A Celebration of Life will be held for Dennis Robert Ellerbeck, 71, on Saturday, April 20 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the backroom of Kelly’s Bar, 26 North Wyoming Avenue, Guernsey.
On Tuesday, April 9 Dennis Robert Ellerbeck passed away peacefully at the Platte County Memorial Hospital in Wheatland.
Dennis was born on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 1948 in Council Bluffs, Iowa to his parents Elmer and Velma (Dick) Ellerbeck. Dennis was raised in Council Bluffs with his six siblings, although the family lost Elmer when Dennis was 3-years-old. This was very tragic for Dennis, he was a “daddy’s boy” and his sister said that he would run to the door every day and say “Daddy’s home!” He was the sixth of seven children. Sister Kathryn says, “Angel’s kisses to my little brother. When he was just a tadpole I rocked him to sleep many nights.” He graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1966 and attended college at Creighton University. Dennis met Ruth Martinez in the late 1980’s. They married on Aug. 26, 1993. Together they shared many miles, traveling across the United States and up into Canada. They took many trips to Jackpot, Nev. and to the Missouri Riverboat Casinos where Dennis was an exceptional gambler, winning big several times.
His pastimes included traveling and camping. On their trips together they enjoyed seeing beautiful mountains, wildlife, streams, and lakes. His favorite camping trips were to Brooks Lake in Dubois, where he and Ruth often met his sister, Karen, and her family for vacations. Many camping trips were spent around a log fire cooking, laughing and enjoying classic country and rock music on the truck radio. Sister Karen says, “We would go trout fishing and Dennis would land beauties while our bait would just get wet! The good times we had together will never be forgotten. I know his spirit will forever live in the pinnacles surrounding Brooks Lake. Oh, the memories are great to relive!”
Dennis always enjoyed a good game of cribbage, short gambling trips, playing cards, and visiting with his friends. He enjoyed watching football and basketball games, always cheering the loudest for Creighton. Throughout the years he remained very proud of his alma mater’s successes and followed their seasons faithfully.
Dennis genuinely enjoyed his job at the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad. Before graduating with a degree in Pharmacy, he decided to leave Creighton. Though he worked with his hands doing different kinds of jobs, he landed a position on a track gang for the Burlington Northern Railroad. His sisters were “so proud of him. He was such a hard worker.” After 30 plus years on the railroad, working track gangs, as a track inspector and finally as a Maintenance of Way Track Foreman, Dennis retired. He always felt lucky to have worked with so many good men who became and remained friends throughout his life.
Dennis was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Gordon Ellerbeck, Donald Ellerbeck, and Dr. Dwayne Ellerbeck; and his sister, Colleen.
Dennis is survived by his wife, Ruth Ellerbeck, of Hartville, Wyoming; his sisters, Karen (Dick) Heinen of Johnston, Iowa and Kathryn (Kerm) Link of Colville, Wash., and his nieces and nephews that he loved dearly. He is also survived by his stepchildren: Lori (Robert) Ibarra and Lisa (Cory) Bristow both of Guernsey, David (Michelle) Martinez of Wheatland, and Ronda Paustian of Oreana, Ill. and their families.
Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Kerm Link, Dick Heinen, Michael Long, Bruce Deuel, Walter Elmore II, Lee Hashman, Mark Flohr, Mick Vannelli and Matthew Mindieta.
Dennis’s ashes will be buried on Saturday, July 20 at the Hartville Cemetery near Hartville at 11 a.m.
The Gorman Funeral Homes –Platte Chapel of Wheatland, Wyoming is assisting the family with the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com