Velma Fern Dennis, age 88, of Dixon, Nebraska, died Thursday, October 27, 2016, at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
As Velma requested, cremation will take place and a memorial service will be 10:30 AM on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, at Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Coleridge, Nebraska, with Reverend Gary Kimm officiating. Burial of cremated remains will be in the Coleridge City Cemetery. A gathering of friends and family is from 5:00 to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, at the Wintz Funeral Home in Coleridge, Nebraska.
Velma Fern Dennis was born May 6, 1928, in Coleridge, Nebraska, to William E. and Alda (Shutt) Sassaman. She grew up in Coleridge and graduated from Coleridge High school in 1945. Velma worked at the Farmer's Union Store during high school. Following high school, she became the head bookkeeper at the Farmer's Union until marrying Dale C. Dennis on January 9, 1949. Nine children were born to this couple: Dale W. "Bill", Dianne, Debra, Patti, Lori, David, V. Jolene, Denise, and Lisa.
Velma started her postal career in 1966 as a clerk in the Coleridge Post Office. After a few years and her hours being cut with Coleridge, she loaned to the Norfolk, Nebraska Post Office for more hours. During that time she purchased Pfund Trucking and operated the trucking company until being appointed Postmaster at Dixon, Nebraska on June 17, 1979. Velma was appointed Postmaster the same day that the Coleridge Postmaster, Bruce Bohlken, retired. This left Coleridge in a bind as the rural carrier and the officer-in-charge assigned to Coleridge were both on annual leave and the other clerk was delivering the rural routes. So Velma's first three days as Postmaster were served as a fill-in at the Coleridge Post Office. During her tenure as Postmaster, Velma served officer-in-charge assignments at the Atkinson, Emerson, Orchard and Wakefield, Nebraska post offices. She also loaned to the Laurel and Pender, Nebraska offices when needed working and a total of nine post offices during her postal career. Velma retired with 31 years of actual service plus 1 year of accrued sick leave for a total of 32 years with the postal service.
Velma was active as a den mother for Cub Scouts and Cookie Chairman for the Girl Scouts. She was a Sunday school teacher for years at the Methodist Church in Coleridge as well as the United Methodist Church in Dixon, Nebraska after moving there and held many offices in the church women's groups. She enjoyed quilting, playing cards, bowling, dominoes, traveling, crafts and spending time with friends and relatives, especially their "No Boys Allowed" weekends.
Velma was also very involved in community projects and was one of the organizers and continuous members of the Dixon Community Improvement Committee. Her pet project was to clear Dixon of the junk car image. She didn't like when people would ask, "Where is Dixon?" and the reply was, "Turn where the junk cars are." She purchased the junk car lot and donated it to the Village to be developed and maintained as a city park. It is known as Centennial Park and was dedicated August 1990.
Survivors include her six daughters: Debra (Kevin) O'Bleness of Anchorage, Alaska; Patti (Steve) Wattier of Wayne, Nebraska; Lori Spahr of Coleridge, Nebraska; Jolene Dennis of Ft. Thompson, South Dakota; Denise (Loyd) Jones of Lincoln, Nebraska; and Lisa Abler of Lincoln; daughter-in-law, Liz Dennis of Los Algodones, Mexico; 13 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; one great great granddaughter; sister, Mary (Al) Lich of Washington, Indiana; brother, Lysle "Mert" (Norma) Sassaman of Ft. Mohave, Arizona; two sisters-in-law, Sandra Sassaman of Wisner, Nebraska and Lenny Dennis of Osmond, Nebraska; brother-in-law, Wayne Lich of Lyons, Indiana; special friends, Darlene and Dallas Puntney of Stromsburg, Nebraska; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Dale Dennis in 1970; infant daughter, Dianne Rae Dennis; two sons, Bill and David Dennis; one great grandson, Aaron Surber; two brothers, Gene and Verne Sassaman; sister, Lorna Lich; sister-in-law, Kathryn Sassaman; and special friend, John Pfund.
Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.
I have many fond memories of Blondie growing up. I'm sure her and Grandma Vock are having a fun time catching up. She will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers to the family.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time of loss.
Rick and Deanna Weber
Lisa, so sorry for your loss. You and your family have been and will continue to be in my prayers.
To the Dennis Family:
I'm sorry for your loss. I have many fond memories of Velma, growing up with hanging out with members of your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
To Velma's family,
So sorry to hear about your Mom. So many memories of her laugh and bigger than life personality. She was one of a kind.
Karla was just telling me today how wonderful it was to see you all again. Wish I could have been there too.
Thinking of you.
Julie Perchynski (Hefner)
My sympathy goes out to Velma's family. I knew Velma when I was a youngster growing up in Coleridge and got reacquainted with her when I moved back in 1996. I really enjoyed her pleasant personality at church.
My uncle, Kenneth Burton Averill and I just learned of Velma's passing today, 2016.12.14 and want to extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to her daughters and other family. Velma graciously welcomed me into the family after six decades of absence, and I so very sorry that I was unable to meet her face to face. May God grant her eternal peace and comfort the family she left behind.
Rachida Djebel née Llireva Jean Averill
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