August 18, 1941 – May 1, 2018
Born in Kingman, AZ
Resided in Lincoln, NE
Dennis Bert Claridge
Dennis Bert Claridge, 76, slipped away peacefully to heaven while surround by family on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, after a 3 ½ year battle with cancer. He was born on August 18, 1941 to Helen (Abelman) and Berlin Claridge in Kingman, AZ. When he was twelve, he and his mother moved to Robbinsdale, MN where she married Leroy Kottum, who became a wonderful father for Denny.
He was recruited to Nebraska by Bill Jennings for which he was forever thankful. He loved everything about Nebraska. While there he met the woman, who would become his wife, Rhoda Stevens. They married on February 8, 1964. He played football for the University of Nebraska, Green Bay Packers, and the Atlanta Falcons.
During the off season he attended the University of Nebraska College of Dentistry. After 3 years, he was asked by the Dean to make a choice between full time school and football. He chose dentistry and never looked back. He graduated in 1970. Received his master’s degree in Orthodontics from the University of Iowa in 1972 and returned to Lincoln to set up his practice. He also had satellite practices various times throughout his career in Nebraska City, Fairbury, and Bellville, KS. He loved dentistry as it allowed him to work with his hands and work with young people.
In the summer of 2000 he attended a dental mission trip to Honduras that grew his faith and changed his life. He made many more trips throughout the years serving as a faith mentor to many fellow travelers and a servant to the Honduran people. He also loved the great outdoors; hunting and especially fishing. He passed this love of nature onto his children and grandchildren. He loved God, his family, his church, and his friends. He got some things wrong, but he got a lot of things right: there was a little bit of saint in that old sinner.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Rhoda; children and families: Dave; Dan & Kim Claridge, Nick & Tara, Cody & Anna, and Bo; Denise & Kevin Meyer, Elsa and Owen; sister-in-law, Becky Stevens. He will be missed by all.
A Celebration of Life service: 10:30 a.m., Saturday (5-5-18) at Southwood Lutheran Church, 4301 Wilderness Hills Blvd., Lincoln, NE, 68516. Cremation/No visitation. Honorary Pallbearers are, Tom Fitchett, Roger Bruning, Harry Tolly, Con Keating, Norval Stewart, and Larry Buchmann.
Memorial contributions can be made to Southwood Lutheran Church or to Mourning Hope Grief Center, 4919 Baldwin Ave, Lincoln, NE 68504.
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