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Dennis Alan Kuenzi

January 10, 1952 March 20, 2020
Dennis Alan Kuenzi
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Obituary for Dennis Alan Kuenzi

Dennis passed away peacefully on March 20, 2020 in his home in Portland, Oregon, surrounded by his family. He was 68 years old. Dennis was born January 10, 1952 to Alfred and Elaine (Ifft) Kuenzi in California, where Alfred was serving in the U.S. military.

The family soon moved to Silverton, Oregon, and raised Dennis and his brother Brent on a farm close to their vast extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Dennis attended Evergreen Elementary School and Silverton High School. He spent his high school years playing baseball and wrestling, driving his 1936 Ford truck around town, and working summers on his uncle Carl’s farm. He graduated in 1970 and remained in touch with his high school graduating class for the rest of his life.

Dennis left Silverton to attend Portland State University and would live in the Portland area for the rest of his life. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business at PSU in 1974 after fully enjoying student life with his various roommates in the city.

After a brief stint as a shoe salesman, he obtained a position at AT&T (then the Bell Telephone Company) where he spent his 31-year career in sales, technical support and project management. His time at AT&T brought him many life-long friends, and also introduced him to his wife Debbie (Young). He and Debbie were married in 1981 and raised three children: Melissa Marie (1986), Emily Noelle (1989) and Nolan Elliot (1994). The family lived in homes in Beaverton and Hillsboro while raising their children, and faithfully attended Beaverton Foursquare Church for over 30 years.

He retired from AT&T in 2008 at 56 and enjoyed almost every moment of his retirement years, minus the considerable amount of time he had to spend on his riding lawnmower, keeping their three-acre property impeccable.

Dennis had a wide variety of interests that engaged him his entire life, from history and politics to financial planning and investing to music of all kinds. In his retirement years he collected records and vintage speakers, and built a stylish “man cave” barn on his property, where he hosted Friday night cigar, cocktail and record-spinning evenings with his neighbors.

Dennis was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at age 66, just as he and Debbie decided to sell their property and relocate back to the city. He spent his final years in their condo in the Historic Lair Hill neighborhood in Portland, receiving many visits from high school friends, college roommates, former colleagues, and family members – all the people who had known, loved and admired him throughout his full and rich life.

He accepted and dealt with his devastating illness with great dignity, never losing his signature dry humor.

Dennis was preceded in death by his beloved mother, Elaine, who died in a car accident in 2007, a loss that was very difficult for him. He is survived by his father, Al Kuenzi; wife Debbie, and their children Melissa, Emily and Nolan; brother Brent, sister-in-law Taryn, and their daughters Mallory and Jennifer; and many, many cousins, extended family members, and his wife’s large extended family.

He will be fondly remembered and dearly missed by all who knew him.

In his memory, contributions can be made to ALS Therapy Development Institute


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Services will be set for a future date to be determined.

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