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Dennis D Popken

January 31, 1944 - April 27, 2012

Service Date May 4, 2012

A gathering of family and friends to celebrate Dennis’ life will occur Friday, May 4th, at 10:00am at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home with Father Janusz Korban officiating. Condolences may be conveyed to the family at

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Dennis “Denny” Dean Popken, 68, Rapid City, passed away Friday, April 27th, 2012 at Rapid City Regional Hospital. Dennis was born January 31st, 1944 in San Diego, CA to Kenneth and Arla (Fullerton) Popken. Due to his mother dying during childbirth and his father being in the Army at the time of his birth, he was raised by his mother’s sister, Fern and her husband, Hellmuth Schwiesow in Hawarden, IA. Dennis was graduated from West Sioux High School in Hawarden and resided there until moving to Sheridan, WY in 1979. He married Judee Miller June 27th, 1964. They later divorced, however, remained close friends. They had three children; Angie, Jeff, and Adam. While in Hawarden, Dennis was very active in Jaycees, Volunteer Fire Dept, Knights of Columbus, and was instrumental in the organization of NAGE; the union representing the city employees. Upon moving to Wyoming, he became active in the Fraternal Order of Eagles, eventually becoming the Wyoming State President in 1990. He was a founding member of the Eagelettes which was not only responsible for raising thousands of dollars for the Crippled Children’s Camp in Buffalo, WY, but provided countless hours of laughter for those that were able to see their performances. This was one of his greatest accomplishments. He moved to Grand Junction, CO, and years later, decided to retire in Rapid City, SD.When he wasn’t driving trucks, Dennis enjoyed spending time with his friends and family. He was notorious for spinning tales. One of his more infamous tales involved convincing folks that he was responsible for hauling all of the rock that was used to construct Mount Rushmore. Anyone that knew Dennis well knew that every day was his birthday and reason to celebrate. He was a lifelong angler and loved fishing from the numerous lakes in the Black Hills.Dennis was preceded in death by his mother, father, and step-mother, Vivian (Hand) Popken. Survivors include his daughter Angie (Rick) Bell, Allen, TX, sons Jeff (Heather) Popken, Adam (Brandy) Popken, both of Rapid City, SD, sisters LaDonna (JC) Beaver, Pea Ridge, AR, Deb Guetzkow, Springdale, AR, and Elaine (Mel) Cheney, Roseburg, OR, Grandchildren Jessica and Jennifer Bell, Dallas, TX, Noelle and Brody Popken, Rapid City, SD, Abbey and Noah Popken and Cameron Mortensen, Rapid City, SD, and numerous nieces and nephews.

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