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Donald O. Dencker, Deadeye

Co L, 382 Infantry Regiment, 96th Infantry Division, U.S. Army

Leyte, Okinawa

1st Lieutenant 802nd Engineer Aviation Battalion




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Don with his new bride, Evelyn Holman

A funny story here - Don introduced a good friend to his wife and the friend returned the favor by passing on our mother's phone number to Don.

After the Korean War, Don married Evelyn Holman in Golden Valley, Minnesota in 1951.

Don became the City Engineer for the city of Columbia Heights, Minnesota.

He was asked to interview for a position with Oscar Mayer in Madison Wisconsin, and in 1958 he moved to Monona Wisconsin and began a career with Oscar Mayer that lasted over 33 years.



w Family Life
Donald and Evie Dencker

Don and Evie Dencker had 4 daughters.

Evenings during the summer were spent almost entirely outdoors with Don & Evie helping their daughters garden and learn about the wonders of nature during vacations in Northern Wisconsin, and finally learning the joy of raking leaves as the weather cooled.

Evie loved her family and there were lots of fun adventures together.

Sadly, Evelyn passed away from cancer at the young age of 39

Don began his second career as a single father raising his four young and extremely precocious daughters.

Dad and Mom with baby Nancy Jean

Click for original photograph


"When we were young, dad was a big influence for getting us outdoors. We played kickball with the neighborhood kids in the evening until we would hear the call from him to come in for the evening. Sunday evenings were always our "Take a ride: evenings. We would take a drive, stop to buy an ice cream cone, and then have popcorn and TV during the evening. I can still remember the smell and the sound of the "Jiffy Pop" popcorn that dad would shake until popped. We'd watch Lassie every Sunday evening, followed by the Ed Sullivan Show and other Sunday evening favorites.

Dad would always make sure we had a summer vacation, often in Northern Wisconsin. We would hike, swim, roast marshmallows, and go to the "Paul Bunyan" restaurant. Dad would point out wildlife whenever possible, and tell us stories about Chippy Chipmunk and Woody Woodchuck right before bedtime.

We weren't really pushed as kids, although there was always an emphasis on good grades and doing homework.

Dad taught us how to garden. We each had our own section of garden as part of a long strip in the backyard. We got to decide what we wanted to plant and pick out our seeds. We were then responsible for watering and nurturing our section. It taught me the value of starting and finishing a project. The reward was the peas and carrots!

Dencker Daughters

Dad rescued homeless baby bunnies when the neighbors got rid of their adult parents. We would nurse the baby bunnies with milk in our toy bottles, until one day when they were grown up a bit, dad would take them for a on- way drive to the country and away from our neighbors and their garden.

You may recognize Don's daughters as they have attended Reunions with him.

Don Dencker with his Four Daughters

Nancy, Kim, Don, Lynn and Ann

We played outside a lot! We didn't have a lot of toys and we were not really into dolls. We had bikes and skates and hoola hoops and things that kept us occupied but active.

Summers meant travel up north and for some reason, instant milk for dinner. Baby sister Ann once put her green peas in our instant milk so she wouldn't have to drink it!  For years and years we teased her about putting peas in our milk.

Sister Lynn loved all things reptile. She was fascinated by toads and frogs and lizards. The rest of the sisters couldn't understand the attraction, but Dad helped her feed her pets with flies and other insects.

We always knew oldest Sister Nancy would become a teacher, as she was always the teacher when we played school, or the board game, "Go to the Head of the Class."

We had a small dog, Pedro, when we were very small. Before that I think it was a canary. I remember the canary went away because it pooped on our parent's heads. Not sure if that is a real memory or if that was planted.

The tiny dog would bite so that went away as well. Next we had a fat kitty called Friskie. I think that kitty was not fully house trained so we were told the man who delivered our dry cleaning found a good home for her. In reality I think she went to a farm.

As we got older we got wiser and our cats stayed with us longer. We had a mean black cat called Cynder after that. Cynder would try to bite the neighborhood kids if they got close to her. Next came kitty Ming who was finally normal and had a long happy life with us and then with our grandmother.

We went for family bike rides and the focus was always on family. We learned table manners and how to be proper young ladies from our mother, but from out father we learned how to be tom boys and the value of play!"    Kim Dencker Richardson

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96th Infantry Memorials  z  In The News z  Civilian Life  z  Valor Tours     z
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