On Monday, May 10, 2021, Dennis Lynn Elhard, slipped quietly into God’s arms while surrounded by his loving family.
Dennis was born near Jud in 1940 to parents William and Minnie (Podoll) Elhard. Growing up, he loved working on the family farm and playing sports at school. He graduated from Jud High School in 1958, and despite earning a basketball scholarship, Dennis decided to delay his college education in order to serve his country with the United States Air Force.
While stationed in England, Dennis met his future wife, Marie. The two were married in 1962 at the High Wycombe Air Force base. The couple later moved to North Dakota, where Dennis completed the final months of his service at the Minot Air Force base. Dennis and Marie ultimately made their permanent home in Bismarck, where they raised five children.
Upon moving to Bismarck, Dennis began a career in the computer information systems field with the North Dakota State Highway Department. During those early years, he also attended night school at Bismarck Junior College (BJC), and continued serving his country as a member of the North Dakota National Guard. Dennis attended and completed every single course offered by BJC, ultimately graduating with an Associates’ degree.
Dennis also worked within the Information Technology (IT) departments of Honeywell and Montana Dakota Utilities (MDU), but he ultimately returned to the Highway Department, where he eventually retired from his position as IT Manager. In 1986, while still working full-time, Dennis completed his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science/IT Systems at Mary College (currently the University of Mary).
Dennis loved sports, playing softball, basketball, tennis and golf throughout his life. But his real passion later became darts, which he was able to play with his wife, Marie. They attended a weekly league together and played in hundreds of tournaments throughout the years. Dennis racked up innumerable wins at local, state, and even national tournaments. He also medaled in this sport at the Prairie Rose Games. At home, Dennis hung a dart board in a beautiful cabinet next to the kitchen counter, which allowed for nightly dart games with Marie.
Dennis was the rock of his family and he will be greatly missed by those who survive him: wife, Marie; children, Bill (Lori) Elhard, Bismarck, Denise (Darin) Heinemeyer, Minneapolis, Jackie Elhard, West Fargo, and John (Olesya) Elhard, Minneapolis; brother, Oral Elhard, Punta Gorda, Fla; and grandchildren, Anna and Brett Johnson, Nathan and Rebecca Rohrer, Harlie Heinemeyer, William Elhard, and soon-to-be-born, child of John and Olesya Elhard.
Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, William and Minnie; sisters, Kathleen, Liane and June; and his beloved daughter Louise Johnson.
A funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Friday, May 14, at the United Methodist Church, Jud.
Burial with military honors will follow at the United Church of Christ Cemetery, Jud.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Wounded Warrior Project.