In Memory of Denis Wanner

Rosary Service

9:30 am
Thursday November 5, 2020
St. Bridget Catholic Church
211 East Division St.
River Falls WI, 54022


10:00 am
Thursday November 5, 2020
St. Bridget Catholic Church
211 East Division St.
River Falls WI, 54022

Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 am
Thursday November 5, 2020
St. Bridget Catholic Church
211 East Division St.
River Falls WI, 54022

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Denis John Wanner, age 74 of River Falls, died unexpectedly on November 2, 2020.  He was born in Dickinson, North Dakota to Philip and Frances Wanner on October 29, 1946.  He was the fourth of nine children.  Denis met his wife Mary at the State School of Science in Wahpeton, ND.  They moved to River Falls in 1972 where they raised four daughters, Julie (Dion), Jodie (Joseph), Kelly (Eric), and Kathy (Mike), while working two jobs most of his life.  He was the most selfless man with an incredibly generous heart.  He always put others first and would give the shirt off his back if asked.  His life’s passion was spending time with his family.  He would be first to break out the playing cards and games with his cup of quarters and would always play to win, even at a game of Cooties.  When not working or enjoying his grandbabies, you would find him watching Fox News and playing the lottery.  He had a perfect record of never winning.

He had 11 grandchildren: Bailey (Tony), Joshua (Jozlyn), Cal, Jacob, Frances, Sadie, Harvey, Ellery, Sherman, Annie, Finley; and one great-granddaughter, Josey.  Denis was a very loud and vocal supporter of their athletic endeavors.  He was everyone’s biggest cheerleader!

Denis is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Mary; siblings, Peggy (Wayne), Philip (Debbie), Tim (Linda), Bill (Mary), Charlie (Vonnie), Jane (Craig), Kevin; sister-in-law, Margaret; many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.  He is preceded in death by his parents Philip and Frances; brother, Robert V; nephew, Brian; brother-in-law, Wayne; and brother-in-law, Charles Lee.  We will all miss him so much and he’ll remain forever in our hearts!

Mass of Christian Burial for Denis J. Wanner will be held at 11:00am on Thursday, November 5, 2020 at the St. Bridget Catholic Church, 211 E. Division Street in River Falls, with Rev. Fr. Jerry Harris officiating. A Rosary Service will begin at 9:30am at the church, followed by a visitation beginning at 10:00am. Services are in the care of the O’Connell-Benedict Funeral Home of River Falls, WI. 715-425-5644

Denis's Tribute Wall

Tributes (14):

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  • Thinking about you a lot lately and how much you would love your flowers. They finally bloomed!!! Miss you Dad.

  • While volunteering at the River Falls Area Hospital at the Supply room and at the front desk, I had very nice visits with Denis. His love of family and enjoying all the family events was very evident. Peace be with you all and may you smile when you think of all your happy memories; and knowing he is with the Lord in His eternal home.

  • Eternal Rest grant unto him O Lord, and let Perpetual Light shine upon him. And may his soul, and all the souls of the Faithful Departed, through the Mercy of God, Rest In Peace. Amen.
    (Step-son of William Wanner and son of Mary Wanner
    Bismarck, ND

  • Denis was my ND cousin, who came to CA with a carful of brothers, Aunt Frances and Uncle Phil. We made many fond memories that summer, before I started HS …. The beach, Knotts Berry Farm, BBQs, games of badminton, and lots of laughs. We were penpals for a few years after that. We both took Latin and would exchange Latin phrases we had both learned. We “bonded” that summer. I love you Denis. Much love to your beautiful family, and big hugs to Mary. Rest In Peace. Give Bob a big hug from me.

  • I will miss Denis so much! Such an awesome brother. He had the best laugh. Thoughts and prayers are with all the family.

  • My deepest sympathies to the family whom we loved dearly. Hard to find a more dedicated Father and Grandfather. He will be missed. Have known him for 60 years since he and I attended prep school at Assumption Abbey in Richardton, ND. Sang tenor together in choir of about 120 with enrollment of 180 boys. Sat together in many classes and study halls since both W’s. Our share of trouble. Then we came to RF in 1975 and found ourselves in the same town. Small world. Both even ended up at the hospital working. Don’t need to tell you about his adventures as you can imagine. He will be missed. In our thoughts and prayers. Regret that we will be unable to attend the funeral. All our love to Mary and the family.🙏🙏🙏

  • Denis is a fun brother who gave us many memories. I am wondering if he would blame all this on the Koffler Affiction. He probably is gathering his brother to find a fishing spot. May God be good to them and let them fish a while. Denis will be missed as he was one to make sure all his brothers & sisters and all the kids got together for fun times even if it meant he had to open his house & garage or talk one of his daughters to have the celebration at her house.

  • Hi Mary & Family,

    I’m just sure I saw Denis out walking the other day. I thought as we passed each other, that looks like Denis. I haven’t seen you Mary, like forever. I’m so sorry to hear of Denis passing, especially unexpectedly. Looks like your family has really grown since our days at RFAH. I’m praying 🙏 for you all.

    Love & miss you,

  • Denis was my across-the-street neighbor since I moved to Jefferson 27 years ago. We had many conversations while both getting our mail from the bank of boxes on his side of the street.
    I first met Denis when I was in middle school working at the River Falls Journal after school and on Saturdays.
    I am so very sad to hear of his passing. I so enjoyed talking with him.
    Prayers and healing for Mary, the girls, and all the family.