Dennis Ray Griesse, August 20, 1944~June 6, 2016

Dennis Ray Griesse, 71, of Fayetteville, AR passed from this life on June 6, 2016. He was born in Cape Girardeau, MO on August 20, 1944 to Rev. Wilbert and Doris Griesse. During his childhood, the Griesse family moved to Little Rock, AR, then to Farmington, MO and finally to Fort Smith, AR in 1959. Dennis graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1966 and enlisted in the Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant. He served at Kessler AFB (Mississippi), Thule AFB (Greenland), Hamilton AFB (California) and Shaw AFB (South Carolina). Dennis left the military as a Captain and returned to the University of Arkansas, where he obtained his Juris Doctorate in 1974.

Dennis held various legal positions in private practice and with the state of Arkansas in the Workforce Services and Environmental Quality Divisions. After spending several years in Little Rock, Dennis settled in Fayetteville, AR in the early 90’s where he raised his children with his former spouse, Janet Titus. His children followed in his footsteps, attending the University of Arkansas, where his daughter Birch graduated and his son Evan is currently enrolled.

Dennis enjoyed his leisure time and had several hobbies. When Dennis left the military, he returned to Arkansas in a 1974 BMW 2002, which may have been the first BMW in the city of Fort Smith. Dennis spent countless hours working on his BMW. Dennis learned to play the guitar in the military and became a very proficient “picker”. Dennis amassed a small collection of guitars with his favorite being those made by C.F. Martin & Co. Dennis was also an avid reader, and this led naturally to his prowess at completing even the most difficult of crossword puzzles.

Dennis is survived by his daughter Birch of Austin, TX and his son Evan of Fayetteville, AR. He is also survived by his 8 siblings, Deborah, Kurt, David and Daniel residing in Arkansas, Sandra and Beverly residing in Texas, Martha residing in Tennessee, and Susan residing in Washington. He was preceded in death by his parents, W. E. and Doris Griesse, and two siblings Gerald and Larry.

Dennis’ body has been cremated, and the family appreciates condolences, but respectfully declines any flowers or donations. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.


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Condolences (4)

    Ron Griesse » 16. Jun, 2016

    Paul Griesse, Stephen Wagner, Phil Griesse, and I along with Dennis used to swim at Harmon Park and chase through the Rock Garden. Later joined by the next level of boys a few years younger. Dennis liked to mimic radio commercials with humor that we enjoyed hearing and laughing about.

    Margaret Griesse » 19. Jun, 2016

    Please accept the condolences of our family for the death of Dennis. The Griesse clan is so large, that we unfortunately could not get to know everyone well, but I remember the assortment of older cousins at family reunions which made for feeling of family and belonging. We pray for God’s blessings on the family as you celebrate the life of a dear family member and mourn his loss.

    Doyce Hill » 20. Jun, 2016

    Very sorry to learn that Dennis had passed away. I met Dennis during his time at the Department of Workforce Services (ESD). He was always very cordial and helpful. Prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.

    Jay Daves » 30. Oct, 2016

    I just learned this evening that Dennis has passed on.
    I am sorry to learn about that.
    I knew Dennis primarily from Fort Smith and I also knew his parents and siblings.
    I think I saw him a time or 2 while I was in Fayetteville.