John Burton “Jack” Denny
November 26, 1922 ~ January 30, 2014
John “Jack” Denny, longtime Chelan, WA resident, passed away peacefully on January 30, 2014. John was preceded in death by his eldest daughter, Leslie Denny; and is survived by his wife of 64 years, Eloise; son, Paul (Valerie); son, Dale; and daughter, Teri Kaskes (Peter). John had seven grandkids: Matthew, Kirsten, William, Danica, Carson, Tanner and Estee. He had one great-grandchild, Eloise.
Born in Anchorage, Alaska Territory on November 26, 1922, Jack, his father, Burton and mother, Clara lived in Seward, where his father, Burt worked for the Alaska Railroad as an engineer. Clara was a school teacher and his grandmother, Edith, was ‘Ma Bell’ for the telephone company.
In the early 20’s, Jack’s family moved back to Washington, where his father took various jobs around the state, including work on the Cascade Tunnel, Rock Island Dam and the construction of Grand Coulee Dam. Jack finished grade school in Osborne and graduated from Grand Coulee High School in 1940.
The Japanese hit Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 and, like a lot of young men who rushed to ‘join up’ when the war started, Jack found himself in a holding pattern as the system got overloaded. He spent those months working in the Seattle shipyards. He was finally drafted the first week of February, 1943 and entered the Army.
Jack took his basic training at Camp Wolters, TX, later to be shipped by boat to the Hawaiian Islands to join up with the 27th Infantry Division. His regiment took Makin Island in the Gilberts, November of 1943, and then returned to Hawaii to train until hitting Saipan in June of 1944. He was wounded twice and sent back to Hawaii by plane, then Stateside. Private First Class Denny was Honorably Discharged on May 16, 1945, having been awarded a Purple Heart, Pacific Campaign Ribbons with two Bronze Stars and Marksman qualification.
In 1948, John met his future wife, Eloise Harrison, at a dance during the Apple Blossom Festival in Wenatchee. At the time, Eloise was working for the YMCA in Everett. John and Eloise were married two years later in 1950, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Spokane, WA.
John started his career working for the Bureau of Reclamation at Grand Coulee Dam. In late summer of 1963, the position of Control Room Operator required that he move his family to Flaming Gorge Dam in Utah. After one year, Jack again moved his family, this time to Page, AZ at Glen Canyon Dam on Lake Powell.
John realized his dream of returning home to the Northwest when positions with Douglas County PUD were created at Wells Dam. In 1967, John Denny relocated his family first to East Wenatchee and then to Chelan.
Jack retired in 1985 from Douglas County PUD and spent his time hunting fishing and traveling with his wife. However, one of their greatest pleasures was sitting out on the patio at the Chelan house in the evening, having a cool glass of lemonade or ice tea and waving to friends-or strangers-passing by on the golf course.