Dennis James Catalano

Dennis James Catalano

June 03, 1955 - September 26, 2023

Dennis James Catalano

June 03, 1955 - September 26, 2023


Dennis James Catalano of Gold Canyon, AZ died Tuesday September 26th 2023 with his wife Cheryl and daughters Samantha and Megan by his side. Dennis was born in Akron, Ohio to Sam and Shirley (Jackson) Catalano joining his two brothers Steven and Gary with brother Robert born a couple of years later. The family moved to Connecticut when Dennis was 10 and lived there a few years before moving to Garden Grove, California. Dennis graduated from Santiago High School in Garden Grove the summer of 1973. He joined the US Army shortly after and proudly served his country until 1979 receiving an Honorable Discharge.

Dennis met the love of his life, Cheryl in 1982. They both worked for Thrifty Drug Stores in Southern California. After talking on the phone for a year, having never met in person, they met for the first time at a mutual friend’s birthday party. They started dating that night and were in-separable marrying in June 1984. Dennis and Cheryl were soul mates, best friends and enjoyed a wonderful 39 and half years of marriage. They were looking forward to and planning a grand trip for their 40th anniversary.

Samantha joined Dennis and Cheryl in 1986 followed by Megan in 1987. Dennis was a fantastic Husband, Dad, and Honey (Grandpa). He truly loved his girls with all his heart and was very proud of them. He taught the girls important life skills such as taking care of their cars (even though he always said “never let your gas tank get below a quarter of a tank, half a tank in the winter”, that gene somehow missed one of the girls), starting a fire with kindling and leaves (never lighter fluid), driving a stick shift especially on hills, mowing the lawn, grilling, his love of sports, camping and mostly family. He attended nearly all the girl’s school and sporting events. Samantha married Andrew in 2009. Dennis was lucky enough to not only have great in-laws; but, to have two Mother-in-Laws, his Mother-in-law (Doris affectionately known as Godzi), Father-in-Law and Mother-in-Law Murph and Annette Murphy.

Dennis loved collecting things. His many collections included Pressed Pennies, Wooden Banks, Kachina Dolls, Pewter Vikings, Totem Poles, Bugs Bunny and Crystal figurines for Cheryl. He and Cheryl loved to travel, they went on many trips with the girls and later just the two of them. They loved cruising, traveled to many countries including Italy and South America. They took a four-week road trip in 2016 traveling from ND to Texas visiting most states east as well as Niagara Falls, Canada. This trip allowed them to accomplish their goal of seeing all 50 states. He also loved reading, playing cards, cribbage games, and many other games. Although Dennis was very competitive, it was still fun playing with him.

Dennis was quite the jokester. He had such a straight face and could convince most people of just about anything, except Cheryl who learned very early on to tell when he was fibbing. It was fun to watch him in action. He was also known for wearing shorts all year, even with temperatures below 0. He had the largest heart and would go out of his way to help anyone; but, most importantly he loved his family unconditionally and with all his heart.

Dennis, Cheryl and girls lived in Southern California until 1992 moving to South Dakota not knowing anyone and renting a house sight unseen, what a change. After working 15 years for Thrifty Drug Stores, Dennis started his career over. At one point and for a short time, he was working for Spiegel, the US Census, The Black Hills Race Track and the Post office. Dennis eventually gave up the part time jobs working solely for the Post Office retiring in 2017 after 20 years fully enjoying his retirement.

Dennis and Cheryl made the difficult decision to leave their daughters, son-in-law, granddaughter and close friends moving to Arizona in 2021 for his health and to be closer to Cheryl’s parents. They found their dream home with beautiful mountain views and best of all a pool where Dennis spent as much time as possible. It turns out there are many pool games, Air Hockey, Farkle, Yahtzee, Basketball and of course Super Soakers.

Dennis leaves behind his soul mate and loving wife Cheryl, his daughters Samantha and Megan, son-in law Andrew, granddaughter Mackenzie, bonus grandkids Anthony (Dustie), Zach, his brother Gary (Diana), his in-laws Murph and Annette Murphy, many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. We miss him more than words can convey. He was preceded in death by his parents Sam and Shirley, his brother Steven and his mother-in-law Doris.

A Celebration of Life for Dennis will be held on Saturday June 15th 2024 at Lost Cabin Brewery 1401 West Omaha Rapid City SD 57701 12:30 – 4:00 PM.

Celebration of Life

  • Date & Time: June 15, 2024 (12:30 PM - 4:00 PM)
  • Venue: Lost Cabin Brewery
  • Location: 1401 W Omaha Rapid City, SD 57701 - (Get Directions)

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1 responses to Dennis James Catalano

  1. Cheryl and family,

    I’m sorry I will not be able to attend Dennis’ celebration as we fly to WI tomorrow. Please know you are in my thoughts and prays. Hugs to all.

    Sue Jorgensen
    Rapid City SD

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