A Celebration of Life for Dennis Dean Wanzer, age 66, of Enid, will be 2:00 pm, Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at Ladusau-Evans Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Jim Edmison officiating. Burial in Memorial Park Cemetery will follow, under the direction of Ladusau-Evans Funeral Home. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, March 30th from 6:00 - 7:00 pm.
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Dennis Dean Wanzer was born May 2, 1954, in Enid, Oklahoma, to Robert Eugene and Myrtle Wanzer, and passed away March 26, 2021, of unexpected complications resulting in heart failure. He was a graduate of Enid High School in 1972 and went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Oklahoma State University in 1976. He moved back to Enid and met his wife, Shella, in 1989 through a mutual friend who invited them both to dinner. The couple married on Oct. 5, 1991, and had their son, Kyle, in September 1992. Dennis coached Kyle’s childhood basketball and baseball teams for several years.
After graduating from OSU, he worked in administration for both NORCE (State School) and the DHS Area Office until retiring in 2013. Dennis decided to continue working after retirement at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and ended up at James Crabtree Correction Center as a case manager until his passing.
Dennis had a passion for sports, especially softball. He became affiliated with the Amateur Softball Association in 1977 as a youth coach and first registered as an ASA umpire in 1981. Since then, he has served as the Oklahoma State Deputy Umpire-in-Chief for 11 years, was selected to nine ASA National Championships and umpired countless Oklahoma ASA Championship tournaments. One of his proudest moments was when he and Kyle were both selected to umpire together for a national tournament in Oklahoma City in 2010. Dennis received several awards throughout his tenure, including being inducted into the National Indicator Fraternity (2000), named an Oklahoma ASA Hall of Fame Inductee - Umpire (2008) and received the Award of Excellence - Region 6 (2013).
Dennis was a Life Member of the OSU Alumni Association and loved all things OSU, especially attending sporting events. He’s known as the “Garage Sale and Auction King” and would proudly tell anyone he never paid sticker price. He was also a very active member of Enid’s Antique Car Club and an avid gardener. Everyone he knew enjoyed receiving the fruits and vegetables he grew!
Dennis was preceded in death by his father, Gene Wanzer; & his father-in-law, Damon Foster, whom he never had the privilege to meet. Dennis is survived by his wife of almost 30 years, Shella; his son, Kyle (Sarah Bildstein Wanzer); granddog, Bean; mother, Myrtle Wanzer; sister, Kathy Stevison (Don); brother, Bruce Wanzer (Linda); mother-in-law, Alice Foster; brother-in-law, Louis Foster; and aunts, uncles, nephews and many friends.
Memorials may be made to USA Softball of Oklahoma - Umpire Endowment with Ladusau-Evans serving as custodian of the funds. Condolences may be made and services viewed online at www.ladusauevans.com . The family asks those who would like to attend in person to please wear a mask and be respectful of others.