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Dennis Leroy Falk

Died: Wed., Jul. 1, 2015

Celebration of Life

10:00 AM Thu., Jul. 09, 2015
Location: Kiwanis Park

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Bitterroot Valley - Dennis Leroy Falk, Loving Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, 63, passed away Wednesday July 1, 2015 in his home, which he proudly kept serene, surrounded by trees and water. Dennis was born July 9th, 1951 in Hamilton, Montana to Henry Carl Falk and Reba C. Reynolds Falk. Dennis spent his younger days exploring every inch of the Bitterroot Valley, along the banks of our cherished river and on the trails to hidden mountain lakes. He knew every secret fishing hole and hidden asparagus patch; he knew the best hunting, huckleberry picking, and morel mushroom locations. Dennis left his footprint around nearly every corner in the Bitterroot and Missoula Valleys. Dennis could catch a fish out of any mud puddle. A legendary outdoorsman, he shared his love for Montana with his loved ones with family adventures, hunting or camping trips, and summertime evening “dunks” in the river. Along with his passion for nature, he was a talented athlete. He played football, basketball, and track for the Hamilton Broncs where he received numerous awards and accolades for his abilities. Dennis went on to play Defensive End at University of Montana for the ’69 and 70’ football teams and was a member of the 1970 Grizzly Hall of Fame team. Dennis led his life with great passion and was guided by his immense heart and love for family. He is loved and will be missed by everyone whose life he touched. Dennis is survived by his wife Teren Falk, 5 loving children: Derick Falk, Dustin Falk, Alisha Falk, Lisa Falk, Nathan Chapman, 10 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, Dennis’s brother Jim Falk and wife Peggy, and sister Charlotte Kelleher and husband Pat. Dennis had a very large extended family that share his love for the Bitterroot. A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, July 9th, 10 am at Kiwanis/River Park in Hamilton, lower level, next to the river. Story sharing, food, and refreshments to follow at the Daly-Leach Chapel. In case of inclement weather, celebration will be moved to Daly-Leach Chapel.

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Cindy Tavares
   Posted Mon July 06, 2015
Teren I'm so sorry for you loss. Prayers and thoughts sent to you and family during this time.

Patsy Galiher
   Posted Tue July 07, 2015
Teren and family ~ I am so very sorry for your loss. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless !

Charlene and Richard Dunn
   Posted Tue July 07, 2015
Our prayers are with your family in your time of loss.

Lois Horsens
   Posted Tue July 07, 2015
So very sorry to hear of your loss. Praying for your entire family. Blessings to all.

Dan St. John
   Posted Tue July 07, 2015
Dennis and I were good friends growing up and for a while, best friends. He lived down the road from me and we spent years working, hunting and fishing together. Dennis and I never seemed to take things very seriously for the most part and that often lead to what we liked to think of as close calls. (We had a few) Although I have many memories about Dennis, one of my “all time” favorites, that I still tell to this day, was our duck hunting trip and the electric fence.
Dennis and I had gone jump shooting one day down the valley and had gotten permission to hunt on a back water slough that ran next to the river. It was a warm water slough so when everything else froze up, it would still be open and most often had ducks.
We parked the car and got our gear out. We both wore hip waders (important to this story) and headed out to the slough. As we approached the slough we decided to split up a bit and come at it from about 75 yards apart. Dennis was tall at 6’4”and with his long legs was hard to keep up with when he was on the move. We decided that we were going to attack together once we were both in place. I went down the slough and Dennis stayed up a ways. When I got to my spot I signaled Dennis that I was ready and we started toward the slough. We were both hunkered down as there was no cover and we didn’t want to spook the ducks before we got close enough to shoot. About fifty yards from the slough was a single wire electric fence that stood up about 3 ½ feet. I had just crawled under the fence when I heard a blood curdling scream from Dennis. I looked down the fence and there was Dennis flailing and screaming. As I ran to see what had happened, I could see him straddling the fence. Apparently he had decided to step over the electric fence and not go under it. Unfortunately, he had picked a muddy section of the field to cross the fence. His left boot had become stuck in the mud and as he stepped over, his right boot had also sunk and become stuck, thus creating the flailing and screaming issue. Dennis was pushing down on the wire with his hand, getting shocked, screaming, letting go and as the wire came up to his crotch, getting hit again and screaming with even more intensity. This dance was being played out over and over and I remember laughing so hard I could barely stand. Dennis however apparently didn’t see the humor in it. When I finally got there, he was still at it. I thought, if I laid my gun across the wire and pushed down, it would give him time to get off the fence. I put my gun on the wire and started to push down when I was hit by a jolt of electricity that knocked me back and did nothing to free Dennis. It also put him back in the same push down let go predicament. I then realized that the metal finger guard on my gun ran quite a ways down the wooden butt that I was holding on to. The next attempt went as planned and Dennis was able to get his left boot out of the mud and across the fence. Needless to say the ducks, if there had been any, were long gone. Dennis made me promise not to tell anyone in school what had happened and I said I wouldn’t. I don’t remember if I kept that promise as it was one o the funniest things I had ever seen and to this day, I still chuckle when I remember him straddling that fence and pushing down and screaming and letting go and screaming.
I have many, many fond memories of the times Dennis and I spent together in the valley and I hope his passing was peaceful. Till we meet again my friend, thanks for the friendship and memories. May you rest in peace.

Mike and Ritchie Wildey
   Posted Wed July 08, 2015
Teren and Family,

We were so shocked to hear about Dennis. He was a kind person, and always so full of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

Mike and Ritchie
Brian and Oreana

Kathleen Gallagher (AKA) Mcconaughey
   Posted Wed July 08, 2015
I am sorry for your loss. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and your family. God Bless!

MT Senator Pat Connell
   Posted Wed July 08, 2015
To Jim, Peggy, Teren & and Clan:

It is with regret that I learned of Dennis' death. I got to personally know Dennis through Jim during the Haying season. We shared the '69 & '70 Griz football seasons, me rooting from the stands, and Dennis doing the heavy lifting.

Neither Dennis or I held it against Jim that he went Cat - except on the day of the game!

Dennis as a sportsman help create the wonderful times had by those growing up in the 'root in the 50s and early 60s. He, and his life in those times was the real thing, whereas now, we just have occasional opportunities to realize what it was like.

Dona Terry
   Posted Thu July 09, 2015
Dear Teren & family- I was so shocked & saddened to hear of Dennis passing. He was such a nice man & always so friendly when I would run into him. The Bitterroot will not be the same without him. He & Jim were some of the originals of our beautiful valley. Love to you & your family & if I can help in any way, please let me know.

Ken Andrews
   Posted Thu July 09, 2015

I was very sad to read of Dennis's passing. He worked with me for several months with the Forest Service and I remember attending your wedding at the church on golf course road. I also remember you and Dennis visiting us in Stevensville not long after you were married. He was a great guy and we had fun working together. One fond memory was racing Honda 90's coming out of the Tolan Creek drainage. Another fun time was when we played pool in Missoula and went out to get into my car, well, I couldn't get my car unlocked and since it was in the winter I asked Dennis if he had a match so I could heat the key, he had a match but that didn't work, after working on the car for about 15 minutes we noticed another red car parked about 3 cars away, you guessed it, that was my car and we shared a good laugh. I thought a great deal of Dennis and I am sorry that I was unable to attend the service. If there is anything I can do to help you, please give me a call at 363-4773. My thoughts are with you. Ken

Michelle Halley
   Posted Fri July 10, 2015
Dear Teren,

Our thoughts are with you and your family. Dennis will always be in our memories.

The folks at Mountain Water

Sally Engwall
   Posted Fri July 10, 2015
Jim and Peggy, I was sorry to hear about Dennis' passing and wanted to let you know you are in our thoughts. Hope to see you again one of these days. Sally

James Reed
   Posted Fri July 10, 2015
Teren and family,

I am very sorry for your loss. I met Dennis several times while he was in Oklahoma visiting with Derick. I've also heard so many stories from Derick too. I've never had a better friend in my adult life than Derick, and I see he got that from his father.

The memories and affections here are consistent with everything I have ever witnessed from him and heard about him. I was very saddened to hear of his passing.


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