Dennis R. Westerlin
Funeral Services for Dennis R. Westerlin will be conducted from the Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege, Nebraska on Monday, November 26, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Dr. W. Kirwin Stewart Jr. officiating. Interment will be in the Prairie Home Cemetery at Holdrege with military honors provided by the Martin-Horn American Legion Post #66 and the U.S. National Guard Military Honors Team.
Dennis Raymond Westerlin, 82 years of age of Tucson, Arizona (formerly of Holdrege), passed away on Sunday, November 18, 2012 at the Northwest Medical Center in Tucson. He was born August 16, 1930 in Overton, Nebraska, the youngest of two children born to John Julius and Nola Henrietta (Milhoan) Westerlin. He attended District 21 elementary school and graduated from Overton High School with the class of 1947 at the age of 16.
Dennis worked in construction. In 1950, he married Bernadean Madison and to this union two children were born: Debra Ann in 1951 and Dana Jack in 1954. In November 1950, he joined the Nebraska National Guard and went to work fulltime for the National Guard in 1951 as Unit Administrator.
On February 17, 1962, he was united in marriage to Phyllis Renee Ostgren. Dennis became a licensed fixed wing pilot in 1962. He graduated from Helicopter flight school in 1965 at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. He then flew for the Nebraska National Guard from 1965-1984. He worked for the National Guard until 1968, when he took up crop dusting and became operator/manager of the Holdrege Airport in 1969. He operated the airport for several years. After selling the airport operation, he was involved in farming and cattle business until 1976. He retired from the Nebraska National Guard as Chief Warrant Officer W4 in 1984 after 34 years of service.
He spent many years competing in rifle and pistol matches with the National Guard in Camp Perry, Ohio and Little Rock, Arkansas. He won the U.S. Army Distinguished Rifleman medal in 1958. In 1978, he began registered trap shooting and through the years he received many awards through both the military and civilian shooting programs and was inducted into the Arizona Trap Shooters Hall of Fame in 2004.
In 1977, he and Phyllis purchased their first motor home and enjoyed traveling and fishing in Mexico, Canada and Alaska. They moved to Tucson in November 1993 and continued to follow trap shoots in their RV until 2011.
Besides his parents, Dennis was preceded in death by his brother, Jack from Polio in 1949.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Phyllis; his daughter, Debra Westerlin of Seattle, Washington; son, Dana Westerlin and his wife, Wendy of Seattle; two brothers-in-law: Myrl Ostgren and his wife, Patty of LaCyne, Kansas, Jim Ostgren and his wife, Deanna of Holdrege; one sister-in-law, Sharon Carlson of Lincoln, Nebraska; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
There will be no visitation.
A memorial has been established in his memory and kindly suggested to the First Presbyterian Church of Holdrege, the Holdrege Gun Club, or to the donor’s choice.