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Dennis Schrock: 1949-2020

  • Dennis Schrock, 2020. COURIER ARCHIVES
    Dennis Schrock, 2020. COURIER ARCHIVES

Dennis Reuben Schrock was born April 1, 1949 in Van Wert, Ohio to Albert and Mary (Edwards) Schrock. He often spoke of his memories growing up in Spencerville, Ind. with his brother, Jim, and sister, Carol. Dennis gave his life to the Lord and was baptized at age 10, at Leo Mennonite Church. Dennis graduated Eastside High school in 1967. He earned his bachelor of science degree in education in 1971. After college, he took his first teaching job at a small school in Iowa, followed by a non-teaching job at Camp Amigo. It was at this camp that Dennis met the Lovely M. After a brief courtship, they were married on Thanksgiving Day in 1973.

In 1975 Dennis began his 14-year teaching career at Clinton Christian in Middlebury, Ind. While teaching there, he furthered his own education by working to earn a master of science degree in education from Indiana State. During this time, Dennis and the Lovely M found time to be managers at Amigo Park, a camping destination on Perrin Lake in Sturgis, Mich.

They enjoyed being park managers for three years while Dennis continued to teach at Clinton, and during this time, they were blessed with two children: Jenni and Jeremy. During this time, Dennis coached basketball, taking the playbook (but not the demeanor) of his coaching hero, Bobby Knight.

During summer breaks from school, he was never too proud to take on whatever jobs were necessary to provide for his family. This gave him two months of knowledge in many new arenas, as teaching pulled him away every fall. In 1991, he moved his family to Freeman, S.D. to start a teaching and coaching career that lasted 23 years. You name it, he taught it; you played it, he coached it. He was a master at teaching whatever came across his path. In the summers, he ran a corn tasseling crew and later figured out he could teach driver’s ed to avoid manual labor and further help the youth of the community. After retiring from teaching in 2014, he started working at Fensel’s Electric helping out however he could until the Lord brought him home Sunday, Sept. 30

Dennis’s passion was his faith, and he used that first and foremost in his teaching. He would develop many ways to make the classroom a place of fun and lightheartedness, while still achieving the lesson objectives (and always keeping the faith). His ginormous mug (filled with what could only be the worst-tasting concoction), funky ties, and goofy puns were the tools he used to build relationships with his students, but it was prayer and devotion to the Lord that made those relationships so meaningful. Sports and competition were always a part of his life: softball and basketball when he was young, and golf when he couldn’t beat his son one-on-one anymore. After years of complaining about Schmeckfest taking his gym, he surrendered and participated in a number of Schmeckplays. Reading always was an important part of his life, always pursuing knowledge so that he could understand a subject before coming to an opinion. This is what gave him the skills to write a monthly article to the Freeman Courier, giving his humorous take on a whole array of topics and winning some awards along the way. He continued to serve the Lord by filling in pulpits across many congregations and taking on a leadership role at Hutterthal Mennonite Church. His grandchildren (Asa, Ervin, Micah, and Charlie) became his new students in retirement. Grandfather and grandchildren enjoyed teaching each other new things. He was a patient loving father and a caring dutiful husband always there for his loved ones and friends.

He will be forever missed but his family rejoices in the Lord bringing him home.

Dennis is survived by his wife, Marcia; daughter, Jennifer; and son, Jeremy and his wife, Amanda. Grandchildren include Jenni’s sons, Asa and Micah, and Jeremy and Amanda’s daughters, Ervin and Charlie. He is also survived by a brother, Jim and his wife Sherri; sister, Carol and her husband Bob Mauck; many nieces and nephews; and many more friends and students.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Mary, and infant brother Jerry.