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Dennis D. Dockry
August 23, 1943 ~ November 21, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old
Dennis Doyle Dockry, 80, passed away on the evening of November 21, 2023, at Mayo Clinic Health Center in Eau Claire, WI just weeks following a lung cancer diagnosis. He was a long-time resident of Eau Claire and a proud member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
Dennis was born August 23, 1943, in Green Bay, WI, to the late Patrick F. Dockry, MD, and Genevieve (Doyle) Dockry. A lifelong Green Bay Packers fan, he spoke frequently of his parents sneaking him into games as a preschooler and squeezing him between them so that they only needed to purchase two tickets. Don’t tell the Packers. Though millions have claimed to be there, Dennis actually attended the famed Ice Bowl game at Lambeau Field in the company of his brother, Mike. Both emerged with a story they told for the rest of their lives.
A Vietnam veteran, Dennis served as a radio relay operator, earning his honorable discharge in 1967. Not one to miss an opportunity to have some fun, he moonlighted as a ski instructor during his Army training in Colorado and spent his off hours skiing as much as possible. Don’t tell the Army. This behavior continued into his sixties, when he took full advantage of the fact that his son moved to Denver, and he combined visits with ski trips. He was fearless on the slopes, and truly beautiful to watch.
Anyone who knew Dennis knew that he was a sailor. His Potawatomi name, Kche gammi nene, means “Ocean Man,” which appropriately reflects his love of the water. While still living in Green Bay, he had a variety of sailboats, some in questionable condition (“Achin’ Bones” comes to mind), and spent many summer weekends sailing with his wife, Bonnie and their kids. After moving to Eau Claire, and losing close access to the Bay and Door County, he didn’t stop sailing. He purchased a little Sunfish sailboat and taught his kids to sail on the Chippewa River. He and Bonnie finally purchased a larger boat fifteen years after the move to Eau Claire, driving to Marinette every summer weekend to sail in the Bay of Green Bay once again. Their last boat, “Gypsea,” frequently had engine trouble. Dennis famously rejected a tow back to the marina one of the many times the engine died, because, “This is a sailboat. Who needs an engine?” He proceeded to expertly dock the 38-foot boat under sail, while several terrified dock-hands looked on.
Dennis spent most of his career operating his own business selling restaurant equipment. You can still see restaurants he originally outfitted throughout the Green Bay and Eau Claire areas. He finally retired at the age of 68 and never looked back. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Mary Ann Harty, and his brothers, Patrick Dockry and Michael Dockry. He is survived by his beloved wife Bonnie (Francar) Dockry of Eau Claire, WI, his daughter Kelly (Steve) Lentini of Germantown, WI, and his sons Ryan (Lori Radlinger) Dockry of Madison, WI, and Casey (Heather Strohkirch) Dockry of Menomonie, WI. He adored his role as Papa to his grandchildren Genevieve Dockry, Shayden Lentini, Teren Lentini, Finley Dockry, and Fiona Dockry. He also leaves behind the sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins who he loved so much.
A funeral service for Dennis will take place at 11 am on Monday December 4, 2023 at St. Olaf Catholic Church, 3220 Monroe Street, Eau Claire, WI 54703 with Father James Kurzynski officiating. Visitation will take place at the church on that day from 9:30 am until the time of service. Inurnment with military honors will take place at a later date in the Allouez Catholic Cemetery in Green Bay.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either the American Diabetes Association or the American Cancer Society.
The family would like to express their gratitude for the exceptional, compassionate care Dennis received from the medical staff on the 3rd and 5th floors of the Mayo Clinic Health System Hospital in Eau Claire.
Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com. Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.