Dennis John “Denny” Dodge, 72, died June 15, 2019, surrounded by his family.
Denny loved life and greeted each day with an easy smile and a sparkle in his eyes. He never met a stranger and gathered in lifelong friends everywhere he went.
Denny was born April 14, 1947, in Jamestown, New York, grew up in Warren, Pennsylvania, attended Valley Forge Military Academy and Kentucky Wesleyan College. He served his country in the National Guard then in the Reserve for 10 years.
Denny was a natural salesman, working at his father’s car dealership Dan’s Chevrolet, then GTE, before starting his own business.
He had many interests, loved old jeeps and old tractors, enjoyed sailing and boating, dabbled in pottery and artistic welding, was a great “chef” at the grill, did a little wine collecting and was a NASCAR fanatic. He loved exploring our Country’s park lands, beaches and mountains and was determined to enjoy life as an adventure.
He met his wife Lynell in the North Carolina mountains, they made their home in Pittsboro NC, lived for a time on their sailboat, Driftin’ n Dreamin’ in the Florida Keys where they both worked as licensed Captains on a variety of boats, and they returned to his beloved North Carolina mountains recently for one more “adventure”. His family and many friends will miss him greatly.
Denny is survived by his wife of 37 years, Catherine Lynell (Smith) Dodge, his son, Dennis John “DJ” Dodge, Jr.; Lynell’s daughter Tracey Leyan (Metcalf) McCaskill and spouse Stephen N. McCaskill and granddaughter Ashley Marie McCaskill. He was preceded in death by his father Clayton Arlis Rudiger and his mother Klahr Mead (Rudiger) Dodge, his adoptive father Daniel Clair Dodge; his halfsister Norma Jane (Dodge) Carr, and his halfbrothers Leland Loy Rudiger and Robert Randolph Rudiger.
In lieu of services, Denny asked that his friends celebrate his life, each in his or her own way. Donations to honor his life may be made to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, 322 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28803 or online at brpfoundation.org/donate.