• 60 years old
  • Born on June 14, 1953 in Los Angeles, California, United States.
  • Passed away on December 31, 2013 in Seattle, Washington, United States.

This memorial website was created in memory of Dennis, born on June 14, 1953 and passed away on December 31, 2013. We are hoping to create a place for the many people who knew and loved him to share tales of his colorful and adventuresome life. No one loved a good story better than Dennis, and he would have cherished the memory of all the events that made up the fabric of his life. From his origins in the Camelot of 1960's California to the mountains of Colorado to the Northwest where he undertook most of his adult endeavors, his path was never dull or predictable. Please share your fondest moments.



SUNDAY MAY 25, 2014, FROM 2-6 PM

Posted by Rick Rutiz on 8th January 2017
We named him Langinger. He was in his twilight even when we met him, maybe 20 years old or so. Since that was way back in late 1973, that’d make him about the same age as Dennis, Paula, and myself. Langinger was a noble, charging VW bus. We met him in the south of Spain after spending a few glorious weeks floating around the beautiful country of Morocco, from Tangiers to Fes, Fes to Marrakech on the Marrakech Express, then on to Essaouira to drink mint tea in Jimmy Hendrix’s castle in the sky. Upon returning to Spain, we met some European travelers who, after a couple bottles of red wine, gave us the keys and birth certificate to their four-wheeled traveling companion—a 1953 VW van. Pictures of John Lennon, yellow submarines, and full rainbows adorned its patchy green exterior. A rickety sliding door (equipped with extra bungee cords and axle grease) served as the entry door into the magical vessel. There was sleeping for three, a four-star kitchen with burners, frig, and sink, and every inch collaged in late 60s rock star visage. One look is all that was needed. The three of us immediately went to our hidden money belts and pulled out the cash. As the last drops of red wine were consumed in a three-way salut, we christened our new friend Langinger. And there began a long and wonderful relationship. We meandered up the coast of Spain, up and over the Pyrenees, down into southern France. Everywhere we went, Langinger proved his worth by being an amazing people magnet—food was cooked, wine was drank, music just happened, and life was good. Nice, Monte Carlo, then on through Italy, Florence, Venice. Pasta, antipasta, and more red wine. The long hairs, hippies, and most everyone we met greeted us with open arms (almost everyone—the policia maybe a little less welcoming). It was now just before Christmas and a coin was flipped. This was our preferred way of decision making. Heads: back to the relative warmth of the Italian and French coastlines. Or tails: cross into Yugoslavia (this was before the war) and cross the mountainous pass into Greece. Tails it was. Split, Dubrovnik, kebabs, shots of slivovitz, more red wine. Leaving the friendly roads of the coast, we slowly climbed the gnarly switchbacks, higher and higher into the Yugoslavian mountains. Winter was upon us. Snow blanketed the landscape. The roads went from snow to ice. Langinger was in trouble, way out of his league. His nearly bald feet were no match for the long stretches of slip and slide. We turned his wheel to the left, he went to the right. 360 round and round, out of control. We came to a very fortunate, extremely lucky stop—just short of a guardrailess fall off a steep descent. We jumped out to peer over the cliff and there, 100 yards below us, was the shiny Mercedes Benz that had passed us just a few kilometers earlier. Luckily, they weren’t badly hurt. We were shaken. Langinger was shaken. Red wine and hot café were consumed, kebabs were devoured. Finally, we made our descent into northern Greece, leaving the snow and ice behind. Relieved, and feeling a whole lot more secure on his feet, Langinger carried us into a land of cinnamon, filo pasties hot off the street vendor’s cart, cafes that could be eaten with a spoon, moussakas and pasteles, olives, and crumbling mounds of fresh feta, all to be washed down with endless bottles of retsina and ouzo. Athens on Christmas Day.
Posted by Bob Welshons on 16th January 2016
I knew Paula and then Dennis from the Mud Run Age into the early-and-middle Snohomish Period of my prehistory. I was there at their wedding, one among many in a cast of thousands, and remember the whole pig buried in a pit in their front yard (the first proto-Jaspers event), stupendous weather, great music, plenty of dogs, a couple of those dogs showing “their asshole male tendencies” (an exact quote from Paula) and a one-footed duck that creeped me out a bit, actually. There was the occasional dinner, a sighting at a Dead concert or stumbling across one another at the Seattle Center, anytime there was a crowd and a celebration I might expect to find them in the middle of it. They were late to my wedding, much to the chagrin of their kids. It’s fitting, then, that I stumble across this web page belatedly, giving Dennis two more years on the planet in my own memory. I’m having trouble squaring this news right now, but what I remember about Dennis, first and most, is that quick, sly, intense, unsettling, subversive, slightly manic, I’m-Santa-Clause-and-I’m-packing-a gun grin of his. I’m really going to miss that.
Posted by Keith Gifford on 14th August 2015
I was pondering Dennis a while back and did the old google track down thing as I wanted to say Hi or even visit where he might be cooking these days.I found this page and was saddened. he hired me to work at sweet life cafe for a few years. I was just a 16 year old punk who knew a dish pit and that was about it. however years past and I kept cooking after sweet life closed, then I got a call about Dennis opening a new spot up in duval and he wanted me to cook there so i did. those first few months were brutal, no one was coming in,i would look over at Dennis thru the chefs line out to the dining booths were he would be reading the sports stats in the paper and we would just silently shake our heads. eventually things picked up,how could they not their food was awesome and their breakfasts were amazing. I phased out from duval once i realized I was gonna be a dad and took on a few other jobs.after that I just lost track of Paula and Dennis. sometimes i would have memories of Dennis,Paula,pat (RIP) kath and the others. we always had a beer and staff meal after the cafes would close giving an honest sense of family and diner camaraderie. only a few know the stress of working the line/serving when your dishwasher calls in sick..half the specials are gone,getting sandbagged, running out of food and there's a line of people waiting to be served. a good friend once said to me cooking for a living is like helping someone move and then making their whole family a thanksgiving dinner,EVERY DAY and thats so damn true yet Dennis always handled it like a pro.at the end of the night we would all be frazzled and just unwind,eat, laugh and talk about O.J. simpson or charles bukowski...that's the stuff I remember the most. Sorry i didn't get to have one more meal with you guys. but I will be giving a cheers to Dennis this night. ~Keith gifford
Posted by Russell Berger on 1st January 2015
Dennis was my best friend and next door neighbor in Cheviot Hills from birth to about 8 years of age when his family moved away. We had subsequently lost contact with one another over the years and it wasn't until much later in my life did i learn that political biases in society had caused the family to move. I was heartbroken to lose such a childhood friend and very sad to hear of his passing by just checking whereabouts of old friends. My best to his surviving relatives.
Posted by Amy Campion on 23rd May 2014
I remember Dennis as a force of goodness in the world. He gave me my first waitress job at the Duvall Cafe in spite of my lack of experience and patiently coached me in the art of gracious service (even to those whose political views we did not share! Dennis and Paula's restaurants were beacons of culture and friendship in their communities. The food was excellent, the conversation was stimulating, and the company was top notch. I'm grateful that I got to share that time and place with Dennis and his whole family. Dennis, your huge personality, your passion, your intelligence, and your love for friends and family will be greatly missed but not forgotten. Paula, Katie, and Rosie, please accept my condolences and know that I am sending love and prayers to you all.
Posted by Bill Taylor on 23rd May 2014
A VW bug with a bumper sticker "split wood not atoms", a campaign for state legislator, the best restaurant in Snohomish with incredible bread and pork loin, a true man of the people.
Posted by Lorna Smith on 23rd May 2014
The Sweet Life, The Duvall Cafe and Jasper's were woven into the warp of our lives. Dennis, Paula, Katie and Rosie were part of our extended family. Our daughter, Amy, worked at the Duvall Cafe. So many of our good friends also worked for Dennis and Paula along the way. We well remember Pat, also gone before his time. We worked on Dennis' legislative campaign back in the day…..All those wonderful meals and wonderful conversations, all the friends we made through the years. I loved the Sweet Life where we could sit and watch Dennis and Paula work their frenetic magic, preparing one amazing meal after another in that tiny kitchen, with 40's throwback music playing in the back ground and some funky deco-art. One of our favorite Saturday activities was to grab a table mid-morning at the Sweet Life and enjoy brunch while watching Snohomish, people and River, go by outside! Of course what was a relaxed Saturday morning for us was a marathon for Dennis and Paula. But he was always there with his smile, his mustache, and his heart-felt political commentary. And the laugh that filled a room. The Scene at Jasper's in the evening was usually more laid-back, and we continued the tradition of great conversations. It is simply impossible to imagine that a personality so large, vibrant and PRESENT could be no more. So, I believe we all experience a profound (to say the least) transition when our time comes to leave the physical plain and body, and I know (call it "faith") that we move on to another existence, and yet some part of us remains behind, some kind of loving energy and presence. When we all gather on Sunday to laugh and cry and recount the memories, I know he will be there as well, at the very least in all our hearts, and his unmistakable "Dennis laugh" will be heard throughout the floral halls…..
Posted by Susinn Macmerchys on 8th April 2014
Sad to hear of Dennis' passing. My sympathies to Paula, Rosie and Katie. Always fun to be part of the " Riff Raff" crowd at Sweet Life. May fond memories comfort you during this difficult time....
Posted by Gordon Fradenburgh on 28th January 2014
Dennis was a good man and a great friend. I will always remember sitting in our kayaks among a pod of 39 orcas in BC with grins as big as ever. And then being there for Rosie's birth the day after we got back. Happy trails, Dennis. I wish you didn't have to leave so soon.
Posted by Katharine Ryan on 9th January 2014
I liked Dennis. I'm sorry he died. I fucked up, I should have called. I'm sorry, Paula. - Katharine
Posted by Bonnie Huffer on 5th January 2014
Dennis, his sister, Diane, my brother, sister and I grew up together in Los Angeles. We shared holidays and other events together and were very close as an extended family. I hadn't seen Dennis or his family for quite some time, so kind of lost touch, but I always admired him greatly for all he did and has done and for his intelligence. It is a huge shock that he is gone, and I only wish we had kept in touch over the years.

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