Dennis, Merel – Obituary

Oxbow, Oregon

Merel Dennis, 34, of Oxbow, died as a result of an automobile accident May 21, 2001.

There will be a celebration of life service Friday at 2 p.m. PDT at the Oxbow School Community Building.
At his request, disposition was by cremation.

Pictures and memorabilia from Mr. Dennis’ life are displayed in the Memorial Window at Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home in Halfway.

Mr. Dennis was born Sept. 5, 1966, at Albany to Jerald Dwane and Sharon Elaine Irwin Dennis. He was raised in Eagle Valley by Sharon and Jerry, former owners of the Shorthorn Restaurant and Lounge.

He fished, farmed and hunted during these years, becoming the caretaker of the Eagle Valley Cemetery while still in high school. He attended Pine-Eagle High School. He was a member of the Pine-Eagle football squad and graduated in the spring of 1984. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy, where he was a torpedoman aboard a Navy destroyer based out of Italy. He completed two years of service for the Navy.

After his discharge, he returned home to Eagle Valley where he met Karen Huston. They had two children, a son, Benjamin, and a daughter, Jessica, who died at the age of two months because of a heart condition. The family lived in Halfway for the duration of their time together.

Mr. Dennis then went to Washington where he became a skilled woodworker. He worked for three years at the Randall Allen Designs manufacturing firm in Tacoma, Wash.

He found that he missed his friends and family too much and decided to move back to the valley in 1997. He lived for a time with Jim and Dana Young.

After eight months, he and long-time friend Jeanne Wilmarth decided to marry. They were married in the home of friends, Max and Dottie DeMoss of Brownlee, on Feb. 25, 1998. He and Jeanne made their home north of Oxbow on Homestead Road, where he enjoyed woodworking, gardening, fishing and hunting. In the spring of 2000 Mr. Dennis joined the Forest Service in battling the tussock moth infestation of our forests. He received awards for his hard work and awareness of safety.

Mr. Dennis was referred to as “mountain man” by those close to him, because of his love of the outdoors, both on the river and in the woods. In his love of gardening and the outdoors, he created a beautiful pond at his home, as well as a woven willow fence line around his and Jeanne’s rose garden. His woodworking skills are still evident in the homes of many who have his homemade trelliswork and gardening stations throughout the Hells Canyon area.

Mr. Dennis leaves behind many friends in the Panhandle area, many of whom will miss their chess partner, fellow musician and woodcutting partner. His diverse interests and quiet way of living made him many good long friendships that will outlast his time on earth.

He is survived by his wife, Jeanne Dennis; his mother, Sharon Baylock; his father, Jerry Dennis; his sister, Rose Bolyard; his son, Benjamin; stepsons, Jason and Damon Molina; stepmother, Grace Dennis; and numerous uncles, aunts and cousins.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Pine-Eagle High School Football Fund through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Used with permission from: The Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, May 28, 2001
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor


White, Judy Wallis. Baker County, Oregon Obituaries. Published by Copyright 1999-2013, all rights reserved.

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