Dennis M. Day
Dennis M. Day, age 72, died peacefully on Monday at home after being diagnosed with lung cancer in November.
Mr. Day is survived by his loving wife Jean (Curran) of 46 years, and his children: Jennifer (Daryn) Lowman Day and Patrick (Anne) Day. His joy in life, at his passing, was his grandchildren: Lucy, James, and Maureen. Dennis also leaves behind his brother David (Debbie), and nieces and nephews: Colleen (Trip) James, Erin (Matt) Chan, and Kevin (Meghan) Day; Anna and Aiden Boyes; Lucas and Theo Curran; and Michael and Michelle Day. He was preceded in death by his older brother, Don. Many thanks go to everyone who supported him in his time with cancer and hospice, and throughout his life.
Dennis was a dedicated and loyal husband, father, provider, colleague, and grandfather. He believed in a code of honor—and fondly recalled the Scout Law, which he recited in a chipper tone on many occasions: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
He was a devoted member of the Little Company of Mary Hospital community for 36 years, most recently as vice president of support services, where he found joy in its mission, his coworkers, and the Little Company of Mary sisters.
He was a member of the Fire and Police Commission for the Village of Evergreen Park (1987-2019), a Little Company of Mary Associate since 2000, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce for many years.
Born in Brentwood, Mo., to Ruth (Draffen) and Donald Day, he moved often, and throughout that time, he cherished memories of getting into trouble with his brother Don on the family farm in Wyoming, Ill. A proud graduate of Spalding Institute, in Peoria, Dennis majored in political science—a lifelong passion—at Western Illinois University, where he treasured memories of hijinks with his dear friends. He studied hospital administration at Washington University in St. Louis before joining Little Company of Mary in 1975.
His sense of honor and responsibility extended throughout his life, including his military service in the Vietnam War, where he served in the Army Corps of Engineers.
Working in the Illinois State Library after returning from the war, he met his beloved wife, Jean. Together, they embarked on a life of practical adventure and mutual amusement that began with camping around Lake Michigan on their honeymoon. Their journey concluded with steadfast partnership, admiration, and love, as Jean became his unwavering caretaker during his final months.
His work ethic, kind heart, ready laugh, wry humor and his glee in practical jokes was enjoyed by those around him his entire life. His attention to detail was legendary, as was his sense of humor. For the rest of their lives, his family will invoke his memory with the refrain: What would Dennis do?
He retired after a lifetime of work to enjoy life with his family. During this time, he showered his grandchildren with love and attention, and reliably played all their favorite games, taking delight in their discoveries at every age. He gamely pursued new passions with Jean, as a volunteer usher at concert and theater performances, taking classes at Trinity Christian College and the Renaissance Academy at St. Xavier University, and traveling. During the last months of his life, he was appreciative of the fine care he received from the Little Company of Mary Hospice staff.
Visitation will be held Thursday, 3-9 p.m., at Thompson-Kuenster Funeral Home, 5570 W. 95th Street, Oak Lawn. Funeral services are Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Bernadette Catholic Church, 9343 S. Francisco Ave., Evergreen Park.
Memorial gifts in his honor can be directed to Little Company of Mary Hospice, 9800 Southwest Highway, Oak Lawn, IL 60453