William Anthony (Tony) Dennis
3/1/1950 – 8/23/1980
Tony was born and died in Middletown, Ohio to Elmo Ray Dennis and Betty (Ballinger) Dennis. He attended Middletown High School, graduating in 1968. Shortly after graduation, on July 9, 1968 he enlisted in the Army as an Infantryman. He attended Jump School, then Pathfinder school before being assigned to the 4th Infantry Division. Tony volunteered for Bde LRPS prior to being absorbed by Company K (Ranger), 75th Infantry (Airborne). Tony attained the rank of SP4 as a patrolling member earning his Combat Infantryman’s Badge and was honorably discharged June 1, 1971 at the completion of his enlistment. Tony and his second wife married only 1 month before his accidental drowning in the Mad River, near Springfield, OH on 8/23/1980 at the age of 30. His canoe came too close to an unobservable “low” dam and the current carried him over with the strong under-tow current preventing his escape. He was survived by his parents Elmo & Betty (Ballinger) Dennis and his wife Susan Jane (Held) who later went on to marry John Huthert. Susan died in 2018. Dennis was also survived by step-daughter Janie Logan, age 8, and step-son Jon Jeremiah Ward, age 3. Sadly, Jeremiah died tragically in 1997 at the age of 20. Many years later, Janie was to recall how kind and loving Tony was to her in their short time together. He was survived by 4 Half-siblings Robert A. Chippendale of Monroe, OH and half-sisters Janice Allen, Alice Wolf, and Marie Chippendale, all of Middletown. He is buried in the Miltonville Cemetery in Madison Township, OH.
Those who knew Tony remember his preference for the M-14 A1 over the M16. He willingly carried the extra weight considering it well worth the extra effort for it’s stopping power. They remember his absolute fearlessness on missions and his absolute ability to amuse and thoroughly entertain while on stand-down. Tony was a wild man amongst wild men. Rest in Peace Ranger.