Obit: Owens, Dennis Frank #2 (1937 - 2014)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Owens, Frankford, Brunelle, Johnson, Holmes, Slach, Buchmayer

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co, WI) /2014

Owens, Dennis Frank (9 November 1937 - 6 May 2014)

Dennis f. Owens, 76, of Neillsville passed away May 6, 2014, at the house of the Dove in Marshfield.

Dennis Frank Owens was born Nov. 9, 1937, in Des Moines, Polk County, IA. He was the fifth of eight 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 a communications lineman for the Chicago North Western Railway (CNW) 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 CNW Railway after it was determined his injury prevented him from safely climbing telephone poles.

Dennis loved his job working for the railroad and like 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 CNW Railway Communications Department employee reunions.

He then pursued a post-secondary education within the University of Wisconsin System as well as completed course of study at Chippewa Valley Technical College and completed course 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 of 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 it intoxicated driver program coordinator, working for that agency for 16 ½ 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 who 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, May 19, 1979, in Eau Claire. He determined that besides the birth of his son Mark Neverdahl, a great loving family and 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; sister, Patricia, Mona Joanne, Peggy Lou and 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; one sister Thelma (Richard) Holmes of Marshalltown, IA; five grown step-children, many nieces, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. He is further survived by brothers-in-law Arnold Slach and Paul Buchmayer of Iowa City, Ia, Edward Brunelle of Arizona, and Robert (Loraine) Brunelle of Florida; sisters-in-law Mary Owens of Cedar Rapids, IA, and Claire (Brunelle) Shaw of Essex Junction, 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 assisted Dennis’s family with funeral arrangements.




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