A funeral Mass for Dennis Hellman, 87, of Burt, was held Monday, November 16, 2020 at 11:00 AM at St. John’s Catholic Church in Bancroft with Father Steven McLoud officiating. Burial was in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Bancroft.
Dennis George Hellman, the youngest son of Leo E. and Emma A. (Elsbecker) Hellman, was born on June 21, 1933, on a farm southeast of Bancroft, Iowa, and passed away on Thursday, November 12, 2020, in Bancroft. He attended St. John the Baptist Catholic School, graduating in 1951. Dennis was a life-long member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church as well as a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters.
Dennis was united in marriage to Donna Jean Josephine Kahler on August 28, 1958, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Bancroft. They settled on a farm north of Burt, where they built their home, farmed the land, milked cows, and raised hogs, cattle, and chickens. They were blessed with five children, Steve, Jim, Barbara, Lisa, and David.
In addition to being a dedicated farmer, often alongside his brothers to lighten the load for one another, Denny enjoyed family gatherings during the holidays and other special events. He especially lit up when spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and was sure to attend their activities, always ending with a hug. Another love of Denny’s was enjoying treasured years with Donna as they attended ballroom dances throughout Iowa and southern Minnesota. As a couple, they also traveled to various locations around the country through bus trips, especially enjoying the music and entertainment in Branson until Donna’s passing on August 16, 2009.
Known for spending time in the machine shed hard at work, Denny produced a detailed replica float of St. John’s Church for the Bancroft Centennial. The church replica was lit up to proudly grace the end of the lane on the family farm for many Christmas seasons, and it can be seen in area parades to this day. Another aspect of Denny that will always be remembered by his family is how he usually wore a light blue work shirt on the farm, and in later years, transitioned to plaid shirts. One thing is for sure: Denny was a blue jeans and suspenders kind of man.
Those who remain to honor the memory of Dennis include his children: Steve Hellman (Susie McConnell) of Saylorville, IA; Jim Hellman (Robin Garvick) of Elmore, MN; Barbara Nemmers (Craig) of Armstrong; Lisa Henriksen (Philip) of Ringsted; and David Hellman of Des Moines. Grandchildren include Jennifer Nemmers, Jason Nemmers, Jessica Pierson (Cory), Amy Fossen (Levi), Derek Nemmers, Seth Hellman, Ross Hellman (Elizabeth), Allison Hellman, Natalie Henriksen, and Rachel Henriksen. Great-grandchildren include Miles, Norah, and Adelyn Pierson (Jessica and Cory), and Ivy and Willow Fossen (Amy and Levi). Dennis is also survived by several nieces and nephews, his sister-in-law, Lucille Hellman, and many other Kahler in-laws and “out-laws”, a term lovingly used in fun.
Dennis is preceded in death by Donna, his wife of 50 years; his parents; brothers, Arnold, Clarence, Elmer, Art (Leona), and Albert (Shirley); sisters, Louise Hellman in infancy, Sister Irene Hellman OSF, and Marie (Alvin) Recker; brother-in-law, Carl Hansen; nephew, Don Kahler; and niece, Deb Homen.
Oakcrest Funeral Services of Bancroft in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made to www.oakcrestfuneralservices.com.