Dennis Dong

Dennis Dong – A beloved math teacher

The CHS Alumni Association was notified through a family member about the sudden passing of a beloved CHS math teacher, Dennis Dong so we are adding him here in hopes to give other alumni the opportunity to share their memories.

“Enjoy every day as if it is going to be the best day of your life.” ~ Dennis Dong

Dennis Dong was born on April 12, 1945, to Lena Jane Chin and Gerald Dong in Bremerton, Washington. His parents divorced when he was young and he lived with his father and grandmother in Seattle while growing up, while his mother moved to San Francisco to start a new life. His older sister, Diana lived with their mother and then their mom remarried and had a daughter named Karen Wong.

As a young man, he also worked as a busboy at a long-time Chinese restaurant called The Hong Kong Restaurant in Seattle.

Dennis attended and graduated from Seattle University in June 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education as well as from the University of Washington. His favorite subjects were English, science, and history. But why did he choose to become a math teacher? According to Dennis, “Because it always came easy. It is black and white; there is always an answer and many ways to get at that answer.” He was a dedicated teacher and believed that the greatest part of being a teacher is sharing his knowledge and contributing to the success of students.

He devoted over 30 years of his life as a math teacher/math department head (according to Melinda Goodleaf, Manager of Records & Archives, Seattle Schools) at Asa Mercer Middle School (1971/1972 to 1973/1974), Cleveland High School (1974/75 to 1986/87), Denny Middle School (1990/92 to 1993/94), Nathan Hale High School (1995/96 to 2001), and Ballard High School (2001 to 2007, retired in 2004 but subbed 2006/2007).

He loved seeing movies, concerts, and “getting some good eats.” According to an article from a Ballard High School newsletter, he was well-liked as he was full of enthusiasm, charm, and wit.

Dennis made such an impression on his students that former students would contact him after they completed his class. Even today, he has had a lasting impression on his former students.

He was beloved by his family and thousands of his former students. He leaves behind his two sisters, Diana (Les), Karen (Steve), a nephew, Theo, and niece, Natalie, as well as many cousins and friends.

********

Did you know Mr. Dong? Share your memories through the link below.
Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home & Cemetery
https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/seattle-wa/dennis-dong-10220721

Patricia Rosenkranz

Patricia (Sullivan) Rosenkranz

VANCOUVER — Patricia Leone (Sullivan) Rosenkranz, 90, passed away peacefully on April 4, 2021, in Vancouver, Washington. She had a home in Ocean Park, Washington prior to moving to Glenwood Place Senior Living Community in Vancouver in 2019.

Pat was born in Minot, North Dakota, on Feb. 12, 1931. She moved to Seattle with her family in 1941 and graduated from Cleveland High School in 1949. Pat married H. Craig Rosenkranz in 1952. They moved to Spokane with their two daughters, where Pat eventually obtained her teaching degree from Eastern Washington University. She was an inspirational art and social Studies teacher at Medical Lake Middle School for 22 years.

The Long Beach Peninsula was a special location for Pat and her family for over 60 years. She and Craig were among the first property owners in the Pacific Pines Development in Ocean Park. They spent many happy years with family and friends, vacationing and building a cabin on their property. They eventually built their retirement home and Pat continued to live there following Craig’s death in 1997.

Honored Dead
Honored Dead, by Patricia Rosenkranz

Art, travel, and writing poetry were just a few of Pat’s many interests. Her association with the Cleveland High School Alumni Association and her lifelong interest in history led her to write the book “Honored Dead,” a collection of biographies of Cleveland High School boys who died in World War II.

Twenty years ago, a friend introduced Pat to Don Armeni, a fellow Cleveland H.S. alum. Together, Pat and Don enjoyed traveling in Europe and throughout the United States. They were active in the communities of Ocean Park and Kalama, Wash., where they attended the United Methodist Church.

Pat is survived by daughters Nancy Biasi (Dennis) of Portland, Jane Rettig (Steve) of Spokane; grandchildren Simon and Christopher Biasi, Cara Rettig Lommen (Drew), Haley Rettig Dang (Maika), five great-grandchildren, and her loving companion, Don Armeni. She will join her mother and brother at Holyrood Cemetery in Seattle where a family graveside memorial will be held at a later date.

Source: Legacy.com


The primary function of the CHS Alumni Association is not to benefit CHS students, but to preserve the CHS Memorial Forest. No one has done a better job of that than Pat Rosenkranz, because she has inspired many to work on the problems associated with the forest by writing her book, Honored Dead. ~ John R. Barton ’54

Last year our webmaster put together a video for Memorial Day, with photos and excerpts from the book. There is also a page on this website dedicated to the Honored Dead. Unfortunately, the book is out of print, and so we are currently in discussions to preserve this book, by having it bound in hardcover and distributing it to her family, as well as a close friend, and the Seattle Public Library.

Please join us in honoring Pat’s life and her work by making a contribution to the CHS Alumni Association in her name. Donate here.

Edwina Nelson Gannis

Edwina Nelson Gannis

January 5, 1949, to November 21, 2020.

Edwina, 70, passed away the evening of November 21st, 2020, at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, with her husband and son by her side. The last years of her life were spent battling the effects of multiple heart failures. She was tremendously tough and courageous in dealing with her persisting health issues. The word “fighter” does not do her justice.

Edwina was born in Everett, Washington to Edwin Nelson, and Kathryn “Kay” Nelson. She graduated from the University of Washington, where she met her husband of nearly 50 years Michael Gannis, and would later receive a Masters’s degree in Sociology. Edwina met Michael at the Century Tavern, next to the university, and was engaged within a month and married on June 6th, 1971.

She became a high school teacher spending most of her career at Cleveland High School, in Seattle, where she taught Social Studies, History, and Journalism. She was devoted to helping her students reach their utmost potential.

Edwina was beloved by the Cleveland HS Community and loved them just as much.

Edwina was extremely kind and intelligent. She had a voracity for adventure, travel, food/wine and learning. Summers were spent with her family soaking in as many different cultures in as many different locations as she could. If she wasn’t with her family
on an adventure she could be found hosting parties for friends, at brunch with a Sunday newspaper finishing the NYT crossword, or playing golf. She always had something to do or somewhere to go.

A loving, caring, and thoughtful wife and mother, She leaves behind her husband Michael Gannis, her son Zachary, her sister Edalyn Wicklund, her nephew Brandon Wicklund, and niece Haley Saunders. Edwina left an indelible footprint wherever she stepped and will be sorely missed.

******

This message goes out to the Cleveland High School staff and students from about 1980 to 2010.

Edwina was a superb Social Studies teacher and a wonderful friend.

When I wanted to know about European History, she would know it… Edwina was a genius, she knew everything about everything. She never acted superior when she knew so much. It was easy to ask her questions; she never made me feel uncomfortable.

Edwina was funny, warm, generous, unique & kind. I have so many great memories of Edwina. She was a great person.

Faith Ann Beatt

Richard Lee Dyksterhuis

Richard Lee Dyksterhuis — a CHS teacher, passed away on June 10, 2020, at 93 years of age. He was born to Eddie Dyksterhuis and Pearl Wright Dyksterhuis in Denver, Colorado, on May 20, 1927. After graduating high school at age eighteen, Richard joined the Army in June 1945 and served overseas until October 1948.

On his return to the United States, he pursued degrees in higher education and served for many years as a teacher and administrator for the Seattle Public Schools. The schools he served include Monroe, Blaine, Ballard, Ingraham, Rainier Beach, West Seattle, Nathan Hale, Garfield, Cleveland, and Meany.

After retirement, he worked for over three decades as an activist promoting the completion of safe sidewalks for streets in North Seattle, including Linden Avenue North, the street of his home. As an advocate for pedestrian safety, he was featured in the 2010 documentary, “A Different Path.”

Richard is preceded in death by his parents; his brother Mort Dyksterhuis; his wife JoAnn Presler; and his longtime companion Cleta Hughes. He is remembered fondly by his many students, his dear friends, his fellow activists, and his loving family. He is survived by his children George (Gloria), Roger (Jamie), and Carol (Ken), five grandchildren, and two nieces.

“May you walk through forests of magnificent trees, listen to the songs of harmonious birds, hand in hand with your beloved Cleta. Your storytelling, your quest for justice, your thirst for knowledge, and your ability to build a kinship with a stranger while walking the sidewalks you had built, is a legacy that will live on. You spread kindness to all, and found joy in the little things.”

With all my love, your darling, proud, and blessed granddaughter.