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Dennis Joseph DeSchryver, 81, of Whitmore Lake, Michigan, died Monday at Hampton Manor of Hamburg after a considerable struggle with myelodysplastic syndrome and dementia.
Father Dan Kogut of St. Mary Catholic Parish will celebrate a funeral mass, and burial will be in Maple Lawn Cemetery in Boyne City.
Dennis was born February 8, 1942, at C.G. Jennings Hospital, the first son in Victor Joseph and Kathleen Clothilde (O’Connor) DeSchryver’s large Irish family. He grew up in Grosse Pointe, and graduated from Austin Catholic High School. On April 29th, 1966, he married Diane Marie Workman in Detroit. They had two children and moved to Boyne City, where they shared in the milestones of a loving and caring family, while establishing lasting friendships in the community. Dennis’s beloved Diane passed away in June of 2018.
Dennis’ unwavering faith in God and family was the foundation for his personal and professional life. He modeled commitment to his loved ones daily. To his final moment, Dennis was a devoted, caring, and unreservedly proud father while holding cherished memories of Diane close to his heart, a testament to the enduring love of their marriage.
After high school, Dennis joined the Coast Guard, learning and practicing the intricacies of sonar technology prior to being honorably discharged. He then trained as an electrician, working several jobs in the Detroit area before relocating to Boyne City in 1973. He started at Northern Michigan Hospitals on their maintenance staff soon thereafter, and eventually became the Director of Plant Engineering, a position he held for over 20 years. He performed his responsibilities with the utmost of dedication, believed in the importance of quality health care, and was deeply connected to the mission of the staff and nurses he regularly proclaimed were the backbone of any great hospital. After retirement, he briefly established an electrical contracting practice, before devoting himself more actively to volunteer initiatives with Diane at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Boyne City. Throughout his professional and personal life, Dennis was known as a meticulous problem solver, partial to simple tools, ingenuity, and methodical planning. As all who knew him would say he fixed things not just passably, but to perfection.
Dennis's true character shone brightly in the company of his revered dogs. In his later years, Kasey, Lizzie, and Holly, adopted from a local shelter with Diane, were not just pets, but extensions of their home's warmth and love. Lizzie and Holly revealed a tender side of Dennis that touched all who knew him. Following Diane's passing, Dennis often shared how Holly embodied Diane's spirit and their shared love. It was a poignant reflection of their deep connection that also provided true companionship for him as a widower.
Dennis is survived by his children Karen (Andrew) Bylski and Michael (Jamie) Deschryver; his grandchildren Noah, Jared, Gabrielle, Elyse, and Audrey; his sister Mary Jo (the late Michael) Wyels; his sister Kathleen DeSchryver; his brother Joseph (Teresa) DeSchryver; his sister Celeste (Thomas) Mueller; and a number of other loving relatives and close friends. His late sister Diane (the late Joseph) Bedard and late brother Thomas (Julie) DeSchryver preceded him in passing.
Visitation will take place at St. Mary Catholic Parish in Pinckney on Friday, February 23rd from 10:00 to 11:00 AM, followed immediately after by a funeral mass. Committal of his ashes will follow in late spring at Maple Lawn Cemetery in Boyne City.
The family suggests that memorial donations be provided to: St. Matthews Catholic Church in Boyne City, MI; St. Mary Catholic Parish in Pinckney, MI; or the Dementia Society of America online at https://www.dementiasociety.org/donate and via check payable to Dementia Society of America, PO Box 600, Doylestown, PA 1890.
St. Matthews Catholic Church
1303 Boyne Ave, Boyne City MI 49712
St. Mary Catholic Church
10601 Dexter-Pinckney Rd, Pinckney MI 48169
Dementia Society of America
PO Box 600, Doylestown PA 18901