Dr. Dennis Clark Gehri, Camarillo, CA/formerly Janesville, WI (1937 - 2014)
January 28, 1937 - June 28, 2014
Dr. Dennis Clark Gehri, age 77 5/12, passed away suddenly on Saturday, June 28, 2014. Dennis recently moved to Camarillo, CA, from Oak Park, CA. Dennis had lived in the Agoura, area for over 40 years. Dennis was the only son of Alvin F. Gehri and Arleen (Sawyer) Gehri. He was born in Beloit, WI, on Jan. 28, 1937, and was raised in Janesville, WI.
Dennis is survived by his four children and seven grandchildren: daughter, Dawn and her two children, Alan and Naomi; son, Matthew (Holly) and their two children, Robyn and Christian; son, Travis (Lea) and their son, Kirk; and daughter, Chandra (David) and their daughters, Morgan and Brooke. Dennis is also survived by his cousin, Paul, who was like a brother to him.
Dennis was a graduate of Janesville High School (Class of 1955), where he graduated with Honors, was class Valedictorian, an award-winning debater, President of the Student Body and a key member and captain of the Janesville High School golf team, which won the Wisconsin State Championship. He was also the youngest Club Champion ever of the Janesville Country Club, the oldest golf club in Wisconsin. Dennis obtained both his undergraduate degree with honors (Class of 1959) and doctoral degree (Class of 1967) in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dennis was a member of the 1957 University of Wisconsin Golf Team, where he and his teammates won the Big Ten title for the first time ever in UW golf history. He was a proud and ardent Badger fan throughout his life, and shared his love for Wisconsin football and golf with his entire family. Dennis was a member and Grand Master of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He proudly watched his two sons and one of his grandsons share that legacy with him when they each became members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity in their college years.
In 1961, Dennis married the first love of his life, Beverly (Johnson). Dennis and Beverly have four children together. Dennis and Beverly divorced many years later, but remained good friends. In 1992, Dennis began his relationship with the second love of his life, Sharon. Their dog, Sparky, brought much joy to Dennis’ life. Dennis and Sharon later separated, but also remained good friends.
From Nov. 7, 1959 until Sept. 1, 1962, Dennis proudly served his country in the United States Air Force. Dennis was an Air Force weapons and explosives instructor in Denver. Dennis was honorably discharged at the rank of First Lieutenant. Dennis was employed by Rockwell International from 1968 to 1993 as a research scientist. His proudest work was that which culminated in a United States patent for the removal of harmful sulphur emissions from coal-fired power plants. At the end of his career, he worked at the Rockwell “Think Tank” assisting in the development of materials used on the Space Shuttle and the National Aerospace Plane. After his retirement from Rockwell International, Dennis taught Chemistry at Moorpark College, California Lutheran University and Pepperdine University. Dennis fully retired from teaching at age 75.
In support of quality education for youth, Dennis served on the Las Virgenes Unified School Board from 1981 to 1985, including as Board President. He continued his involvement with the Las Virgenes schools through participation in History Day LA for many years thereafter. Dennis faithfully supported his children and grandchildren, and the many youth that Beverly brought into their household to nurture in times of need. Dennis became a father figure to many more than just his four biological children. One of Dennis’ favorite things was to be present as his children and grandchildren pursued and completed their educational pursuits.
The role of Grandfather was also one that Dennis embraced with a passion and pride that was far beyond his regular zeal and enthusiasm. He was keenly interested in each and every one of his grandchildren, their successes, stumblings, and everything in between. He was more proud of this role than any other in his life.
When Dennis was not spending time with his family, he could be found on the golf course. Dennis was a former member of Lake Lindero Country Club, where he was club champion and a hole-in-one victor. For the past twenty years, Dennis was a member of Las Posas Country Club. His golfing buddies at Las Posas became like family to him.
Dennis will be interred next to his parents at Milton Lawns Memorial Park in Janesville, WI. There will be a gathering for family and friends at JANESVILLE COUNTRY CLUB, 2615 West Memorial Drive, Janesville, WI, 53548 on July 17, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.
The Dr. Dennis C. Gehri Memorial Fund has been established to honor Dennis and his dedication to youth development and opportunity. After all contributions are received, the funds will be distributed to the following charitable causes:
American Chemical Society Scholar Fund–helping college-age Physical Chemistry students with their Undergraduate and Graduate degree expenses.
American Junior Golf Association’s Achieving Competition Excellence (ACE) Grant program – affording young golfers who may have the talent, but not the resources, the opportunity to compete on a national stage to gain exposure for a college golf scholarship.
University of Wisconsin–Madison Badger Fund (golf designation) –funding to support the athletic scholarship activities of the UW-Madison golf team.
Each of these causes was carefully chosen because they are so much in line with Dennis' commitment to youth development and who Dennis was as a person and a professional. Donations may be made through the following link http://www.gofundme.com/b1dqhc or mailed to his daughter, Chandra Gehri Spencer at 5737 Kanan Rd., #405, Agoura Hills, CA 91301.
Dennis’ on-line obituary and memory book where condolences can be expressed is available for viewing at http://hosting-19539.tributes.com/obituary/show/Dennis-Clark-Gehri-101480862?f_e=1.
With his example of gentle guidance and his patient ways, Dennis’ children and grandchildren each promise to make him proud as they continue to honor Dennis’ legacy. His children and grandchildren love him a google infinity, to the moon and back, and will miss him until they meet again.