Funeral services for Dr. Dennis B. Temple will be 2:00 p.m., Friday, May 21, 2021, at Home for Funerals Chapel at 708 Georgia Avenue. Pastor Greg Lawhorn will officiate. He will be buried with full military honors by the US Navy Honor Guard. Home for Funerals is in charge of arrangements.
Dennis Bradley Temple passed away in his sleep at home on Saturday, May 15, 2021.
Dennis was born to Oscar and Marion Temple on April 3, 1949 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He always loved the outdoors, and spent many happy days in the Pocono mountains hunting with his father and younger brother, Roger Temple. He enjoyed tinkering and at age 12, built a go-kart using a lawn mower engine, which his mother accidentally drove into the side of her new Buick. Dennis never met a dog he didn’t like and had a motley assortment of “man’s best friend” throughout his childhood. His entrance into academia began on a difficult note--by failing kindergarten--but twelve years later he was the first member of his family to graduate from high school.
He entered Penn State University in 1967, interested in pursuing a degree in forestry to make a career of his love for the woods. After spending the next summer counting trees for the Forest Service in Maine, he decided he’d seen as much of the woods as he liked and he’d rather study people. He completed his psychology degree in 1971 and two months later enlisted in the Navy. His four years in the service took him far from Pennsylvania. Dennis rose to the rank of LTJG on the USS Francis Marion while cruising along Panama’s coast and through the Caribbean seas.
After his tour of service, he enrolled in Columbia International University (Columbia, SC) as a young Christian to pursue a master’s degree in Bible and missions. His mechanical skills served him well when a fellow grad student, Miss Patty Cartwright, asked him for help repairing her yellow Datsun. She thanked him with dinner and he’s been fixing her cars and she’s been cooking his dinners ever since. They were married in Newtown Square, PA on October 28, 1978.
After living in Oxford, PA for one year, they moved to Portland, OR for Dennis to begin his doctoral studies in clinical psychology at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary. They enjoyed living in the Pacific Northwest for 8 years, and during this happy time Joanna, Melissa, and Julia were born to them. In 1987, Dennis completed his PhD and relocated the family to Maryland in order to open a private practice.
During their years in Maryland, Dennis and Patty moved several times, eventually settling near the Allegheny mountains. Three more children arrived: Stephen, Benjamin, and Erica, completing their family. Dennis shared his love of the great outdoors with his children: taking them hiking on the Appalachian trail, swimming in lakes, canoeing the Potomac River, planting trees, sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, and practicing archery in the backyard. They actively participated in the life and community of their church, with Dennis teaching Sunday school to middle and high school students.
In 2002 Dennis and Patty made the difficult decision to transplant their family to Norfolk, Nebraska, in order for him to take a job at Oasis Counselling International. Dennis’s family kept him busy with their various sports and extracurricular activities, but in his spare time he enjoyed long drives in the country under open skies, folk music and old radio shows, sci-fi films, reading westerns and US history books in his recliner, squirrel and bird watching from his kitchen window, taking film photographs with old cameras, teaching his children tennis, canoeing on the Niobrara, summer vacations visiting in-laws in West Texas, going target shooting, practicing his guitar, rooting for Penn State Football, sipping instant coffee and eating his favorite peanut butter cookies, pumpkin pie, and tomato and cheese sandwiches. Dennis was also an active member in his church in Norfolk and served as an elder for One Hope Fellowship. Eventually Dennis took a new position as a psychologist at the state prison in Tecumseh, NE; during these two years he continued to reside in Norfolk, travelling back each weekend to have time with Patty. When he retired in May 2019, he and Patty used their new found freedom to visit their widely-scattered children and new grandchild.
Though a man of many interests and hobbies, Dennis’s greatest affection was for the Lord and the furthering of the gospel. His life was marked by sacrifice for his family and the futures of his children. His legacy is his service to God, country, community, and those who called him dad, grandpa, husband, brother, and friend.
Dennis will be deeply missed by Patricia, his wife of forty-two years who never failed to laugh at his corny jokes; his daughter Joanna who followed him into a career in psychology and a love of dogs, son-in-law Matt and granddaughter Addie; his daughter Melissa who continued her father’s legacy of pranking and also attended seminary to study theology; his daughter Julia who shares her father’s love for the outdoors and joined him in birdwatching and son-in-law Greg; his son Stephen who shares his father’s contemplative thinking and love of old time radio; his son Benjamin who inherited his generosity and funny sense of humor; and daughter Erica, who is another curly-haired avid reader. He will also be missed by his brother, Roger (Theresa) and nieces Vickie and Laura of Lincoln College, PA; brother-in-law Jon Cartwright of Eldorado, TX; sister-in-law Janet Cartwright (Ray Choudhry) of Moline, IL, niece Susan Choudhry of Madison, WI and nephew Jeff Choudhry of Alexandria, VA, and dear family friends who were like children to him (April, Chuck, Ben P., and Michael).
Dennis was preceded in death by his father and mother and canine companions Brownie and Smokey.
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