Die, and Saturn Tool and Die. Joe retired in 1996.
Joe enjoyed playing guitar, harmonica, fiddle, and mandolin for private parties, nursing homes, bars, and bluegrass outings. Other hobbies included woodworking, hunting, shooting guns with Wendall Wade, reading westerns, cutting wood, and relaxing by his wood stove that was always glowing red. Joe was a member of the New Hartford United Methodist Church, the Cedar Falls AMVETS, and Cub Scout Pack 93 Master and 17 year organizer of the Annual Cub Scout Hootenanny fundraiser.
Joe's memory is honored by his four sons and their spouses, LaVerne (Karen) Dennis of New Hartford, Joe (Teri) Dennis of Wellsburg, Daniel (Chris) Dennis of Kansas City, Missouri, David (Dawn) Dennis of New Hartford; two daughters, Peggy (Rod) Young of New Hartford and Jolene (Shawn Bratten) Dyer of Cedar Falls; special friend, Tim Johnson of Colorado, a brother, John (Bess) Dennis of Richmond, Missouri, a sister, Betty (Ray) Nunn of Blue Springs, Missouri, a sister-in-law, Dixie Dennis of Buckner, Missouri, twenty grandchildren, and twenty two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, a daughter Elaine Smith, a son-in-law, Tom Smith, three brothers, Gerald "Buss" and Max Staumbach and Jack Dennis, a sister, Margurite "Sis" Brock, and a sister-in-law, Billie Staumbach.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 AM on Wednesday, June 24, at the United Methodist Church in New Hartford with Pastor Betsy Piette officiating. Burial will follow at the Cedar Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Cedar Falls. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 23 at the United Methodist Church in New Hartford where the family will greet friends from 4 to 8 PM. Memorials may be directed to the family and online condolences may be left at www.kaisercorson.com.