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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 7:45 pm
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Dec 25, 2008
Posts: 1
For my little brother Dennis. Love you and am praying for you. You were one of my babies for 8 years while Mom worked and loosing you and David is like loosing two of my children. :cry: You were a great brother and friend. I will miss you dearly. When I think of you, I see that big smile of yours... I never could get angry with you even when you "borrowed" our car from, Prospect Street. You were always such a michievous, little daredevil, yet huggable and lovable. :lol: :( :(


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 9:01 pm
  

Senior ArloNetizen

Joined: Jan 29, 2002
Posts: 770
Location: Hewitt, NJ USA
This morning, Deb LaFitz asked me to write something on her behalf to the 60+ people who responded to Arlo's heartfelt account of the lost of his friend and "brother".

You might know that for about 8 days prior Dennis's passing, their was no electricity and there still is no internet in the area of Dennis & Fitzy's house. She has heard some of the writings and will read them all as soon as she can. I want to just summerize some of the things we talked about and leave the rest to Fitz when she can.

To Abe & Lisa -for your immediate support - "there are only a few friends you can wake up in the middle of the night", confident they would want you to. Thank you for the understanding, support and help in those first chaotic and horrible hours.

Arlo - for your wonderful words that rallied Dennis's beautiful friends - to create such a "wonderful tribute". It was obvious to all of us that he loved you like a brother as well.

To Annie, Sarah, & Killer & families - Your kindness is "beyond words". There has "never been such a strong family". Thank you for the ongoing support.

George & Moe - for your caring...and kindness.

The entire Guthrie Family who has been at my side and been my family because of your love for Dennis.

JohnC - "came up in a icestorm to watch me cry" You fed Zach, did what had to be done. You were there because "that's what you do".

Shelley, Jay, Judy, Reg & JohnC...for leaping over the shock, thinking soundly & providing what was missing. "I love the ham".

For everyone who has expressed the lovely words in emails or phone calls, or people who networked to make sure no one heard the sad news too late or second hand. Fitzy is so grateful.

And this is my thought. Because Fitzy asked me to do this - I read each post. Here are some the words that were used - sometimes a dozen times - to describe Dennis:

Smiling, Smiling face, True friend, loyal, immense heart, helpful, caring, friendship, welcoming, kindhearted, kindness, friendliness, kind, humor.

"always happy to see him/always happy to see me"
"Touched our hearts"
"easy to be with"
"always there was humor"
"I am not quite ready to use past tense"

I hope Fitz thinks that I have done an adequate job for now. I know I have missed people -Im sorry. Im just trying to remember the people that Fitz & I talked about. If I forgot you- I guarantee, Fitz did not. She just wants to thank everyone deeply from the bottom of her heart.

The memorial is at 2pm on Monday Dec. 29th, which is, by the way, Dennis & Mrs. LaFitz's 6 month wedding anniversary. It will be at the Guthrie Center.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:56 am
  

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Senior ArloNetizen

Joined: Jan 30, 2006
Posts: 148
Location: Lenox, Mass
i am just at a loss for words,


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:18 pm
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Sep 01, 1999
Posts: 22
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I have no words. As everyone has said, it was always a joy to see Dennis. I was so happy to see him for what would be the last time a few years ago when he surprisingly drove Arlo to Toronto. It was the first time I'd seen Arlo since moving up here, and it truly was an extra special unexpected treat to see Dennis and get to chat for a while. He was a part fo our Arlo experience for so many years, always friendly to all of us who showed up so often - a part of the large Blunderite family, and one who so clearly will be missed by so many. To his family and the Guthries and his close friends, I can only express my sincere condolences for this loss that is shared by so many. My love and thoughts are with you all.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:49 pm
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Sep 13, 2000
Posts: 8516
Location: Pixley-- Actually An Hr South of Richmond, VA
So sad. I didn't realize they had been married only 6 months. He'll aways be a part of Arlo's world to me. I can remember marveling at how well he drove the bus in some pretty tight spots. He was just always there. It's just hard to believe. I am so glad we got to know him. Mikes sister met him at a few shows and really liked him. She & Dennis got on well. If she were here she would've been so upset to hear about him. It's hard to believe that next month it will be a yr since she passed on. More prayers & vibes headed to Deniis family & friends. He made up all feel like a special part of the blunderite family.

I'll never forget at at gig here in VA yrs ago. Dennis was watching the merch tables & taking care of that. He needed to go off & do something else for a little bit. So he asked me could I watch the merch table for him while he was gone. Nobody wanted to buy any of Arlos stuff they were all wanting to know if the blanket thing decorating the table was for sale. It wasn't as it was something Jackie had bought Arlo in Mexico. When he asked me what folks had been interested in buying I had to tell him & Arlo no one wanted the merch just the blanket. And that if they had had plenty of those they could have really sold them. One time at a show in Richmond I remember him telling us someone had stolen a cd of Arlo off the merch table. He asked if we might've seen who did it. Unfortunately we hadn't seen it but were sure sorry to hear about it. And they never did find who took it. I remember thinking how could someone steal something from someone as nice as Arlo & Dennis. So many memories. Prayers and vibes and love & peace...


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:35 am
  

User avatar
Senior ArloNetizen

Joined: Aug 18, 2008
Posts: 117
Location: Shelton CT
I am just now finding this post and what to send out my sincerest condolences to Fitzy and the Guthrie family and everyone else effected by the loss of Dennis.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:03 pm
  

Senior ArloNetizen

Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 353
I want to thank everyone! The blundercommunity is a wonderful place and I was happy to see some of Dennis' sisters and nieces post and get to read how loved he is!

To the entire LaChapelle family - I Love You! And I am so happy to have become part of your family! We have shared many losses over the last few years and I'm happy to know and remember all the good times we've shared also. Margaret, we got off on the wrong foot, but we both have found our footing now! Thank you for printing the pictures and this whole thread for me...I treasure it!

To Dennis' friends and co-workers at Mass Highway...He loved what he did and he did it better than anyone! We all know he left us doing what he loved! He always came home talking about his day (and night) and sharing stories. I know lots of your names even if I've never actually met you! Thank you for the support you've given me, you are beyond generous and I appreciate it more than you know!

To Dennis' friends in the Forest and the Berkshires...What I can I say. Some of you I know, but there are so many out there that I don't...Dennis touched everyone he ever met! I'm having a hard time going to the Sherwood Shop these days but it doesn't mean I don't love you all, I'll be back soon. Dennis did work on houses and yards and tractors and assorted other equipment and trucks and other stuff I'm probably forgetting, his essence is here everywhere!

To the entire Guthrie family...words really can't express my deep love for you all. I have never met such a selfless, loving family in my whole life and I am comforted to know that I am a part of it, Thank you!

To the blundercommunity...I met Dennis because of Arlonet. Its a long story so maybe I'll start a thread in the storyboard! There are so many "bus driver groupies" out there! But I know how proud Dennis was about that...he loved it! Some of you even accepted me when Dennis and I became a couple and for that I am grateful. Things were a little awkward in the blundercommunity for a time but Dennis knew that those of you who loved him were happy for him and I'm grateful that we got to spend some time with you! To those that were unable to attend the memorial, we felt your love and appreciate it more than you know! To those that were able to attend, Thank You!

To George, The Guthrie Center and the entire volunteer community...I Love You and I'll see you soon!

To my son Zach, I love you and am comforted by you. To my Moe Moe who will never read this...you are a special person and I'm honored to have you in my life. To my MommaRegina and John...You both are such special people and I'm proud to call you friends but you are so much more...You both were there from the beginning, words cannot express my appreciation! To Trudy Judy, you know that Dennis loved you back! You always made the time to see us even when we weren't going to the Church and I will never forget it (or the show at the Warner!) Larry, we still have the telescope from Dennis' birthday! I still remember how humbled he was by that!

I sincerely apologize if I inadvertantly left anyone out. I'm still operating in a fog but I wanted to post. The outpouring of love for Dennis is truly comforting and find myself reading this thread over and over again.

Thank you all...I love you and am comforted by you!


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:31 pm
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Dec 31, 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Sheffield,MA
I just wanted to add to the wonderful sentiment that Dennis was a very real and lovable human being, I too will miss him. As Arlo's road manager, sound engineer and relief bus driver for over 12 years, and several of those working with Dennis, I new him well and was so sad to hear of the loss of another Road Brother. The road creates permanent memories and with such a great personality as Dennis had, there are many.

DEB- I am sorry to have missed meeting you at the wonderful service at the church. My wife Sharon and I were very there; also with great sadness and we both send our love. We will meet soon.
After being with Dennis for many tour miles and being roommates together in hundreds of hotel rooms, we got to know each other really well. There are so many awesome stories and some hilarious times with Dennis (and everyone) on the road. These great memories, inspired by his passing, have been rolling thru my head know for days and don’t seem to want to be forgotten real fast. People around me think I'm nuts but the great thing is; they are real.
I left a great Happy Dennis picture with the folk singer at the church and would post it here to share. (but at the moment can’t make it happen).
As I write this on a very snowy New Years eve in the Berkshires, from the facility that I manage, my staff and I are preparing to go out and plow with altogether new thoughts and concerns.
I am positive Dennis is enjoying all the great memories and is watching out for you and his family knowing he is really loved by all.

HAPPY TRAILS MY FRIEND

With Sadness and Happiness,

Lee Palma


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:37 pm
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Feb 07, 2008
Posts: 2
Location: upstateny
Fitzy,

I am so sorry I could not get there on Tuesday -- you have been in my thoughts constantly -- I too have so many great and funny memories of Dennis :lol: he was truly a wonderful man, so sweet and caring. I missed him when he gave up driving for Arlo, but was so pleased and wonderfully surprised when he subbed and drove for the Schnectady show a few years ago and I got to see him and hang out with him in the rain. He told me about you then and how happy he was, too. I just wanted to reach out and let you know that.

Louise Hoffman Broach


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:06 am
  

User avatar
Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Sep 13, 2000
Posts: 8516
Location: Pixley-- Actually An Hr South of Richmond, VA
Nice to see ya on here Lee. I can remember the good old days where you & Dennis were with Arlo. Lotta show memories...


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:15 pm
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Dec 26, 2008
Posts: 1
Arlo and Family, Dennis was and is one of my many Uncles. I unfortunily could not make the service you gave on Monday. It would have been nice to meet those that made Dennis so happy. I had seen him just a short time ago at his brother's Funneral. He was so happy and content with his life, his wife Deb, and his two families (Yours and ours). I believe he had really found his niche in life. Although he may not be here with us, we will always have our memories. Growing up, I spent alot of time in the forest with Dennis,his parents (my grandparents) and several of the clan. I must say he played a few jokes on me and can say it was a great deal of fun over the years. I will never forget the ride up rt 20 in Grandma's VW Buses. Arlo, Thank you for being such a great friend and making him part of your family. Best Wishes to all !!!
Roger


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:24 am
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Jan 03, 2009
Posts: 1
Hi Arlo,

Thank you for having such a beautiful gathering at the church in honor of Dennis. A group with one purpose: to surround ourselves by the love we all felt for him. Wish I had been prepared to speak, but I'd like to share a story with you now:

One beautiful day, long ago at a fair, you and the band were up on stage playing. Both Dennis and I were working for you then. I went to the bus to make a peanut butter and fluff sandwich (my cure for homesickness). When I opened the door with a bottle of milk, bottle of Kahlua and a camera in tow, there was Dennis. Over laughs, I shared with him how I had just gotten carded buying the Kahlua across the street -- at 40 yrs old! He climbed up to his seat behind the wheel of the bus and said, "Trish, take your best shot, I'm happy today" and that's the story behind the pic I brought to the church service to give to Deb.

Ironically, the day before Juanita called with the sad news about Dennis, I was in the Lee supermarket picking up some stuff, including a bottle of wine. The clerk asked when my birthday was. I told her April 12, thinking I was going to win a "coin" to get stuff cheap -- but no, she needed to know the year I was born. I burst into laughter, remembering the time I was carded before and thought: Someday, I'm going to tell Dennis.

My mother used to say: When I die, I'll float around happy on a cloud; so when you see a pretty cloud, know I'm up there all content, and be be happy! My sister loved the idea and said she'd be right next to her; Ray's mother joined them, too. Now when Ray and I are out, we pick out a pretty cloud and say: There's the girls!

And now I know when I look up at the next cloud alongside Franny, Pilla and Velika, there will be Dennis driving along too with his great smile. I'll give them all a honk and a wave -- and feel content.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:49 am
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Sep 13, 1999
Posts: 17
Location: NJ
I'm sitting here trying to say something, but so much has been already said. Dennis always had a handshake and a happy word when we would meet up with him at a show or just on the street.
He was a special guy, and we have all been shortchanged by his passing on to the next life so soon.
When you get to heaven, look for a bus or a snowplow-that's where you will find Dennis. with a wrench in his hand.


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:13 pm
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Dec 25, 2008
Posts: 2
Hi Deb Arlo and Family First Deb I want to thank you for making my brothers life happy the last few years.We all love you because Dennie loved you...And Arlo and all the family I want to thank each and every one of you for being a family to Dennis when he was not able to see his own family often..I have many fond memories of Dennis throughout his life..He never got mad at anyone.He was always smiling.He never bragged about himself...And Arlo you were right about Dennis..He had something special that he must have been born with..We all loved him very much..I was always so happy to see him which wasn'nt enough...My sons were all brought up with Dennie and they have many fond memories of him also.. Love to all Eileen


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 Post subject: Re: Christmas 2008
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:34 pm
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Jan 06, 2009
Posts: 1
Uncle Dennis the Menace, quite a character. One year he offered to paint my brown car, and proceeded by spray painting blue peace signs all over the body and dubbing it the peacemobile. Growing up with Denny, he was always willing to help or lend a hand. A very unselfish and glowing spirit.
He will be sorely missed, but will always be a part of our lives.
Sorry for our loss.


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