Velma Fern Dennis
Velma Fern Dennis, 88, of Dixon, died Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
As Velma requested, cremation will take place and a memorial service will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2 at Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Coleridge with the Rev. Gary Kimm officiating. Burial of cremated remains will be in the Coleridge City Cemetery. A gathering of friends and family is from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at the Wintz Funeral Home in Coleridge.
To post an online sympathy message visit wintzrayfuneralhome.com.
Velma Fern Dennis was born May 6, 1928 in Coleridge to William E. and Alda (Shutt) Sassaman. She grew up in Coleridge and graduated from Coleridge High school in 1945. Velma worked at the Farmer’s Union Store during high school. Following high school, she became the head bookkeeper at the Farmer’s Union until marrying Dale C. Dennis on Jan. 9, 1949. Nine children were born to this couple: Dale W. “Bill”, Dianne, Debra, Patti, Lori, David, V. Jolene, Denise and Lisa. Velma started her postal career in 1966 as a clerk in the Coleridge Post Office. After a few years and her hours being cut with Coleridge, she loaned to the Norfolk Post Office for more hours. During that time she purchased Pfund Trucking and operated the trucking company until being appointed Postmaster at Dixon on June 17, 1979. Velma was appointed Postmaster the same day that the Coleridge Postmaster, Bruce Bohlken, retired. This left Coleridge in a bind as the rural carrier and the officer-in-charge assigned to Coleridge were both on annual leave and the other clerk was delivering the rural routes. So Velma’s first three days as Postmaster were served as a fill-in at the Coleridge Post Office. During her tenure as Postmaster, Velma served officer-in-charge assignments at the Atkinson, Emerson, Orchard and Wakefield post offices. She also loaned to the Laurel and Pender offices when needed, working a total of nine post offices during her postal career. Velma retired with 31 years of actual service plus one year of accrued sick leave for a total of 32 years with the postal service.
Velma was active as a den mother for Cub Scouts and Cookie Chairman for the Girl Scouts. She was a Sunday school teacher for years at the Methodist Church in Coleridge as well as the United Methodist Church in Dixon, after moving there and held many offices in the church women’s groups. She enjoyed quilting, playing cards, bowling, dominoes, traveling, crafts and spending time with friends and relatives, especially their “No Boys Allowed” weekends.
Velma was also very involved in community projects and was one of the organizers and continuous members of the Dixon Community Improvement Committee. Her pet project was to clear Dixon of the junk car image. She didn’t like when people would ask, “Where is Dixon?” and the reply was, “Turn where the junk cars are.” She purchased the junk car lot and donated it to the Village to be developed and maintained as a city park. It is known as Centennial Park and was dedicated August 1990.
Survivors include her six daughters: Debra (Kevin) O’Bleness of Anchorage, Alaska; Patti (Steve) Wattier of Wayne; Lori Spahr of Coleridge; Jolene Dennis of Ft. Thompson, S. D.; Denise (Loyd) Jones of Lincoln; and Lisa Abler of Lincoln; daughter-in-law, Liz Dennis of Los Algodones, Mexico; 13 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; one great great granddaughter; sister, Mary (Al) Lich of Washington, Ind.; brother, Lysle “Mert” (Norma) Sassaman of Ft. Mohave, Ariz.; two sisters-in-law, Sandra Sassaman of Wisner, and Lenny Dennis of Osmond, ; brother-in-law, Wayne Lich of Lyons, Ind.; special friends, Darlene and Dallas Puntney of Stromsburg; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Dale Dennis in 1970; infant daughter, Dianne Rae Dennis; two sons, Bill and David Dennis; one great grandson, Aaron Surber; two brothers, Gene and Verne Sassaman; sister, Lorna Lich; sister-in-law, Kathryn Sassaman; and special friend, John Pfund.