Dennis was born to Everett and Marian Poff in DeKalb County, Illinois Oct. 31, 1947. He was the first born of five children and raised in the farming communities of Malta, Shabbona, and LeRoy. The family eventually settled in Kingston, Ill. where he attended high school. During that time Dennis met and married Jeannie Humphrey. Together they had a daughter, Tracy Maria, but shortly thereafter divorced and Dennis entered the military service.
Dennis served his country in the U.S. Army from Nov. 27, 1967 to July 2, 1969 and was a Vietnam Veteran. From active duty he transferred to the U.S. Army Reserve where he completed his service Nov. 26, 1973.
Aug.9, 1974 Dennis married Donna Roper in Sycamore, Ill. Dennis and Donna had three children. Their first son was born in Kalispell, Mont. followed by a daughter and second son both born in San Jose, Calif. where Dennis worked in home construction.
Dennis was a skilled carpenter and worked in that trade for the next few years before moving back to Thompson Falls where he lived the remainder of his life.
Dennis was well known in Thompson Falls and could be seen almost daily downtown whether at Minnie’s for lunch or True Value to “borrow” their phone. He was generous to offer food or drink for family gatherings and thankful for whatever was shared. He enjoyed getting away from Thompson Falls on occasion for a night out in downtown Trout Creek. Dennis also played a pretty good game of Farkle and never made fun of the losers!
In his early years Dennis enjoyed hunting, fishing and nice cars. A favorite was his red Corvette. He also enjoyed music and dancing the night away at the nearest street dance or “battle of the bands.”
In the prime of his life, 38 years of age, Dennis began his personal battle with mental illness. His fight to break free from this debilitating illness lasted the rest of his life. Dennis never lost sight of his dream for a better life and we are confident that he’s found rest and peace at last.
The family would like to thank all of you that extended a helping hand to Dennis over the years whether it was a kind word, helpful directions or just a smile. You will never know how much your understanding and compassion meant to us.
Dennis was preceded in death by his parents Marian Ruth Poff and Everett Leon Poff. He is survived by his children; Matthew, Lyndsay, and Wesley Poff, and Tracy Hopper, and siblings Dianne (Bob) Zimmerman of Thompson Falls, Dan (Lori) of Florence Mont., David also of Thompson Falls, and Debra Rapp of Spring Valley Ill. Dennis is also survived by his grandson Ruger (Lyndsay), three nieces, two nephews and their children.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service is being planned for later in the year. Interment will follow at the Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery in Missoula Mont.
Memorial donations can be made in his name to the National Alliance on Mental Illness/Montana at NAMIMT.org or the Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org.