Thursday, March 24, 2022
12:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Van Strien Creston Chapel
1833 Plainfield Ave., N.E
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
A lite lunch will be served.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Samaritan's Purse relief for the Ukraine
PO Box 3000
Boone, NC 28607
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With faith as his guide, his family to love, and a deep appreciation for all things good, Dennis Trendt lived with integrity, kindness and consideration for others. Family was at the very heart of Dennis, and he led by way of example. Dennis possessed a hard work ethic and his loyalty and good hearted nature was to be admired. Giving of his time and talents, he never expected anything in return, and was beloved by those who knew him best. Dearly missed, gone but never to be forgotten are the wonderful memories he leaves behind.
Although conservative in nature, the decade of the 1950s sculpted the culture of America. Everything from music to movies, art and media to beloved comic strips and cartoons introduced households to a whole new way of life. With manufacturing and home construction on the rise, the economy boomed as the suburban dream was being realized. It was indeed a time of change as well as blessings, especially in the lives of Leslie and Norma (Sherd) Trendt when on November 9, 1951, they welcomed the birth of their little boy, Dennis Ray Trendt into their arms.
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, young Dennis spent his early years in the family home on Alpine Avenue NW before his family moved to the Rockford area. His father was a handyman, working in the construction field during the summer and as the manager of a ski lodge in the winter. His mother remained at home as a homemaker, raising Dennis and his siblings. The oldest of eventually five children, Dennis was two years old when his sister, Susan came along, followed by sisters and brother, Debra, Steven and Theresa. As kids they shared the usual sibling rivalry and Dennis even later admitted he was the proverbial bossy, older brother! Needless to say, they each remained close throughout the years for which Dennis was thankful.
Dennis’ parents sacrificed much for their family and it was hard to make ends meet at times. They experienced very few vacations and the times they did get away they mainly spent visiting their large, extended family in Wisconsin. Having a father who managed a ski lodge made for fun and memorable times snow skiing for free during the winter months. One year, Dennis truly desired his own set of skis and his father made sure Dennis’ wish was granted that very Christmas which meant so much to him.
Dennis held fond memories of growing up. He recalled going out for ice cream as a family which was a real treat at the time. He spent many childhood days swimming at the lake across the street from their home in Rockford, and he also enjoyed fishing and hunting during his youth. Dennis liked playing softball with neighborhood friends and was on a little league baseball team for a time. He always loved sports but couldn’t play as they only had one car in the family. They lived far enough out and with one car, it made it difficult to get to practices and games.
From his earliest years, Dennis was no stranger to hard work. He attended the local schools and during his senior year he began working at a local vegetable store and also helped run physical education classes at Pando. In addition, he also worked for his dad at the ski lodge that winter. Learning came easy for Dennis. Despite working hard, he skated through and went on to graduate from Rockford High School with the Class of 1969. Following high school, Dennis began working at a local factory. It was during this time, at the age of 19, when he met the young woman who would forever hold his heart for the remainder of his days, Bethel Detrick.
While Dennis’ family did not attend church, faith came to play an important role in Dennis’ young life. He’d often attend Northwest Gospel Hall with his cousin, Doug where he enjoyed crafts and other activities offered there. It was there where Dennis came to know Bethel. The two families were close, family friends and a formal introduction between Dennis and Bethel took place during a get-together on a very cold hayride at his cousin’s house. He saw Bethel once again at church singing in the choir one Sunday and knew Bethel was different from other girls he’d known. He wanted to get to know her, and eventually asked her on a date.
With the Vietnam War continuing to rage overseas, Dennis soon entered the U.S. Air Force, serving in Thailand. Dennis accepted Christ as his personal Savior merely one week before leaving for the service and just after meeting Bethel. Dennis and Bethel’s relationship continued to blossom during Dennis’ time in the service. They wrote numerous letters back and forth and also exchanged audio cassette tapes to correspond. Discharged at the war’s thankful end, Dennis was a proud Veteran and was honored to serve as a true patriot of his country.
Dennis and Bethel dated for just over three years, most of which was while he was away in the service. Their love truly began that fateful night on the hayride and grew into a deep, abiding love for one another. Dennis’ parents loved Bethel and shortly after he returned home from the service they were happily married on July 26, 1974, at Northwest Gospel Hall. They enjoyed a nice, big wedding before a congregation of family and friends. Dennis recalled being overwhelmed and fortunate as he smiled at his soon-to-be bride walking down the aisle to meet him at the altar. In fact, it was one of his fondest memories of his love for Bethel. Dennis and Bethel honeymooned for three weeks in Denver, Colorado, staying with Bethel’s grandparents while taking in the sights.
The newlyweds settled into a rented apartment in Grand Rapids their first year on Powers Avenue near Bethel’s parents. They then rented Dennis’ grandmother’s home on College Avenue for the next year before purchasing their first home on Fourth Street in Grand Rapids. Eventually, the couple made Angie Street NW their forever home and where they made lasting memories with their family. Together, Dennis and Bethel built a foundation of faith for their family to live by. Blessed with two children, Sandra and Matthew were the delight of Dennis’ life. Over the years countless memories were made and shared as a family which will continue to bring fond remembrance.
Following the service and after getting married, Dennis went on to further his education by attending Grand Rapids Junior College where he studied business. He excelled in his studies, made the Dean’s List and attained his Associates degree in business. In 1976, Dennis began working at a camp in the Upper Peninsula as the director of sports there. Dennis didn’t care much for accounting and as a natural people person, he loved the human resources end of business. For over 30 years he worked in business management.
Faith was a guiding force in Dennis’ life. When he came to know Christ in his earlier years, he knew his life was forever changed. Although for a time he backslid, he always held fast to his quiet, albeit strong faith. As an adult he began attending church regularly and came to be a longtime member of Northwest Gospel Hall. Dennis counted his faith as a very important part of his daily life, and Bethel stood by Dennis’ side throughout their life together as a devoted wife and helpmate. Even through the last years of his life, Dennis and Bethel together trusted in the promises of God who saw them through the most difficult times.
In many ways, Dennis Trendt defined the meaning of devoted husband, dedicated father, loyal friend and a man devout to his faith. Family was by far his greatest joy, and his children, grandchildren and siblings were always close to his heart. While he found enjoyment in many things, family always came first to Dennis. He lived with a grateful heart and lived by his convictions. With quiet strength, he was an encouraging and caring man, and his positive nature was always a welcome addition to any conversation. Always willing to help others, his thoughtful and considerate demeanor was one of the many things which drew others to his side. Having added much to the lives he leaves behind, Dennis will never be far from memories reach, and will be long remembered and fondly missed.
Dennis R. Trendt, age 70, of Walker, MI went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, on Sunday, March 20, 2022. His wife, Bethel of 48 years survives him as do their children, Sandra (Brian) Matiga and Matthew Trendt; his grandson, Brandon Matiga; siblings, Susan (Michael) Knauf, Debra Trendt, Steve (Barbara) Trendt, and Teresa (Tim) Poddig; several nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends. A funeral service to celebrate Dennis’ life will be held Thursday, March 24, 2022, 1:00 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI. Friends may visit with his family beginning at 12:00 PM while a lite lunch will be available. Interment will be in Rosedale Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to Samaritan's Purse for relief in the Ukraine. To read more of Dennis' life story, to leave a memory or condolence, please visit www.heritagelifestory.com.