Dennis Ray Lauterbach, Sr. was born January 9, 1946 in Sumner, Iowa and went to sleep in Jesus on May 24, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. He was the 4th child out of 7, 3 boys and 4 girls, born to Raymond Harrison and Ruby Darlene (Benter) Lauterbach. Ray was a crop duster pilot, by trade, and when the time was right, he taught his 3 sons to fly too. Darlene was a homemaker. The family moved to Amarillo, Texas for a while then to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1957. The school year of 1960 Ray and Darlene took their family and moved to Keene, Texas where Dennis finished academy and graduated from Southwestern Junior College in 1963.
In 1964 Dennis met Shirley Norman who would become the love of his life! They both worked at Conroe Blue Jean Factory in downtown Dallas, Texas. It was love at first sight and on April 15, 1965 Dennis and Shirley said “I Do” and became husband and wife. Since Dennis loved to fly, he worked at airports and together, he and Shirley did upholstery for airplane interiors on the side. In 1975 Dennis and Shirley decided to start their own company and Quality Aircraft was born. The company is still operating today, and many people knew Dennis as the “Red helicopter man”.
The couple decided to start their own family and on September 13, 1969, Denise was born. Three years later on October 7, 1972, Dennis Jr. completed their little family. Dennis Sr. was happiest when he was in the air, and just like his Dad did, he taught his son to fly as well.
Dennis Sr. loved the Lord and was convicted in that love. He was a permanent fixture all over the Keene Church on any given Sabbath. He loved talking about the Lord to anyone who would listen. He also loved making people happy, too, and frequently brought his homemade fudge to church to hand out. Thus another nickname he acquired was “The Fudge Man”. He was larger than life and will be greatly missed.
Dennis was preceded in death by his father, Ray Lauterbach on April 8, 1999, his brother and sister-in-law, Ross and Joyce Lauterbach on July 6, 2002, his mother, Darlene Lauterbach on May 25, 2011, and his sister, Judy McGee on December 9, 2018.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Shirley Lauterbach of Midlothian, Texas; daughter, Denise Solis (Johnny) of Alvarado, Texas; son, Dennis Lauterbach Jr. (Jaclyn) of Waxahachie, Texas; sister, Betty Jean Gonzales (Don) of Riverside, California; sister, Rita Lauterbach of Loveland, Colorado; sister, Susan Hopkins (Michael) of Lincoln, Nebraska; brother, Bob Lauterbach (Linda) of Burleson, Texas; and honorary daughter, Nadya Stotz (Robert) of Cleburne, Texas. Dennis’ grandchildren include: Jeffrey (Jennifer) Lively, Liana Lauterbach, Kaitlyn Lively, Lexie Lauterbach, Luke Lauterbach, Patience Solis, Ava Lauterbach, Sofiya Stotz and Mila Lauterbach. Dennis Sr. has numerous nieces and nephews and countless friends worldwide whom he deeply loved.
The funeral service will be held Sunday, June 2, 2019 at the Keene Seventh-day Adventist Church at 2:00 pm.
A private Family Interment will be on Monday, June 3, 2019.
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