Remembering Our Ancestors: Donald Eugene Denney

Time is an odd thing: Some things feel close and remote at the same time.

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This week, we remember Donald Eugene Denney, our father and grandfather, who passed away 24 years ago, on 11 July 1996.  That sounds like a long time ago, just under a quarter of a century, and a lot has happened since then, but at the same time, it feels like it was only recently.

Donald Eugene Denney was born on 22 February 1934 in Fairfield County, OH, third child of Lorain and Irene Denney, and their first and only son.   He grew up on his father’s farm.  Below is a pictures of him in his 20s at National Guard Camp during the Korean War in the 1950s.  The photo was in the local newspaper in August of 1956; Donald E. can be seen on the right:

national guard newspaper clipping

Another somewhat public photo from the 1970 you can see below.  It was published by the Sixth Ave. United Methodist Church, one of the clients for whom he did janitorial work at the time.

Donald E Denney 1975
Donald E. Denney in 1975

Life didn’t always hand Donald Eugene lemons, but he surely didn’t have it easy either.  When the economy tanked in the 1980s, he lost his long-time job at Alten’s Foundary and never found a job that would last again.  Mind you, he never had a shortage of odd jobs, but the economic situation in the 1980s wasn’t a whole lot better than it is now and there were many like him who basically had to retire when they were in their 50s.

Donald E. died on 11 July 1996 at the age of 62, he was laid to rest in Saint Paul Lutheran Cemetery in North Berne, Ohio.  He was the first of his immediate family (not counting in-laws) to pass away, after a short and rare illness.  His father followed him about half a year later, his mother lived for another twelve years, and his three sisters are all still alive, as well as his wife Karen and their two sons.

Requiescat in Pace, Dad.  We think of you every day.

Donald E Denney 1990
Donald E. Denney all dressed up in 1990

 

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