Dennis, 77, passed away peacefully in his sleep with his wife, Patricia and daughter, Jennifer at his side. He is predeceased by his son Christopher, parents Emma & Peter, and brother Ken Schmidt. He is survived by his granddaughter Sarah and daughter-in-law, Debra.
Together nearly fifty years, Patricia and Dennis celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary this past May. More than a married couple, they share a deep love, passion, and connection with each other. If you saw one, the other was nearby. Before marrying, Dennis took Patricia on her farthest journey, a road trip to California. The journey continued as they became a lifelong team, often sharing a dance together while at home. Patricia was the best thing to happen to Dennis. Once he met her, his world changed, and their family shortly followed.
Dennis and Christopher shared a bond for the Montreal Canadiens and enjoyed the occasional golf game. Dennis took pride in helping to plan his son’s annual birthday corn roast. Similar in character, they were both family men and both extremely proud of their daughters.
When Christopher married Debra, Dennis’ family grew again. He gained another daughter who he loved to banter with and not too long after that, gained his granddaughter, Sarah. A 2nd year student at Lakehead, Sarah and her Papa share the same birthdate. Bonded from birth, Dennis would regularly watch Sarah and over time, they developed their own non-verbal communication. His stories about her go all the way back to attending her first Teddy Bear Picnic with him. At age 5, she managed to convince him it was ok to buy her makeup. This did not end well. In his last week, he spoke highly of her intelligence and shared stories with her about his time living in California.
Dennis and Jennifer shared a true father daughter bond. He regularly reminded her of when he first held her and how she stuck her tongue out at him. He taught her how to balance a cheque book, use the tools in the toolbox and the importance of car maintenance. From his character, she took away the value of family, quality over quantity, and the importance of always looking your best. They both share the treasured memories of sleighrides in the deep winter snow, riding the antique cars at Valleyfair, and golfing together. Moving regularly, her location led to Dennis once again taking Patricia on more road trips, including Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Toronto.
Marrying into a large family, family dinners became a routine at Jean and John Kuchiak’s home filled with many new sisters and their spouses including Wanda, Charlene & Rick, and MaryLou & John.
A man of few words, he was always thinking. He had a kind, caring heart and was always most proud of his family’s accomplishments. Later in life, it brought warmth to his heart to enjoy a family meal at home prepared by his loving wife or to attend a local baseball game with his entire family.
Dennis had a love for cars which started at a young age. In his early 20s, he owned a ’67 Mustang and in his adult years, regularly attended a local car show with his family in tow. In recent years, he would wash, detail and polish his car multiple times per week, getting as high at 63 polishes in one year. His only speedy ticket came rushing home to see his son.
Dennis worked at the Port Arthur Shipyards as the Asst. Warehouse Manager and served as his union’s treasurer.
Passing away at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences after a short illness with his kidneys, Dennis’ last days were surrounded by many nurses, staff, and doctors who provided him and his family with tremendous care and compassion. A perfect exit for a man with a kind heart.
Per Dennis’ request, there will be no service. In honour of Dennis, the family requests that you play ‘I’ll Remember You’ by Elvis Presley or watch a John Wayne western. In return, he’ll want you all to “Be careful.”
Condolences may be made through www.nwfainc.com