Dennis Paul Bekeny was my step-brother.  My father William Holasek a widower married Dennis” mother Joan Bekeny a widow.  Dennis’ father Paul died on the beaches of France defending his country in 1944 when Dennis was 13 months old.  He wrote about this himself.

http://www.wliw.org/newyorkwarstories/story.php?id=21

When I first met Dennis, my dad arranged a meeting between all of us at the Cleveland zoo.  My cousin Carol was there for  moral support.   Within 5 minutes of that meeting, Dennis squished a worm in my hair, and for a while Carol and I kidded him with Dennis the Menace.  He hated that

We were a  blended family at that point, but not a complete family

In 1956 our brother Jonathan William Holasek was born.

Dennis didn’t live with all of us for that many years.  When he graduated from Parma High School in 1961 7th in a class of 1000, he went off to M.I.T. and fell in love with New England.

I remembered visiting him there when I was in nursing school and he doted over his little sister like a mother hen.  He let me go out with a classmate, but wanted to know all the details of where we were going.

He married Martha Wilson at Park Street Church in 1967 and our car broke down on the way to Boston.  We made it for the wedding, but totally missed the rehearsal dinner, and that was the first wedding I was in as a bridesmaid.

Dennis decided that he wanted to go to medical school, and that is an unusual choice for an M.I.T. graduate.  The competition was so great, he went on to get a Masters in Chemistry at M.I.T. before  medical school.  He came back to Cleveland at Case Western Reserve for medical school.  Then he left for New Haven for internship and residency at Yale.  He opened his practice in Hamden, Connecticut and saw patients until two weeks ago.

Two children were born Deirdre and Audrey.  Because we lived so far away, we didn’t see each other much.

As life circumstances happen, Dennis’ marriage ended but a new chapter in his life was ahead.

He married Peggy in 1990, and most of the family attended the wedding.  Dennis’ cousin Jack showed me the wedding video this week, and it was such a joy to watch.   They had a very happy marriage for 21 years until his death.   They enjoyed many cultural events together, and they were faithful members at their church.

See obituary  http://obit.beecherandbennett.com/obitdisplay.html?task=Print&id=980032&listing=Current

All of the family were so shocked to hear of Dennis’ death because we didn’t know he was sick.  He was fine until a cough showed a probable lung metatasis, and then liver metatasis  from kidney cancer.  That type is considered a silent killer, and he certainly died quickly of liver failure within a week of working his last day.  He didn’t have a chance to begin treatment, but that might have been a blessing in disguise.
Dennis will be so very missed by his beloved wife Peggy, and his children and five grandchildren.  His cousin Jack Magar and his wife Eileen spent time with them during their marriage but Jack was a close cousin to Dennis growing up.  Jack, my brother and I are trying to accept the loss, but it is hard.
Peggy arranged a beautiful funeral.  Dennis would have loved all that beautiful music.  All I can say is that Dennis, you are another angel.  Your patients loved you, you were a faithful Christian, and you will be missed by your family.  Rest in Peace
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