Share a special moment from Dennis's life.

A Kind and Wonderful Man

Shared by Andrew Cameron on November 8, 2020
Dennis was my very first principal. I remember the day he called me to arrange an interview and a few days later when he called me to congratulate me on accepting the offer. Once I accepted he almost immediately invited me to his and Rhonda's beautiful home in Marsh Lake. We had a lasagne, which was delicious! 
Though challenging, my first year was successful because Dennis acted as my mentor and friend throughout the year. At least once a week, myself and a co-worker would visit his home in Teslin for a dinner and a check-in. He always made sure that I was doing well and offered advice when asked and forgave my mistakes. When I left Teslin, Dennis continued to act as a friend and mentor. I would occasionally stop by his home when I was heading in or out of town. Throughout my tenure in the communities Dennis opened his home to me and made me feel like a member of the family. I was even invited for a New Year's evening at his home.
In August 2017, Dennis, myself, and Cole did the Chilkoot in four days. This was an incredible adventure! Doing this with Dennis and Cole made the adventure more memorable and enjoyable than a I could have thought, even with the two days of rain after the peak! We trekked across this historical path in all weather and conditions and got through it in one piece. I'm so glad my first Chilkoot trip was with Dennis and Cole!
It was around this time that Dennis also revealed to me his terminal condition. I did not know how to act or speak and told him as much and he said that it was okay. It was always at the back of my mind but Dennis made sure that we talked of other things and updated me on what was going on. There was a time, after a long conversation, where Dennis said that he considered me a son. I appreciated and continue to appreciate this endearing gesture. He was such a kind man.
For the next couple of years Dennis and I drifted in and out of contact. I was working in Ross River and rarely made it town. When I moved to Whitehorse we tried to meet in Whitehorse when he was in town but this did not happen often. However, we did share a visit before the pandemic and I was able to chat with him a couple of times before his passing.
I felt guilty not making more attempts to talk to Dennis in 2019 and first half of 2020. Our time together was quickly drawing to an end. When I heard of his passing I was upset and when I visited this site I was wracked with guilt and the realization that my exceptional friend and mentor had forever left my life.
My dreams that evening were clear. Dennis and I were having a conversation; two friends enjoying the weather and walking together in a forested area. We talked of life and how he had gotten over his illness. He was happy and healthy and we were enjoying our time together. I can't say for sure, but maybe Dennis visited me in my dreams to let me know that it was okay and that I should not feel guilty.
I think that was what made Dennis an incredible person. His ability to understand and put people at ease was unmatched. He knew what to say, when to speak and how to support people through all their turmoil. I will miss Dennis dearly but will always have memories and an incredible model to follow for the rest of my life.
Writing this was wonderful and the last part made me very sad. But I think Dennis would understand and would help put my heart at ease.
Dennis, you were an incredible friend and family man. May you rest in peace. My condolences to the Darling family.  

Kids together

Shared by Pat Bragg on November 6, 2020
Dennis and I go back a long way. He and Rhonda have both been friends we call each other family )to me for almost 50 years. When I was taking my teacher certification year in Winnipeg, inn1974-75 Dennis was teaching in LaBroquerie, Manitoba. Rhonda was in Brandon, already teaching too I think, my sister Marg and I lived together in a cheap apartment in Winnipeg ( I remember we each put in $25/ month into a jar for our shared groceries), Rhonda’s brother , Blaine was driving up many weekends from Grand Forks, (because he was Marg’s  boyfriend -later husband) where he was studying on a hockey scholarship , our sister Barb was around and Jim Brad. So there were lots of gatherings st our place in Winnipeg. No TV- just lots of music, wine, natural herbs and fun and games literally. We probably played spoons and spit, just like we did last few New Years at Marsh Lake. With the adult children. So many great memories- annual croquet picnics at Cranberry Portage, building Marg and  Blaine’s cabin on Athapaskan, many curling bonspiels, many scotches and celebrations involving turkeys. Many, many, many. Memories of all 5 of our children perfectly happy , perfectly quiet in the living room at Watson Lake over the holidays- each reading their own books. And tabun the kitchen- telling stories, fixing the world problems. I will miss Dennis so much. ❤️I hope he is at peace and iam glad his suffering is over. He fought the good fight. His life had meaning, he was loved  and valued by so many. Safe travels, old friend.
Shared by Joan Duthie Kilberg on November 2, 2020
Condolences to Rhonda and the whole family. Dennis was always the sweetest guy and good friend to my brother while we all attended university together. May your memories be a blessing. 

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