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R. J. Dennett, 85, of Frontenac, KS, passed away at 12:50 a.m. Sunday, December 24, 2006, at the Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center. He was born December 29, 1920, to Ray Dennett and Delpha Pfister Dennett on the family homestead near Maybell, Colorado.

When R. J. (Junior) was 8 years old his family returned to the Vici, Oklahoma area where they had lived previously. He attended the Vici School.

On July 26, 1942, at Beaver Oklahoma he was united in marriage to Myldred Opal Halbert. Their first home was near Vici, Oklahoma. They were married sixty-four years.

He was called to serve in the United States Army, in November 1942. He was honorably discharged in October 1945. He was a member of the 508 Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. Mr. Dennett participated in the D Day invasion of Normandy.

He was awarded the Purple Heart and numerous other medals. He endured over three hundred days in German prisoner of war camps: Stalags 4, 11, 17 and unknown others.

After his discharge, R.J. worked on several ranches in western Oklahoma. In 1952 the family moved to Drexel MO. where he worked as a farmer and carpenter. He was known in the community as a very good neighbor, always giving of his skills and time to his neighbors and groups like the Local VFW and the Merwin Christian Church. Mr. Dennett was a devoted husband and father, always putting family before self. He will be sadly missed by family and friends. In the spring of 2002 Mr. Dennett and wife Myldred, moved to Frontenac, Kansas to be closer to family. He enjoyed the community playing cards and drinking coffee with friends.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Judith Ann Perry and husband, Marvin, of Prole, Iowa; two sons, Gerry Gene Dennett and wife, Vicki, of Pittsburg, Kansas and Travis Dennett and wife, Lorri, of Vici, Oklahoma; two grand-sons, Mike and Matt Perry and wives of Prole, Iowa; 4 great-grandchildren, and a host of family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Denver Dennett, a sister, Arlie Mary Thompson, and an infant granddaughter.

In 1986, he was baptized into the Merwin Christian Church where he and Myldred attended for many years. He was also a life member of the V.F.W., Disabled American Veterans, and the American Ex-Prisoners of War.

Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, December 27, 2006, at the Wilson & Sons Funeral Home in Drexel, Missouri. The family will receive friends prior to the service at 9:30 a.m. Rev. Allan Black will officiate the services. Burial will follow at 3:00 p.m. in the Mt. Olive Cemetery in Pittsburg, Kansas. Benjamin Fuller, American Legion Post #64, will provide the graveside military rites. Friends and family are requested to meet at the cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 26, at the Brenner Mortuary. Friends may call after 11 a.m. Tuesday. The family suggests memorials be made to the American Lung Association and the Merwin Christian Church, Merwin, Missouri. These may be left at or mailed to the Brenner Mortuary.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Brenner Mortuary, 114 E. 4th St., Pittsburg, Kansas.


[source: morningsun.net

(courtesy of Jon Lavoie)

Grave marker for R. J. Dennett in the Mt. Olive Cemetery, Pittsburg (Crawford), Kansas.

R. J. enlisted at Oklahoma City, OK on 20 November 1942.

Pvt Dennett, a member of "I" Company, jumped into Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944 and was taken prisoner that same day.

He was liberated on 7 May 1945 and returned to the U.S. aboard the USAT Admiral W. S. Benson arriving on June 12, 1945 New York City's harbor.


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