Aug. 25, 2019

Dennis Elvem Braaten, 64, of Litchfield passed away at his home surrounded by family Sunday, Aug. 25, after battling pancreatic cancer with strength and courage more than a year. A gathering for family and friends will be 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at 4 B'z event center in Litchfield.

Dennis Elvern Braaten was born June 3, 1955, in Willmar, Minnesota. He was the son of Elvern and Blanche (Netland) Braaten. He was baptized and confirmed at West Norway Lake Church of Sunburg. He attended grade school in Sunburg and graduated from Kerkhoven High School in 1973. He was a great football player and wrestler at Kerkhoven High School and enjoyed sharing stories of his glory days. He attended North Dakota School of Science in Wahpeton, North Dakota, where he played football for one season.

Dennis was united in marriage to Mary Johnston in April 1975 at Hope Lutheran Church in Sunburg. The couple was blessed with three sons, Luke, Lane and Tyler. They resided in Sunburg where Dennis worked on the farm with his dad and brothers before moving to Litchfield in 1983. He was employed by Litchfield School District for many years.

In December 1998, Dennis was united in marriage to Patty Wendlandt. Dennis was employed by Schlauderaff Implement until cancer would not allow him to continue working. He enjoyed delivering farm equipment and loved that this allowed him to chat with all farmers he met about their crops as he traveled from farm to farm.

Dennis loved watching Minnesota Gopher football, wrestling, basketball, Vikings football and Twins baseball. He was so proud of his sons and grandchildren, and especially enjoyed watching them play sports as well. Dennis loved to tell stories, enjoyed spending time with his family and had a soft spot for animals, especially his faithful companion Olive, who was by his side until the end. Dennis had a way of making friends with any stranger. He could talk for hours to anyone and enjoyed making connections with anyone no matter where he was.

Dennis is survived by his sons and their spouses, Luke (Darcie) Braaten of Litchfield, Lane (Elizabeth) Braaten of Rockford and Tyler (Marja) Braaten of West Jordan, Utah; “bonus daughters", Melissa Sharapova of Ely, Iowa and Alicia Wendlandt of Minneapolis; grandchildren, Sydney, Grace, Stella, Brynnley, Clara, Josephine, Titus, Ruslan, Ulrik and Marina; siblings, Judy (Gene) Halverson, David (Suze) Braaten and Leon (Kim) Braaten, all of Sunburg, many nieces and nephews; and his beloved friend Patty Braaten of Litchfield.

Dennis was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Litchfield High School athletics or Litchfield Area Hospice.

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