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Dennis Victor Wernimont, 77, was surrounded by his wife and his children when he left this world on Sunday, May 31st to be with The Lord. The family will be holding a private celebration of life service at a later date.
Dennis was born in Breda, IA on March 18, 1938, to Joseph and Anna Wernimont and was the eighth of nine children. The family eventually moved to Carroll, Iowa. Dennis graduated from Iowa School for the Deaf where he excelled in all sports- football, basketball and track. He especially excelled in basketball and track and set school records which some still remain today.
Dennis then spent the next two and half years at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. In 1957, Dennis competed at the Deaf Olympics in Milan, Italy where he won three Gold medals, one Silver medal and one Bronze medal in Track. He also won a Gold Medal in the 1965 Deaf Olympics in Washington, DC as part of the USA Basketball team.
Dennis met and married the love of his life, Lois Elaine Haynes, in 1962 in Omaha, NE where they spent the next 43 years loving one another and their growing family. Dennis enjoyed working with his many friends and utilizing his carpentry skills to expand and improve his home, improving the pulpit for his church and renovating the Omaha Association of the Deaf facility. Additionally, the family enjoyed boating, waterskiing and taking family vacations, especially to amusement parks. He shared his love of sports with his children and could sometimes been seen coaching them from the stands.
As with sports, Dennis excelled as a Printing Pressman for Arrow Printing then with Regal Printing until he retired at age 62 in 2001.
In 2005, Dennis achieved his life-long dream to have a home on the lake when he acquired lakefront property at Raintree Lake in Lee’s Summit, MO and built his dream home. Dennis spent the next eight years staying very active by working on his home, making new friends in Kansas and Missouri and enjoying the company and activities of his four children, their spouses, and nine grandchildren.
Dennis’s active life was cut short after being diagnosed with ALS in November 2013 at age 75. As with everything else in his life, he fought hard to be active despite the diagnosis.
He will be greatly missed by his loving family and a host of friends. Survivors include, his loving wife of 53 years, Lois; his daughter, Denise and husband Steve Young and their children Kyle and Paige ; daughter, Della and husband Brent Niemuth and their children Brock and Brenna; daughter, Darla and husband Todd Spengeman and their children Trevor and Riley; son, Darwin and wife Karen and their children Connor, Christopher and Chase. He is also survived by three brothers, Victor, Franklin and Floyd Wernimont and two sisters, Shirley (Wernimont) Rupiper and Marilyn (Wernimont) Stahl.
Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Clarence and Virgil Wernimont and sister Lois (Wernimont) Skalla.
The family suggests in lieu of flowers that donations are made to Good Shepherd Hospice 123 W. Kansas Avenue Independence, MO 64050.
Lu Goldsberry (Nelson ) says
So sorry for your loss. I have you all in my thoughts and prayers. Just remember he is and will always be with you!
Nancy B. Rarus says
Dennis was always very gentle-very modest. Yes, I know he will be missed. We are lucky we have good memories of him.
Patrick A. Graybill says
Lois and your children, you are in my prayers and thoughts. It is good to know that Dennis is in good hands and suffers no more. May the comforting words of your friends and others help to ease your grief to some extent.
Harmon P. Menkis says
I was and still am in awe of Dennis. I got to know him well as his track manager at Gallaudet University and made sure he always had what he needed on the tracks. I am deeply sorry for your loss.
Marvin Fogel says
Dennis was my roommate during the freshman year at Gallaudet College, as it was known then. I had the privilege of knowing him better when I managed the basketball team on which he was an outstanding player and a prolific scorer. He was also a person of exemplary character who was loved by members of his family and respected in the Deaf community.
Julee Stein says
Denise and family, I am so sorry for your loss. There is some peace that you all were able to be there with him. Thoughts and prayers to you and your entire family.
Estie L. Provow says
We are thinking of you in your loss. We are grateful that we had good opportunity to see you both not long ago. Our thoughts and spirit go with you and your whole family.
Dennis & Sherry Gabel says
Dennis W ’s death is a sad loss for you, family and for many others in the Deaf Community. He was a fine man, & a great leader in the community. We learned a lot from him when we played poker. We plan to keep it on. We felt fortunate to have him in our life in the last 8 years. We’ll cherish all the great times we had. May many good memories enable you to live with it.
Jeff Ellis says
Sorry for your loss. It makes me sad. I have worked with him at Regal Printing Company. He was good man.
Last time I saw him and Lois while 150th year celebrate at Iowa School for the Deaf in 2005. I will miss him.
My prayers and thoughts are with you.
Karen Erickson says
Lois and family,
I am so sorry about your loss. Dennis was a cool man and he was my partner at Potter’s wedding .. It is such a sad time and I know (heard) that you and your family took such very good care of him. I am thinking of you, Lois.. Love,
Sarah Karstens says
My heart and prayers go out to each of you. Denise I know full well how hard it is to loose your dad. May you each find peace and comfort in the days ahead knowing that he is resting now in the hands of Our Father. Skk
Debra Scott says
I am so sorry for your loss. Having lost both of my parents now, I know a bit about the overwhelming sadness. Denise–please let me know if you need anything or just want to talk. My heart goes out to you and all your family.
Molly Miller says
Denise & Family –
I am so very sorry to hear about your father’s passing. I am glad he will no longer be suffering, but I know this is a difficult time for you. I will be thinking about you during this difficult time.
Becky and Jay Crowder says
Dear Wernimont Family, we hope that your awesome memories will sustain you through the difficult days ahead. We are deeply sorry for your loss.
Sara Pestinger says
Denise, Steve, Kyle and Paige;
Dennis sounds like an amazing man who lived an amazing life.
I’m sorry for your loss. Please know that I’m praying for God to hold each of you closely during this time.
I pray he is hearing God’s angels sing in all their glory.
Carroll/Lillie Brown says
We are so sorry for your loss. We appreciated Dennis starting the poker and Fun Day. Lois and Children, you all
are in our thoughts and prayers. Dennis was good to everyone. He will be missed
John Miller says
My memory of Dennis remains the 1965 World Game basketball. He earned the best champion! In addition, he was real good at different sports. We always met at blessed AAAD times…The whole family does miss him now, but God always decides….
Lois Wernimont says
Dennis was very outgoing guy and loved to have fun. He started Fun Day and Poker. Miss him.
You and your family are in our
thoughts and prayers.
Mike and Sharon
Lois Olson says
Lois and children and grandchildren: My prayers of comfort and peace for the void left by Dennis’ death. God will be near to you. You shared a great love through life and through his time of illness. We are blessed with the promise of eternal life with Jesus. Thank you for your efforts to keep in touch. Love you much.
Samuel Edward Dorsey says
R.I.P. our hero deaf person in silent sports like mighty joe franklin russell from mississippi!