Obit: Owens, Dennis F. (1937 - 2014)


Surnames: Owens, Frankford, Johnson, Neverdahl, Lawson, Holmes, Slach, Buckmayer, Brunelle

Source: Marshfield News Herald (Marshfield, WI) 09 May 2014

Owens, Dennis F. (9 NOV 1937 - 6 MAY 2014)

Dennis F. Owens, age 76, of Neillsville, WI passed away on May 6, 2014 at the House of the Dove in Marshfield, WI.

Dennis Frank Owens was born on November 9, 1937 in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa. He was the 5th of 8 children born to Vaughn Deane and Cora Edith (Frankford) Owens. He attended public and Catholic Parochial schools in Iowa. Dennis was employed by Amana Refrigeration in the Amana Colonies of Iowa for one year and then worked as a communications lineman for the Chicago North Western Railway for nearly 20 years. He left that position due to a car/train/employee accident in which he sustained a severe leg injury requiring several surgeries and considerable convalescence. He left the employ of the C&N Ry after it was determined that his injury prevented him from safely climbing telephone poles.

Dennis loved his job working for the Railroad and liked saying "I guess you could say I have cinders in my blood." He maintained his ties with his railroad family, attending retirement celebrations as well as the Annual C&NW Ry Communications Department Employees Reunions.

He then pursued a post-secondary education within the University of Wisconsin System as well as completed courses of study at Chippewa Valley Technical College and completed courses of higher learning in Minnesota and Michigan becoming a State of Wisconsin and Nationally Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. He was then employed as an AODA Counselor with the Clark County Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, Inc., eventually becoming the Executive Director of that facility. Dennis then went to work for the Manitowoc County Human Services Department as its Intoxicated Driver Program Coordinator working for that agency for sixteen and one-half years before retiring.

Dennis served on the Wisconsin Operation Lifesaver Board of Directors and was currently on its board. He really loved the men and women whom volunteered their personal time to provide education to prevent injury and fatalities from occurring at railroad/highway grade crossings and on railroad private property.

Dennis married Dorothy Brunelle Johnson, the love of his life and soul-mate on May 19, 1979 in Eau Claire, WI. He determined that besides the birth of his son, Mark Neverdahl, a great loving family, a loving God, she was the most important aspect of his life.

Dennis cherished 34 years of absolute sobriety.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters; Patricia, Mona Joanne, Peggy Lou, Dixie Lee and younger brother, Danny.

Dennis is survived by his wife, Dorothy, a son, Mark Neverdahl, a brother, Michael (Donna) Owens of Lawson, MO, a sister, Thelma (Richard) Holmes of Marshalltown, IA, five grown step-children, many nieces, grand-nieces, nephews and grand-nephews. He is further survived by brothers-in-law, Arnold Slach and Paul Buchmayer of Iowa City, IA; Edward Brunelle of AR, Robert (Loraine) Brunelle of FL, sisters-in-law, Mary Owens of Cedar Rapids, IA and Claire Brunelle Shaw of Essex Jct., VT. He further leaves behind his furry little girl and delightful companion, "Angel".

A private family gathering will be held at a later date.

Online Condolences may be made at

The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Dennis's family with Funeral arrangements.



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