ForeverMissed
On January 14th 2021, Dennis was fatally wounded while performing duties protecting and serving his community as a health inspector for Sacramento County. He leaves behind his wife Shelley and daughter Lauryn who need your prayers and support during this very difficult time.

Due to COVID restrictions and to honor Dennis's life and legacy of service to protect the public, the family held a private service. Dennis was laid to rest on Fri 1/29/2021. A celebration of life and opportunity to be with Shelley, Lauryn and Dennis' brothers will be arranged at a future date when public health guidelines allow.

Shelley and her daughter deserve to be wrapped in our community’s love in their darkest moment and my hope is we will create a balloon of financial support that will carry them through what’s to come—a life without her incredible husband, Dennis.

Shelley and Dennis devoted their lives to holding the hearts of others, and it’s time for us to hold theirs. Please join me in contributing to the GoFundMe page below so that Shelley can remove financial worries from the list of things she will face in this next year. And if we are generous to an extent I can only hope for, let us also provide for her daughter’s future. We are her community and it’s our turn to show up for her. Dennis would be grateful and proud.

A GoFundMe account below was set up to provide support for Shelley and Lauryn
https://www.gofundme.com/f/dennis-catanyag

Other alternatives to provide financial support
- Venmo - @doublefaultdennis
- Check - Please contact John through the gofundme page for additional details

Additionally, meal delivery is being coordinated online
- Meal Train - https://mealtrain.com/z0vg0d

We are incredibly grateful for everyone's love and support of Dennis and his family. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. We would appreciate it if you would share this with your community.

Tribute to Dennis Slideshow by Walter Lin: Go to Gallery/Video area of this website

Shelley's eulogy for Dennis
1/29/2021, Divine Mercy Catholic Church
https://docs.google.com/document/d/16bm_YRsthHiac2iYnovSPEIZE4tINNfInGalbmD093E/edit?usp=sharing

John Lai's eulogy for Dennis
1/29/2021, Divine Mercy Catholic Church
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rUXHXtkwV4g3xHY1pB3cv9t_ht8ioKkWG4WX4gwpgnc/edit?usp=sharing
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My Heaven for Dennis

He is a world-renowned baker/pastry chef; playing lots of tennis and his serve “is on”; running marathons without injuries; laying on a bed of puppies, just SO many happy dogs around him; holding his baby Caitlyn tightly in his arms, smelling her and kissing her; spending time with his mom and dad; spending time with Louis, Luckey, and his Mr. River; never-ending swimming in the warm ocean like Hawaii; eating Filipino fried fish and fresh coconuts; drinking soda, trenta green tea lemonades with light ice, and red wine; tiny kids’ spoons to eat his Ube ice cream; winning at mahjong and poker; all kinds of games and competition; taking care of huge sparkling ponds with koi fish and so many fruit trees; singing songs with his beautiful voice with lots of range; laughing and smiling- that smile... ...until we see each other again, my sweet husband, you will always be with me.

~Shelley

Posted by Michelle Le on February 17, 2021
Missing you even more today...It’s the first day of lent and you always drove us nuts with giving up chocolate, candy, soda, beef and pork. Most people only give up one thing but you always had to be “extra.” I’m also studying and refreshing on UST things. It brings me back to our UST Training days and time at SJC....fancy pens, paper clips, Reno, Hawaii, hiking, spin the wheel, luau, pathfinder, Dancing Queen, Christmas in July, all things that flood back memories.
Posted by Joanne Johnson on February 15, 2021
So many people greatly miss Dennis, both family and friends. We need more people like him, not fewer! I think of his focus and his warmth; his humor and his dedication; his many skills in sports and with food (I once saw him play tennis, and listened with attention as he went over a map of the S.F. Marathon route with me, and what great meals I enjoyed!); his many Lenten sacrifices even while cooking for others; his amazing, deep love for his family, demonstrated in so many ways big and small. While I visited them in S.F. he shared with me his feelings for Caitlyn and I was so moved by his love for her. We didn't need to talk about his love for Lauryn or for Shelley as that was apparent in his every word to or about them, and actions around them. I was honored to read the Scripture at their wedding, and so glad to visit them over the following years. There is a hole in the fabric of our lives that may in time get "patched" but will never be the same. I am missing him and all that he was. Love always to him and those he cared about.
Posted by John Lai on February 14, 2021
D...

Miss you man... Australian Open is going on and its the first time I can remember that I can't call or text you during a grand slam to tell you that Federer will take it. He will still take it, even though he's not even playing. I have that much faith in him. He will find a way. Don't give up on him. Tsitsipas still looks like he's parched and needs some water. Raonic still looks psycho when you watch him in slow mo when he hits a shot. I hope you are doing good up above playing with Caitlyn and River, and catching up with Lou and your parents. MIss you dearly my friend.

-John
Posted by Sherri Saunders on February 13, 2021
We have fond memories of Dennis. We already loved Shelley and we were thrilled for her when she and Dennis married. He was always so sweet and kind. I was babysitting Lauryn one day, he came home for lunch and brought me a sandwich, how many guys dashing in for lunch and to see their little girl think to do something so thoughtful! Dennis liked to bake and entertain., we were on the receiving end of his baking on several occasions, birthdays and "just because". He was a dear man who loved his "girls". We will miss him and always remember his special smile and what a good man he was.
Posted by Shelley Catanyag on February 9, 2021
John Lai's eulogy for Dennis
1/29/2021, Divine Mercy Catholic Church

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rUXHXtkwV4g3xHY1pB3cv9t_ht8ioKkWG4WX4gwpgnc/edit?usp=sharing
Posted by Shelley Catanyag on February 9, 2021

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Michelle Le on February 17, 2021
Missing you even more today...It’s the first day of lent and you always drove us nuts with giving up chocolate, candy, soda, beef and pork. Most people only give up one thing but you always had to be “extra.” I’m also studying and refreshing on UST things. It brings me back to our UST Training days and time at SJC....fancy pens, paper clips, Reno, Hawaii, hiking, spin the wheel, luau, pathfinder, Dancing Queen, Christmas in July, all things that flood back memories.
Posted by Joanne Johnson on February 15, 2021
So many people greatly miss Dennis, both family and friends. We need more people like him, not fewer! I think of his focus and his warmth; his humor and his dedication; his many skills in sports and with food (I once saw him play tennis, and listened with attention as he went over a map of the S.F. Marathon route with me, and what great meals I enjoyed!); his many Lenten sacrifices even while cooking for others; his amazing, deep love for his family, demonstrated in so many ways big and small. While I visited them in S.F. he shared with me his feelings for Caitlyn and I was so moved by his love for her. We didn't need to talk about his love for Lauryn or for Shelley as that was apparent in his every word to or about them, and actions around them. I was honored to read the Scripture at their wedding, and so glad to visit them over the following years. There is a hole in the fabric of our lives that may in time get "patched" but will never be the same. I am missing him and all that he was. Love always to him and those he cared about.
Posted by John Lai on February 14, 2021
D...

Miss you man... Australian Open is going on and its the first time I can remember that I can't call or text you during a grand slam to tell you that Federer will take it. He will still take it, even though he's not even playing. I have that much faith in him. He will find a way. Don't give up on him. Tsitsipas still looks like he's parched and needs some water. Raonic still looks psycho when you watch him in slow mo when he hits a shot. I hope you are doing good up above playing with Caitlyn and River, and catching up with Lou and your parents. MIss you dearly my friend.

-John
his Life

Dennis's Life Events

Jan 5, 1975: Dennis was born in Alitagtag, Batangas, Philippines, the youngest of 5 boys

1983: Family moved from Philippines to San Jose, CA; Dennis was 8 years old

1993: Graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School in San Jose, CA

1998: Graduated from CSU, Sacramento with B.S. in Biological Sciences, minor in Chemistry

Nov 2000: Worked as Lab Analyst for Crystal Cream and Butter Company

July 2001: Started job with San Joaquin County as a Senior Registered Environmental Health Specialist

2004: Dennis joined Natomas Racquet Club to continue his love of playing tennis
 
Aug 1, 2004: San Francisco Marathon; at 29 years old, Dennis ran his first of nine full marathons (*see below for a list of his marathons)

Dec 2005: Hired with Sacramento County as an Environmental Health Specialist III

2006: Dennis bought his first home in Natomas (Sacramento) & gave River (his yellow lab) his forever home

June 2008: First date with Shelley (set up by a mutual friend) at Starbucks in Natomas (Sacramento)

Feb 2009: Dennis asked Shelley Dunn to marry him in front of several of his best friends from high school at Picchetti Winery in Cupertino, CA

Nov 14, 2009: Wedding ceremony at Trinity Cathedral in midtown Sacramento, CA with reception held at Tsakopoulos Library Galleria

May 2010: Dennis and Shelley purchased their first home together in Sacramento, CA

July 2011: Dennis’s father passed away

Dec 10, 2012: First daughter Caitlyn Hope was born premature and with medical issues related to pprom

March 4, 2013: Caitlyn Hope passed away at UCSF Intensive Care Nursery in San Francisco, CA

Jan 19, 2015: Lauryn Grace was born 

Aug 2019: Dennis’s yellow lab River passed away

Nov 2019: Lucy (Doberman mix puppy) joined our family

Feb 2020: Dennis’s mother passed away

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Full Marathons (26.2 miles) ran by Dennis 
(His true "love" was running the SF Marathon)

8/1/04 (29 yo)
San Francisco Marathon
5:20:46

7/31/05 (30 yo)
San Francisco Marathon
4:37:36

7/30/06 (31 yo) 
San Francisco Marathon
4:52:01

7/29/07 (32 yo)
San Francisco Marathon
4:50:42

8/3/08 (33 yo)
San Francisco Marathon
5:33:57

7/26/09 (34 yo) 
San Francisco Marathon
5:59:32

7/25/10 (35 yo)
San Francisco Marathon
5:51:40

12/4/11 (36 yo)
California International Marathon
4:32:39

12/8/13 (38 yo)
California International Marathon
3:53:38 (PR)
Recent stories

A Loving Father

Shared by Juna Damonte on February 16, 2021
I had the honor to care for dear Caitlyn. Dennis was such a gentle, kind, & loving soul. It was a gift to witness him as a Father. Shelley & Dennis came to visit another nurse and I at the new Children’s Hospital with their sweet daughter Lauryn. Dennis made us professional looking delicious baked treats. It’s obvious he puts his heart and soul into everything he does, especially being a Loving Husband and Father. I was devastated for Shelley and her daughter when I heard the news. I have some peace knowing that his soul is reunited with sweet Caitlyn’s.

Thumbs up and elbows out

Shared by Patara Lai on February 12, 2021
I remember the first time I met Dennis in 2007. It was for a houseparty that the “mount pleasant crew” had. John and I were hanging out a lot at the time getting to know each other but weren’t actually dating (as I wasn’t ready) but I remember being nervous about meeting Dennis anyways; because I knew he was John’s best friend.  I think even back then I had strong feelings for John (and didn’t want to admit it) but knew that a best friend’s opinion could make or break things, especially after knowing how close John and Dennis were.  

After meeting Dennis, I immediately felt at ease; he was genuinely nice and friendly and I saw early on that he was a jokester like John.  He was one that laughed at his own jokes but it was so effortlessly done and funny, you might not notice he did that. I remember he had piercing eyes but they soften right away when he smiled; a good genuine smile, the kind that just makes you want to smile too.  It felt good learning from John later that night, that Dennis had given me the “thumbs up”.  

Fast forward a few months, John and I are official and we go on a friend’s trip to the Seattle and Vancouver. It was Dennis, John, Ro, Ratana (my sister) and I. We rented an economy sized car and so that meant tight space in the back and naturally, it was Ratana and I along with one of the guys (Dennis or Ro typically bcause John called shotgun when he wasn’t driving) and Dennis took it for the guys sitting in the back most of the time with me in the “bitch seat”.  I don’t recall the exact joke but I ended up elbowing him on the side and homeboi just laughed it off. Honestly he could’ve just gotten mad at me cause frankly, it was probably uncalled for and not nice of me but Dennis being Dennis, he was quite witty and he just made it into an ongoing inside joke.  I know that may not sound significant but it was to me, because it really shows the kind of person he was; if he cared for you he truly didn’t sweat the small stuff and that just made it so easy to love Dennis.

Dennis had just started seeing Shelley and on that same trip, you could see how enamored he was with her. He would sneak away to have phone calls with her and he was stressing on something nice to give her. I remembered we were waiting at the border when coming back from Vancouver and wondering where was Dennis?  He finally shows up carrying a shopping bag and a souvenir Canadian bear. You know the guys gave him a hard time but he didn’t care, he wanted to make sure that Shelley knew he was thinking of her.  

For Dennis’ bachelor party, he was more considerate than most because he invited the sig girls on the trip. I don’t know, maybe it was a test and I failed because I joined the bachelor party as the only girl.  If that was the case, Dennis didn’t let on and included me entirely. If Dennis cared for you he treated you like family. I’m thankful for the memories on that trip with him: atving in ensenada, chilling with the piano man, eating too many desserts, making the Rock impressions.  He was a brother to me. 

He was always there for every event big and small and would check on me when I was pregnant or sick. Those are the things that count most and Dennis really made it a point to do them because he really did care. Everything he did was purposeful and meaningful. I hope he knows how much we all love him.  Will forever cherish the memories. Love you buddy.

Hugs

Shared by Rachel De La Torre on February 11, 2021
I am lucky enough to have worked alongside Shelley for almost 5years. I was always in awe of her hard work ethic, beauty, care and strength.  Soon after meeting Shelley, I got to meet Dennis. While I can’t remember if it was at a holiday party for the entire staff, or something a little less casual, I remember for certain that Dennis made delicious treats and he and Shelley loved each other a lot. It’s not often you see couples hugging or with arms around one another, but that’s how I remember Dennis. His arms around Shelley. On social media posts, his arms were wrapped around Shelley. I remember him telling us about the room he painted for Lauren while his arms were wrapped around his glowing wife. As I look at all these tributes I continue to see his love for her. And I see him hugging River too! A beautiful couple, forever and always.