Robert Francis Dennett
MIDLAND, MI – Robert Francis Dennett, 88, of Midland, passed away peacefully on February 14, 2021, after a short illness at MidMichigan Medical Center surrounded by his family. He was born the son of Harold and Louise (Gaviglio) Dennett on March 2, 1932, in Marquette, MI. His mother, Louise, passed away unexpectedly when he was eleven, and his father then married Marie Reichel in 1947, who was a wonderful grandmother to Robert’s children. He graduated from Bishop Baraga High School in 1950. He then attended Northern Michigan University for one year before transferring to Michigan Technological University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 1954. After graduation he was accepted into the United States Navy Officer Candidate School and served as a Lieutenant for two years in the Navy and several years in the Naval Reserves. After his service in the Navy, he worked for Dupont in New York for one year before being employed by the Dow Chemical Co in 1958, where he had many jobs and roles over the course of his 38 year career.
He married Ann Brickner in 1955, and together they had three children, Marie, Michael, and Thomas. Raising his family in Midland, he was involved as an Assistant Scoutmaster for his sons’ Boy Scout troop and served his community as a member of the Elks. He enjoyed many years sailing and racing Lasers as part of the former Tittabawassee Sailing Club on Wixom Lake. In 1979, he married Janet Randall and they shared a mutual love of music and singing. With her encouragement, he enjoyed almost 40 years singing with the Midland Men of Music and several barbershop singing groups. When he retired from Dow, he consulted as a Project Manager for two major area buildings: The Mackinaw Center Building in downtown Midland and the Midland County Historical Society Museum. He also volunteered for Senior Services for 20 years as a driver, preparing tax returns, and helping others select Medicare prescription plans. He and Jan also enjoyed spending the winter in Green Valley, AZ, and staying at Chimney Corners Resort on Crystal Lake near Frankfort.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Margret Mary Dennett, his stepmother, Marie Dennett, and his wife and love of his life, Jan.
He is survived by two sisters, Kay Toohill (Bob) of Elm Grove, WI and Aline Frybarger (Bob) of Green Valley, AZ; an uncle and friend “Baby Uncle” Joseph “Jerry’ Gaviglio, his children Marie Dennett (Kevin) of Stony Point, NY, Michael Dennett of Wyoming, MI, Thomas Dennett (April Richards) of Midland and stepsons David Randall (Linda) of Redman, WA and Christopher Randall (Julie) of Seattle, WA, grandchildren Marlee Dennett (Chet Floyd) of Murrells Inlet, SC, Andrea Grandy (Justin) of Bay City, Andrew Randall (Denise) of Seattle, WA, Thomas Randall of Carnation, WA, Joshua Randall of Kirkland, WA, Matthew Randall of Tacoma, WA and Adam Randall of Vancouver, WA; great-grandchildren, Alexis Grandy of Bay City and Jessa Floyd of Murrells Inlet, SC, and the beloved uncle to many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service celebrating Bob’s life will be held this summer at Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home when we can gather more safely. A formal announcement will be published at that time. Those wishing to send an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Midland Men of Music or the Chippewa Nature Center. Cards of sympathy for the family can be sent to 5205 Huntington Dr., Midland, MI 48640.