In Loving Memory

Dennis N. Sheets

March 31, 1940 - September 16, 2020

Tribute

Dennis Neal Sheets was born in Goodland, Indiana on March 31, 1940 and passed away September 16, 2020 in Fairhope, Alabama. 

Dennis and Treva were married June 10, 1961 in Highland Presbyterian Church which he attended from early childhood through the first years of marriage, and again after retirement.  His family lived only a few blocks from the church and he has fond memories of running races home from church with his dad.  When his family built their house in Highland, there were not many homes around them, in fact, the house was built in a huge cabbage patch.

After his marriage, Dennis’ folks offered to help him with college if he wanted to go, but it was a limited time offer.  He was a journeyman carpenter (like his dad) at the time and loved the occupation.  However, he thought that someday he might wish he had accepted the offer.  So he tied his love of carpentry into studying Civil Engineering at Purdue.  He graduated summa cum laude in 1967 and accepted a job in Indianapolis, IN where he bought his first house.  It was there that he became a Boy Scout leader for 2 years before he even had kids old enough to be in scouts.  He also worked with the Jaycees.   He spent much of his career in Columbus, OH where he lived for 30 years.   Some of the projects he felt particularly proud of were Scottsdale Mall Shopping Center in South Bend, IN; Marble Gang Restaurant, Lantern office suite, and Lane Avenue Shopping Center in the Columbus, OH area.  He served as a Deacon and later, an Elder in the churches.  He continued to work with the scouts as his sons participated.

Dennis really enjoyed traveling and experiencing life.  Before marriage, he and some special friends took road trips to New Orleans, Canada, Texas and several areas out West.  He and Treva and their children continued to love traveling with him and they had many adventures together.  They felt that travel for the children was a terrific education in itself.

He taught his children to fish and hunt and shared his love of the outdoors with them.  One of his pleasures was having the whole family onboard his pontoon boat going for a spin on the lake.  He encouraged his children to read by reading to them and then continuing to read by himself.  When he objected to his children learning to solve problems with a calculator but not understanding the problem, he set up a study group to teach several kids the “why” of what they were doing.  When Dennis fixed something around the house, he’d explain what he was doing and how it should work.

He had a full life.  He experienced snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii; snow skiing and hang-gliding in Ohio, body surfing in California, deep-sea fishing off Oahu and walleye fishing in Canada. He tossed coins into the Trevi Fountain in Rome.  He was, at one time or another, a journeyman carpenter, a welder, a mechanic, an estimator, a computer programmer, head of the project scheduling department, vice-president for purchasing and estimating, a contractor, and a licensed professional engineer in three states.  He had good friends scattered from Maui, through the contiguous United States, to France.

Dennis enjoyed doing crossword puzzles, was interested in how words are formed and the meanings of them, and he loved a good joke.  He was often sharing jokes with his doctors!  He excelled at card and board games and was a willing partner when anyone wanted a game.  Dennis liked to visit with family and friends and was just content to be with them without doing anything special.  He had a sweet soul.

He was preceded in death by his father, Basil M. Sheets (April 1, 1914 -March 20, 1982) and his mother, Barbara L. Smith Sheets McCollough (April 4, 1916 – November 27, 2017).

He is survived by his loving wife, Treva J. Sheets, to whom he was married for 59 years.  He leaves behind his children, Laura L. Sheets, Lawrence M. Sheets (Lisa), and Travis N. Sheets (Cécile Adélaïde); four grandchildren,  Ian Sheets, Amanda Sheets Winstead (Alec), Dylan Sheets, Elliot Sheets; and one great-grandson, Theodore Winstead.  Also surviving are his siblings, Barbara S Thompson (Fred), Laurence L Sheets (Carol) and Marjorie E Holom (Ted); along with other beloved in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends who will mourn his loss as well.

A brief memorial service will be held Saturday, October 10, 12:30 PM in Trinity Presbyterian Church Prayer Garden, 545 S Mobile Street in Fairhope, Alabama.

In lieu of flowers, if you wish to contribute something in his memory, donations may be made to Trinity Presbyterian Church, 545 S. Mobile Street, Fairhope, AL 36532.

Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at www.hughesfh.com.  Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, AL, is assisting the family.

 

12 Comments

  1. J. William Strange, PE

    Met Dennis at Purdue while in civil engineering school. Always enjoyed his company, though our paths did not cross for many years. Enjoyed renewing our acquaintance with he and Treva during our retired years in Florida.

    Treva, Peg and I offer you are deepest sympathies.

    Reply
  2. Leonard and Daryl Hasse

    I met Denny and Treva at Purdue in 1965 and we maintained our close friendship throughout the years, visiting many times.
    We were especially honored when he and Treva visited us in Virginia and Hawaii and when they made a special trip to attend our daughter’s wedding in Virginia.
    One rarely finds friends like them.
    Although we lived miles apart we always kept in touch and enjoyed hearing about the family. We had that special friendship that kept us close together, and we will greatly miss Denny.
    Our love and prayers are with Treva and the family.
    Len and Daryl Hasse

    Reply
  3. Donna and Steve Erickson

    Denny will be missed by all the Smith clan that meets every year in Indiana in which I am a first cousin to Denny. Remembering all the good times of getting together when we were younger and how my older brother Jerry and Denny were very close as were Margie and I as we grew up. I know he loved playing cards and it was a real tradition for the men to play during our family reunion. Loved being around Treva and Dennis since they were always a lot of fun and easy to talk to. Denny will be missed by so many who loved him. Our good memories of him will be our source of comfort. Our deepest sympathy and love are with the family.

    Reply
  4. Ruth Anna Smith Riggin

    Oh my, he will be missed, that kind, gentle, sweet soul. I have been blessed to have been his cousin, to always feel important and worthy and yes, ready for a good joke.
    His family has been enriched by him , his ready wit, his willingness to share of himself, his true
    goodness.
    The Pearly Gates may be in need of some repair by now. Denny is coming.

    Reply
  5. Ruth A. Dekker

    My deepest sympathies go out to Treva, her children and grandchildren. I only know him from his attendance at First Presbyterian in Highland. I thought to myself that it was very kind of him to return to the area to be with his mother until her death.

    Reply
  6. Jerry Smith

    Denny’s kids and grandkids think Denny was special as a father and grandfather and he certainly was. But I grew up with Denny and he has always been special. We played around indian head rock and wrestled turtles and camped and started hunting with our dad’s and later hunted rabbits and pheasants and later deer and attended Christmas and Thanksgiving and 4th of July at grandpa and grandma Smith’s and caught bread at the gladolia festival and thought aunt Eleanor was the most wonderful girl in the world. I never saw Denny do anything mean, dishonest, or disrespectful. At an early age he had a little more discipline, a little more focus on the greater things in life,and a little better character. He was the oldest of the cousins and he set the bar high. He certainly has extra special siblings and wife that might find a fault or 2 but I couldn’t. I was privileged to know him and grow up in his shadow.

    Reply
  7. Cathy Ross

    I remember our many fishing adventures even when he violated the “don’t get muddy” edict from my mother. Lots of good memories of a super fun uncle!

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  8. Treva Sheets

    Glad you remember him with fondness. Love, Aunt Treva

    Reply
  9. Treva Sheets

    Thank you Ruth. We enjoyed staying with Mom Sheets for 10 years. She & Dennis both had caring dispositions.
    Treva

    Reply
  10. Roberta Fleischman

    So sorry Treva for your loss. I am so glad you and Denny were married for 59 years and you both had a beautiful loving life and a beautiful family!

    Reply
  11. Treva Sheets

    Thanks Bert! We remember our years in Indy with you as our neighbor as having lots of laughter. Thanks for sharing Shelly with us–we dearly loved her. It was fun to talk with you recently after over 50 years apart.

    Reply
  12. Brenda Wilburn

    Thinking of Denny brings to me memories of card games, his quick wit and humor and infectious smile. Not many people today have the success that he and Treva have had with their long marriage and wonderful family. Congratulations on a life well lived!

    Reply

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