Cover photo for Dennis Russell Dokken's Obituary
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Dennis Russell Dokken

March 24, 1935 — April 5, 2024


Dennis Russell Dokken

Dennis Russell Dokken, of Stoughton, WI passed away peacefully at UW Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin on April 5th, 2024,  He was born on March 24, 1935, in Madison, WI, the first of seven children born to the late Russell and Wanda (Atwater) Dokken.

Dennis attended Adams-Friendship High School, graduating in 1953. He then began his college education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His studies were interrupted when he was drafted to serve in the US Army in 1954. After his military service, Dennis returned to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated from the School of Business in 1965.  He went on to have a fulfilling 33-year career with Mendota Mental Health Institute as the Personnel Director until his retirement.

Throughout his life Dennis had a profound passion for music. He became a member of the Four Lakes Council Boy Scout Drum & Bugle Corps, from 1948-1952.  During his time in the US Army, he sang with a quartet called the "Casuals". His dedication to music continued as he was a lifelong member of Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin, where he shared his musical talents as a member of the Bethel Lutheran Choir and enjoyed singing for church services and with small ensembles.

On August 24th, 1957, Dennis married his loving wife, Shirley, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Adams, Wisconsin.  They were blessed with two sons, David and Scott.  Dennis was always proud to support his sons' many activities and celebrate their achievements throughout the years. He looked forward to trips to Door County, Wisconsin, with his family and friends where they made lasting memories of golfing, dining at local eateries, shopping, attending performances at Peninsula Players Theatre, and relaxing among the beautiful views.  In his free time, he loved to cook, bake and listen to classical music.  He was an avid fan of all Wisconsin Badger sports.  Dennis was a loving husband, devoted father, proud grandfather and great-grandfather who took great delight in celebrating his grandchildren's accomplishments.

In his later years, Dennis was proud to join fellow veterans for the Badger Honor Flight to Washington D.C. He resided at Kettle Park Senior Living in Stoughton, Wisconsin where he took pleasure in being a Resident Advocate and a member of the Kettle Park Resident Council.  He was known for his kindness and dedication to improving the lives of others, hosting movie nights, and occasionally joining a singing group with fellow residents.

Dennis is survived by his son David (Linda) Dokken; granddaughters Arin Dokken, Emily Dokken, Caroline Dokken, and Camille Dokken and great-granddaughter, Vaeda Peralta.  He is also survived by his brothers Ronald (Maria) Dokken, and Terry (Gloria) Dokken, sisters Bonnie Sanfield, Patty (Robert) Kamienski, Pam (Layne) Close, and sister-in-law Rose Dokken; and is further survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Shirley Dokken, his son Scott Dokken, his parents Russell and Wanda (Atwater) Dokken, and his brother, Lanny Dokken.

A celebration of Life will be held on Friday, April 19, 2024, at Bethel Lutheran Church, 312 Wisconsin Ave., Madison, Wisconsin with Pastor Ken Schaub officiating.  Visitation will take place from 9:00 - 10:45 am with a Memorial Service at 11:00am.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Music Ministry of Bethel Lutheran Church.

Dennis will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.  His legacy of kindness, music, and devotion to family and community will forever be remembered.

Informed Choice Funeral & Cremation Alternatives
3325 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53704

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