Raymond Edward Teel Dennis

A Celebration of Life Service will be held for Raymond Edward Teel Dennis, age 104 3/4 of Lawrence, Kansas on September 30th, 2022 at the Christ Community Church.  A second service will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah at a later date.

Ray passed on September 24th, 2022, in Lawrence, Kansas.

Raymond was born January 21st, 1918, in Topeka, Kansas to Clarence R. Dennis and Martha Teel Dennis.  Ray graduated from Topeka High School in 1937.  He married Ruth Elaine Abernathy enjoying 56 years of marriage prior to her death.  Together in a loving home, they raised their three (3) children, Donald Dean, Judith Diane, and Annette “Sue”.

He married Barbara Livingston of Lawrence, Kansas and moved to Lawrence from Salt Lake City, Utah in 1994.  Ray had a legendary work career, talking of it often with his children and grandchildren.   He became a father at the age of 20, and considered his family his greatest joy.  To them he owed everything and so he worked at a variety of jobs including but not limited to laundry driver, grocery store delivery, Watkins Product salesman, and Bakery salesman.  During the Depression years in the late 30s and early 40s, he took any job he could to provide for his family. 

In 1942 he began his long career with Hercules Power Company at Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant.  Following World War II, he returned to his work as a laundry driver.  Hercules recalled him during the Korean Conflict in 1951. He continued with them at Sunflower through the 50’s and 60’s.  When the Sunflower Plant closed in 1959 and once again in 1971, the company transferred him to their plant in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Bacchus plant.  It is from that plant that he retired in 1983 with 36 years of service. 

While at Bacchus, he was the supervisor in charge of the Ranger program which built a retro rocket enabling the first instrument packages to safely land on the moon.  This preceded the placing of a man on the moon. Ray loved looking at the moon so it was no surprise at how happy and proud he was of the contribution he made. 

 Often Ray’s work assignments required getting a production motor back on schedule and his nickname became Radar.  Ray loved his work and kept excellent records of the jobs he held and the people with whom he worked, treating everyone with courtesy and respect.   He always enjoyed discussing the history of Sunflower with co-workers, and anyone interested.   He was a member of the retired Hercules employee’s clubs in Lawrence and in Salt Lake City.

Ray traveled the world, was an avid sportsman, enjoying hunting, fishing, and

camping with his family and friends.  Ray and Barbara became members of the MoKan HitchHiker Club which gave them opportunities for monthly campouts.   In the 2000-2015 time-frame he and Barbara enjoyed meeting with the International Students through the ALPHA Program. He happened upon a book about Buffalo in a book store, purchased it and after reading it about four times, became an avid collector of all things Buffalo.

 His Christian faith was his foundation for life and he served his faith and community in various capacities.  He attributed his healthy and happy life and his longevity to the creed he adopted when he was only 17 years old, “Don’t worry, God is in control”.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Ruth, and son, Donald D. Dennis (Don), and sisters, Bertha Brown, Elizabeth Mack, Barbara Jean Creek and brother, Leroy Dennis. In addition, his grandson Kurtis Kyllo, his granddaughter Kelly Wood, and grandson Brandon Bryant.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, his daughters and their husbands, Judith (Vaughn Gardner), Annette “Sue” (Dave Vickers), daughter-in-law, Jane Dennis.  His step children, Bruce Livingston (Sharon), Russell Livingston, Gaye Benjamin (Dennis), and Jay Livingston.  Also surviving are 19 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews.

Ray was a man of few words, but when he spoke, people listened.

            “If it won’t matter in 100 years, don’t worry about it now.”

            “At the age of 17, I gave my heart to the Lord.  I have never looked back                           or worried since.”

Please join us in a visitation Friday, September 30th from 1pm – 2:45pm at Christ Community Church prior to the service at 3pm.

Memorials may be made in his name to the charity of your choice and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

The services will be live streamed through the YouTube channel at Christ Community Church Lawrence, KS.


8 Condolences

  1. Dave Affalter on September 27, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    To Barbara & the Family, I’m saddened to hear of Ray’s passing… I remember our SR. Dinners we used to have over at your house when Ray was flipping burgers on the grill… ALSO the times when, as I was riding my Bike down the street past your house , I would sometimes see Ray out doing stuff in the yard ; I would stop to say Hi, and find him out digging holes & moving rocks around to make things better… But he was always happy to stand and Chat for a few minutes before I had to Ride off to somewhere…
    Dave Affalter

  2. Peter & Janet Baumler family on September 29, 2022 at 2:53 pm

    Dear Barbara& Ray’ Dennis family.
    Grandpa Ray will long be remembered& celebrated by all who met him. How fortunate
    We all were to have known him. Sincere condolences on his passing. May God bless you & keep you in the palm of His hand.
    Remember Ray is up there celebrating &
    Praising God!

  3. Tom and Linda Ratliff on September 30, 2022 at 12:25 pm

    Barbara and family,
    We shall miss seeing Ray and you out in your yard doing yard work (of ALL kinds). Although we don’t know you very well, we have both felt very blessed to have known Ray and yourself as neighbors. (We live across the street from Dean on 28th Terrace-same street as you). If there is anything that you need in the future days to come, Barbara, please know that Tom and myself are just a few houses down from where you live. We are there for you if you need anything. Tom always enjoyed it when you two were out for your walks and he could stop you and visit a short while with you. Please accept our most sincere condolences in this difficult time. May God Bless all of you.
    Tom and Linda Ratliff

  4. Martin Owens on September 30, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    Judy and Family. What a remarkable father. Sorry I can’t pay my respects today, but will be with you all in spirit.

  5. Ruth Foster on September 30, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    Dearest Barbara, sending my love and prayers to you and the family. May the Lord surround you with His presence, as only He can at a time like this. May He comfort your heart and speak to your Spirit in the days that lay ahead. ♥️

  6. Charlene Statler on October 1, 2022 at 8:41 am

    Barbara and family, so sorry I couldn’t be present for you but my thoughts and prayers were certainly there. Ray was a wonderful guy and will be missed.

  7. Patricia supancic on October 1, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    Judy, sorry I couldn’t attend your fathers service. My thoughts are with you and the family, what a remarkable life he had.Let me hear from you if it should work out. 🌻

  8. Doris & Roger Gordon on October 24, 2022 at 1:42 am

    So very sorry to hear about Ray Dennis passing away suddenly in September from a fall. We only officially met him and his second wife once touring on a bus at Glacier National Park in Montana. Both him and his wife were the most lovely couple. And Ray was so agile. We were surprised when he said he was in his 90s! He lived a very long and fruitful life, and may he rest in peace forever. All the best to the family too❤️

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