LeRoy Dale Dennis
Long-time Alaska pioneer, loving husband and father, LeRoy D. Dennis, known to friends and family as LDD, passed away on September 4, 2010, at home after long battle with cancer.
LeRoy was born October 11, 1930, in Midland, S.D., one of 11 children to Henry Dennis and Hope (Baker) Dennis.
He served in the U.S. Army, joining on April 26, 1950. He received CIB, Purple Heart, Korean Service Medal, with six Bronze Stars, and President Unit Citation. He was in the 5th Cavalry EGT he was wounded on October 19, 1950, and received an honorable discharge on April 25, 1953.
Leroy came to Alaska on January 1, 1960. He was on the first cat train to open the oil fields in Prudhoe Bay on Good Friday, March of 1964, and many more cat trains opening the last frontier to the oil development as we know it now. LeRoy has been recognized in several books on Alaska, The Great Land, Extreme Conditions, True Magazine and the National Geographic. Was honored in Anchorage in 1986 for is achievements, hard work and dedication to opening the North Slope. Was a member of the Operators Union Local 302, retired from working in Prudhoe Bay in 1995. He built many roads in Alaska worked on the Parks Highway opening the road from Anchorage to Fairbanks, Valdez during the pipeline days. Designed and built ice roads on the North Slope. Was an superintendent, and foreman for Frontier Sand and Gravel, Frontier Transportation, Pioneer Oil Fields, Cold Weather Construction, Joe's Trucking, Anchorage Sand and Gravel, and several others over 50 years he has been in Alaska.
LeRoy and Barbara Dennis have been owners of the Midway Lodge in Salcha for the last 18 years.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Barbara; his sons, Allen Dennis, Jess Dennis, and James Nehren and daughters, Kathy Martin, Cheri McBride and Becky Symens; several grandchildren and great grandchildren; and sisters, Olivia Perovich, Sadie Stickler, and Judy Holt; brothers, Ivan (Snazz) Dennis, Lyle Dennis and Howard (Butch) Dennis.
In lieu of flowers, cards can be sent to family at 11191 Richardson Hwy., Salcha AK 99714.
Celebration of Life was held on September 11, 2010, at the Midway Lodge in Salcha.
Burial will be at National Cemetery near Sturgis, S.D., on October 11, 2010, at 9:00 a.m.,m which would have been his 80th birthday.