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1934 Dennis 2023

Dennis (Denny) Putnam

March 3, 1934 — December 12, 2023


Dennis “Denny” Putnam

03/03/1934 – 12/12/2023


On December 12, 2023, Dennis (Denny) Putnam finished his earthly journey and passed to his heavenly home. He was born March 3, 1934, in Gunnison, Colo. Soon after, Denny and his folks moved to Phoenix, where a sister and brother were born. In ’44 they moved to Prescott, Ariz, where they were all baptized Catholic, and four years later the family moved to Grand Junction, Colo. Times were hard. In discerning a possible vocation, Denny attended seminary his senior year – as he put it, “it was an interesting year,” but priesthood was not for him.

After starting college, Denny enlisted in the Air Force in ’53, getting his wings in June of ’54, assigned to a special weapons transport squadron with a world-wide mission. At the Officers’ Club, New Years 1957, Denny met Lonnie. His three-day courtship soared into a 66-yr marriage, with three children over the next five years. Denny said his true loves were Lonnie, those three kids, and flying (Lonnie says his true love was flying, flying, flying!).

After leaving active duty, Denny attended Univ of Ariz while looking for a flying job. With none available, he was hired by the FAA as an air traffic controller in the Los Angeles Center. Western Airlines hit the jackpot & hired Denny, who gave them 100% over his 23-year career, flying the western United States, rising to the position of captain, even becoming involved in pilot contract negotiations. The family lived in the country in Parker, Colo, in the large home Denny designed and built himself.

Once the children were grown and gone, Lonnie & Denny returned to Denny’s childhood town, Prescott, Ariz. They enjoyed years of memorable travel. Especially close to his heart were their trips to Molokai, Hawaii, where Lonnie & Denny were especially blessed by a prayer group in Mauna Loa, and Denny made quite the trek down to Kalaupapa – the leper colony. Many trips were in their own plane, from Alaska to Mexico, and he volunteered flights with Lifeline Pilots and Angel Flight. Sadly, due to his own medical issues, Denny hung up his Western Airlines scarf and goggles in 1984, with a lifetime of almost 30,000 flight hours.

With that door closed, God opened a window, and Denny followed God’s call to ordination as a permanent deacon in 1993, and acquired a masters in Theology along the way. A couple years later, Denny and Lonnie settled in Montrose, Colo, where Denny deaconed at St. Mary Catholic Church and Our Lady of Fatima Mission … again, giving his 100%, assigned as Parish Director, including the responsibilities of building a new church. For Denny’s “dedication and service to the Church,” he was honored with a papal award by Pope Benedict in 2007. (Even the Pope thought our dad was a special guy!) After several attempts at retirement, Denny and Lonnie moved last year to Chandler, Ariz, enjoying the sunshine and being close to loving family.

Denny is survived by his wife, Lonnie; their three children, Greg (Candace), Suzanne/Suzy (David), and Sally; four grandchildren, Becca (Luz), Nevada, Bob, and Westen; and Denny’s brother, Doug Putnam (Sandra). We would be remiss in not adding his beloved numerous granddogs. Preceding him in death are Denny’s mother and father (Mildred Garber Putnam and C.J. “Putt” Putnam) and sister (Debra Putnam Nichols).

A funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary Catholic Church in Montrose, on December 22, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Crippin Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements.

Denny was a quiet, generous philanthropist. As such, we would encourage you to make contributions to Angel Flight at or Hospice of the Valley at in his memory. Crippin Funeral Home of Montrose is assisting Mr. Putnam’s family. (970)249-2121

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dennis (Denny) Putnam, please visit our flower store.


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