Even though he was an outstanding man in various areas of his life, perhaps his most beautiful gift was his God-given calling to be a “Father.” Dennis Joseph Hern gave the priceless gift of being a loving and committed FATHER to three young souls who were not his own flesh and blood. With great passion, Dennis adopted and faithfully raised his children with the love of his life, Carol Ann Shackelford.
When Dennis met his future wife, Carol on June 9, 1975 (a pretty-much “Love at first sight” love story) the two had their very first date that same evening. At this time, Carol had one very feisty 4-year-old boy, named Todd. Since “When its right its right,” Dennis bribed her little boy with a brand new train set to sweeten the deal … and just six weeks later, the two were married on July 26, of the same year.
In 1984, the loving couple adopted their first daughter, Melanie Denise Hern at the age of six months; and then in 1986, they adopted their second daughter, Amy Carolyn Hern at four months of age— completing their family of five.
“We are so grateful GOD gave us such an amazing man to have as our Dad. He CHOSE to love us with all his heart and did so unconditionally, Todd, Melanie and Amy agreed.
Dennis Hern was a “True Texan through and through.” He was the son of Joseph Albert and Martha Cymbilene (Jones) Hern. He was born December 12, 1951 in Houston, Texas and raised with his older brother, Patrick. Dennis was blessed with five grandchildren: Austin Lee currently age 27, Dakota Lynn and Montana Marie, age 23, Wyatt Joseph, currently age 10 and Jordyn Nicole, age seven. “He loved his family. He was honest and committed,” said his wife Carol of 43 years at the time of his passing on May 15, 2018. “He loved to mentor and to help people.” A hard-working man of many talents and passions, Dennis retired from Swinerton Builders in 2014 in the commercial construction business as a Chief Estimator. His knowledge in this area allowed him to offer valuable help with the building plans of his church homes over the years; including the ongoing building project of his current home church: Saving Grace Lutheran Church— where he was an active member of Men’s Groups and Bible studies. “He made friends everywhere he went! He talked to everyone.” Carol explained. Passionate for his Scottish ancestry and heritage, the symphony, his dogs, historical gun collector and most of all helping and loving others, Dennis Joseph Hern kindly touched so many lives. “He was one of those people you immediately loved and felt loved by,” said his new daughter in law Gina Hawthorn.
Services will be held on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at Saving Grace Lutheran Church, 24414 S. Ellsworth Rd. in Queen Creek. Family will greet friends for a visitation at 10:00am, followed by a funeral service at 11:00am. Burial will follow at San Tan Memorial Gardens at Schnepf Farms, 22425 E. Cloud Rd. in Queen Creek.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saving Grace Lutheran Church Building Fund, 24414 S. Ellsworth Rd, Queen Creek, AZ 85142.