He was christened Dennis Dean Philpott. Born September 27, 1945 to Alan (Lefty) and Darlene (Sidmore) Philpott in Hampton, Iowa. Denny attended school in Hampton and graduated in 1964 from the Hampton High school.
After graduation, he goofed around for a few months as college was something he was not interested in pursuing. That would change in the future. He chummed with four friends that summer and fall. This was at the height of the Viet Nam War. As the year 1964 drew to a close, as well as their draft numbers creeping closer, those five young men made a decision. All five enlisted in the US Navy in the "buddy program" and signed on for four years. They were guaranteed to stay together through Basic Training and their specialized schooling after Basic Training. All five went to Basic Training in San Diego, California then to Memphis, Tennessee for specialized training. Four went to sea and one was stationed at Meridian, Mississippi. Meridian was Denny's destination and he served his four years at McCain Field, where Navy pilots were trained. The now Senator John McCain was Denny's Commanding Officer. He often let Denny fly with him while training student pilots. While on leave in Hampton he would look up one of the buddy's sister, Carolee Walker. To make a long story short, they were married Christmas Eve,1966. After serving 4 years 1 month active duty in the Navy they moved backed to Hampton, the year was 1969. Denny had an extensive military career during his lifetime. He served 4 years 1 month in the U.S. Navy, 14 years, 5 months, 20 days in the Army National Guard and 6 years, 6 months, 14 days in the Air National Guard totaling 25 years, 5 months and 24 days in the Armed Forces and in service to his country. In 1984 he was named Guardsman of the Year.
Enjoying Life and a Bump in the Road:
The first major event of the year 1969 was the birth of his son in April. He also attended Ellsworth College. Denny was hired by the Maytag Company in Hampton. A daughter was born in October 1971. It was in the early childhood years of his children that Denny made a commitment to Christ. That belief in Christ and his commitment would sustain Denny later in life. He was in Machinist Tooling at the Maytag Hampton Plant. Denny decided to apply and was accepted into the Maytag Tool and Die Apprentice Program. This required 8,000 hours of classroom schooling and on the job training which involved math, algebra, geometry and trigonometry. He received his Journeyman Card as a Tool and Diemaker while working for Maytag in Newton. Maytag had pulled out of Hampton and re-located to Newton, Iowa. Denny decided to stay with Maytag and commuted on weekends for 15 long years. With Maytag there was a 30 years in and out program for retirement. He felt he had too many years in to forfeit what he had wanted to achieve in life.
The years prior to Maytag relocating Denny decided to build his own home. He chose a geodesic dome and built it himself. All the work was done by Denny. Sadly, in January 2000 that home was destroyed by fire just 5 months prior to his retirement from Maytag.
While in Newton, Denny developed Rheumatoid Arthritis. He lived in severe pain but forced himself to work to reach his 30 years and out with Maytag. He had to have his neck fused in place, surgery on his knuckles and a hip replacement. The arthritis then attacked his right lung and it had to be removed. He developed several complications that needed surgery, but could no longer have surgery due to the fact he could not be intubated. He had to live with the complications. He was life flighted several times to Rochester, Minnesota.
For the past 12 years he was on oxygen 24/7 and always in pain. God sustained him. He was an active member of The Christian Fellowship Church, Mason City, Iowa.
On October 1, 2017, he rested in Christ with his son, daughter, wife, and friend at his side. Denny and Carolee had a goal, that they wanted to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. That goal was reached last Christmas Eve, 2016.
He simply took one last breath and let Jesus lead him away.
He is survived by his wife Carolee of Hampton, son Shane (Lisa) Philpott of Mason City, daughter Amber (Robert) Dean of Hampton, grandchildren Josiah, Brianna, Johnny, Lily Anna, Roman, London, Keira, Caroline and Liberty Philpott, Walker, Addie, Judah, Atticus, Jonah, Wyatt and Asher Dean, sisters Dawn (Jim) Freerks and Dixie (Alan) Beenken.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Alan (Lefty) and Darlene Philpott, his in-laws, Clyde and Bernice Walker, grandparents, and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Denny is loved. We miss him already.
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