Every man is a rich man as long as he has a friend.
I am richer than Rockefeller because Dennis Rantanen was my friend.
I’ve known Dennis since I was 4 years old and we did everything together, like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
I have so many fond memories, and this is just to mention a few:
…In the Winter we would shovel snow together, in the Fall rake leaves, and in the summer go door to door collecting old newspapers, cardboard, and rags for the salvage value to Mr. John Wards National Salvage, so we could buy school clothes.
…I always helped Dennis with his paper route but we never had an alarm clock so I would tie a rope to my ankle and hang it out the window and Dennis would pull on the rope to wake me up.
…We often snuck in Mrs. Pars’s garden to steal tomatoes.
…We washed pots and pans together at Grebe’s Bakery after school and weekends for 75 cents an hour.
…We camped, hiked and fished together. I think we were joined at the hip.
…With pride, the Rantanen’s and Steinke boys from south 62nd street, West Allis, proudly served in the US Navy. When the country called, all 6 of us joined voluntarily.
…Dennis was always there to help others. When my sister Chris’s basement got flooded from a severe rainstorm, he was the first to respond.
Dennis touched my life more than anyone could imagine, including myself.
I would also like to thank Judy for standing by Dennis through the good times and for caring for him when he became ill.
I will deeply miss my best friend, but the memories we have shared since we met in 1949 when we were 4 years old, will last forever.
Oh the great memories I am so happy to have!! Dennis was such a great guy. Loved listening to “good ole country music” and having cocktails. I can just hear that deep belly laugh he had. They sure dont make em like that anymore. Happy Skulking Dennis!!
Christine Steinke Usher
Dennis was always willing to help out. Dennis loading and shipping bird house to Hawaii.