Dennie was a friend and I will miss him. He was the executive director of the Bank Holding Company Association from 1994 through 2010, and I met him at his office in Coon Rapids a number of times, typically visiting over lunch at the Olive Garden Restaurant just across the parking lot. My company produced his association’s newsletter and we would visit about upcoming editions. He also was kind enough to support NorthWestern Financial Review magazine with ads promoting the BHCA Spring and Fall seminars.
Most recently, Dennie was very helpful in the association’s transition to my management, which began Jan. 1 after Dennie retired.
I will always remember Dennie for his upbeat nature. Even after he was diagnosed with cancer some six years ago, he remained upbeat. “How ya doing, Dennie?” and he’d always say “Pretty good,” even though you knew he had just completed a difficult round of chemotherapy.
He was an athlete as a young man. He even played baseball at the professional level, pitching in the Detroit Tigers organization. He eventually went into business, but his athletic frame was never lost on me, particularly on the golf course. He loved golf and played it well, playing all the way through the summer of 2010.
He put on successful, consistent seminars for bankers, bank owners and managers. He put on more than 30 of them as a trade group exec, and I attended most of them. He did a lot of good for the industry, leveraging his experience as a banker for Crosstown State Bank in Ham Lake, Minn., where he worked for 14 years up until 1994.
Reflecting on the death of a friend always reminds me how precious life is. Time is short. You never know when your time is going to be up. So don’t put off the important things. If you have something in life you want to do, or perhaps need to do, do it now.