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Dennis Duane Colbus
(November 23, 1940 - January 30, 2008)


Forest Lake, Munising, Michigan

Dennis Duane Colbus, age 67, of Dixon location, Forest Lake died Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at the Superior Health Haven in Munising, following a three year illness of mesothelioma.

He was born on November 23, 1940 in Munising to the late Leo and Evelyn (Morin) Colbus. Dennis went to Sacred Heart Catholic School and then graduated from Wm. G. Mather High School in 1958. Dennis joined the Air Force in 1959, and was very proud of his four years of service to his country. Dennis was a medic and was stationed mainly in Wiesbaden, Germany. He was the first to administer the polio vaccine in Wiesbaden. Dennis began his employment at the Munising Mill on October 4, 1967 as a Utility Helper in the Labor Pool. He posted into the Specialties Department in 1968 as a Utility Helper. On June 15, 1970, he was accepted into the Apprentice Trades Program in the Maintenance Department. In September of 1973, he completed his apprenticeship and was promoted to Millwright. On January 1, 1994, he was promoted to Team Coordinator in Maintenance, and on April 15, 1997, he was promoted to the position of Maintenance Planner, his job at retirement. Dennis retired in 1999 with thirty-two years of service at the Munising Mill.

On May 29, 1976 Dennis married Anita Haapala. He enjoyed gardening, woodworking, deer hunting, partridge hunting, fishing, looking for Lake Superior agates, playing cribbage, and accompanying Nita on her wildlife and nature photography hikes and drives on the back roads. Dennis and Nita’s favorite place was the Teton Mountain in Jackson, Wyoming. Dennis always placed his family first. He didn’t miss one of his boys’ basketball games or track or cross-country meets.

Dennis is survived by his wife of over thirty-one years – Anita Colbus of Forest Lake; sons - Patrick (Ellen) Colbus of Santa Rosa, and Duane (Rachel) Colbus of Holy Oak, IL; grandsons - David and Jacob Colbus; sister - Cleo Steinhoff; brothers-in-law Ken Cooper and Denis Hurst; and sister-in-law - Judy Colbus. He was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Evelyn; brother - Lee “Mopey” Colbus, sisters – Marilyn “Bubbles” Cooper and Anita “Bunny” Hurst; and brother-in-law George “Jug” Steinhoff.

On Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Chatham, the Alger County Veterans and American Legion Honor Guard will conduct military honors and Rev. Leslie Niemi will conduct committal prayers.

Submitted by Char Livermore




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