VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Charles “Chuck” Dennis, 82, passed away Saturday, July 6, 2019, in Virginia Beach, Va. He was a retired physician.
A memorial service is at a later date. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments is assisting the family.
Mr. Dennis was born in 1937 at Paris, the son of Dorothy Summy Dennis and William Andrew Dennis. He married Beatrice Gray, and she survives.
He is also survived by an extended family that includes nieces, nephews, life-long friends and loyal dogs Sophie and Bode.
Mr. Dennis grew up on a family farm outside of Paris that was established in 1816, He was adored by his older siblings Barbara Dennis Post, Herbert Dennis, Dorothy “Dot” Dennis Emslie and Ruth Elizabeth “Beth” Dennis Dunn. He had an affinity for the farm’s horses, dogs and a pet turkey named Scheherazade.
After his mother died when he was 12 years old, he attended Midland School in Los Olivos, Calif. Midland was co-founded by his father’s Harvard classmate, Paul Squibb, to provide a community of learning in a rural setting, reliant only on the work of students and teachers to provide basic needs.
At Midland, he excelled as a scholar, winning prizes in Latin. He loved Midland’s landscape, rustic lifestyle and the adventures it offered, including hunting, carpentry and building live oak fires to heat water for showers. At age 16, he attended Stanford University in California, where he studied for two years. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in 1957, then returned to University of Illinois in the mid-1960s, receiving a degree in medicine in 1968.
Military service spanned the arc of Mr. Dennis’ career, including service in the Marines, Navy and Air Force. He joined the Marine Corps in 1957, where he was recognized as an expert rifleman and achieved the rank of major.
He served as a medical officer in the Navy and was on the USS Hancock during the evacuation of Saigon. He joined the Air Force as a medical officer, specializing in ear, nose and throat and retiring as a colonel.
Following a distinguished military career, Mr. Dennis continued his medical practice with Eastern Virginia Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists until his retirement.
With his passing, a great adventure book has closed. He was passionate about books and reading, words and their meanings, lively conversation, traveling off the beaten path, maps, birds and wildlife, hunting and dogs. He loved his family farm, his family, and his country. His stories are legendary and many will be telling them with fond memories and a smile for years to come.
All who knew Mr. Dennis shared in the adventure that was his life.
Memorial donations may be made to either the Edgar County Historical Society www.echistoricalsociety.com/get-involved/donate/ or the Audubon Society www.audubon.org/support/donate-now.
Online condolences at www.hdoliver.com.