Dennis Kay Brelsford, son of Kenneth Wayne Brelsford and Goldie Mary Lansing Brelsford, was born at Kings Daughters Hospital in Perry, Iowa April 20, 1945. Denny, as he was lovingly known, died at his home in rural Perry November 4, 2017 at the age of 72 years, 6 months and 24 days.
Denny’s service was held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, November 9, 2017, at First United Methodist Church in Perry with Reverend Paul Burrow conducting the service. The honorary bearers were Dennis Smith, Steve Hillman, Donnie Rhoades, John W. Palmer, Keith Weyers, Ron Sorber, Cecil Rueter, Doug Johnson, Bill Boorn, Dan Spellman and “Class of 1963.” Casket bearers were Craig Brelsford, Mike Brelsford, Doug Smith, Curt Muir, Pat Gasche and Mike Mace. Musical selections were “Amazing Grace,” “So God Made a Farmer,” “Drive,” “Drink a Beer” and “Aurora Borealis.” The organist was Dennis Morgan and the soloist was Brent Halling. The church ushers were Joe Royer and Gene Dorman and the flag presentation was by Tom South his beloved shop teacher. Burial was in Violet Hill Cemetery in Perry.
Denny graduated from Perry High School in 1963 where he served as Student Council and Class President. Denny married his high school sweetheart, Wanda Arlene Wolfe on June 5, 1965. They were blessed with three children: Todd, Lori and Angie. As a family, they made their first home in Berkley and stayed within Boone County the rest of their lives, building a simple and cherished life side by side. Wanda has fed many stray dogs and salesmen Denny invited in. Denny was known for always making someone feel welcomed, seen and heard. When you walked in the door, it was common to hear Denny and Wanda teasing one another, but Denny truly admired and was proud of Wanda’s ability to be a strong and loving partner, mother, and grandmother.
Denny was a jack-of-all-trades and loved any activity that allowed him to be outdoors. His career as a farmer began by renting his first 80 acres at the age of 15. Denny was well known for loving the land and being a progressive, innovative farmer trying out new ideas every year with a vast knowledge of machinery. In his later years and after Todd took over the farming operation, Denny drove a semi hauling grain and making friends in elevators across Iowa and visiting the ‘shop’ daily to pass down his farming knowledge to Todd, Jeff, Eddy and Gus.
After a long day of farming, Denny always made time for his passions of hunting and fishing and teaching his skills to others, especially Zach. As a family, Denny, Wanda, Todd and Angie worked hard together, but always made time for fun. A vacation to Colorado was a 42 year tradition for the family, trading two weeks of flat Iowa ground for four-wheeling in the mountains in their red Ford Bronco and C.W. McCall playing.
Denny and Wanda share a great love for Fairview Church as Denny was the oldest serving member before he passed. He deeply loved and knew every inch of the timber around the church, where he cut down the 140 year-old tree to make a beautiful cross the congregation admires every Sunday. In the way he does to bring family and friends together, he built his beautiful campground named “The Pond.” A common sight there, was a large crowd with Denny in the middle telling one of his favorite stories or jokes. He loved to spend early mornings at “The Pond” watching the wild life, he especially loved the song-birds and chipmunks. Due to Denny’s service in the Army Reserves motor pool during the Vietnam era, he always made a point to proudly fly an American flag in his campground.
Denny loved being involved with his family’s lives, commonly stopping to talk to Tracy at her home and visiting Angie at her tearoom. Denny especially had a soft spot for his girls, being his three granddaughters: Ashley, Lindsey and Allison. He received the beloved nicknames of “Poppy” and “Gramps” and spent time telling them stories and teaching life lessons. He always put them first and never missed a single life event from preschool to college. He felt very blessed to have them bring great-grandchildren into his life as well.
Denny’s memory will be forever cherished by his beloved wife, Wanda; son, Todd (Tracy) of Ogden and daughter Angie Petersen (Jeff) of Ft. Dodge; granddaughters: Ashley Brelsford (Eddy Dunsmoor) of Perry, Lindsey Garcia (Gustavo II) of Perry and Allison Lansman (Zachary Wiggins) of Ankeny; great-grandchildren: Gustavo Garcia III, Victor Garcia, Natalia Garcia and Rylan Dunsmoor. Denny is also survived by sisters-in-law, Carla Smith and husband, Dennis of Perry and Mary Hillman of Grand Junction as well as nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and many, many friends. Denny was preceded in death by his precious daughter, Lori Lynn in 1967; infant brother, Kent in 1955; father, Kenneth in 1992; mother and father-in-law, Ted and Arlene Wolfe; and grandmother, Mary Lansing.
Memorials may be sent to Hastings Funeral Home, Box 204, Perry, Iowa.