Dennis I. Withee, 78, of Hooksett (formerly of Manchester and Bedford) died peacefully Wednesday January 11, 2023, after a lengthy and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s. In the end, the disease took his body but could not defeat his mind.
Born September 27, 1944, he was the seventh child of Walter Withee & Velma (Light) Johnson. He grew up in Richmond, Maine and graduated from Gorham State College (Class of ’67).
After graduation, Dennis moved to Manchester, NH where he began teaching 7th & 8th grade science at the newly opened Southside Jr. High School. At Southside, Dennis met another first year teacher, Evelyn Manning. Dennis and Evelyn were married in August 1968, and enjoyed 54 love-filled years together.
While still a newlywed, Dennis was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969. He did his basic training at Fort Dix and his advanced infantry training at Fort Lewis. He spent the remainder of his service at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, AK, where he was promoted to Company Clerk. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1971 at the rank of Specialist 5.
Following his discharge, Dennis and Evelyn returned to Manchester to raise their young family. Dennis rejoined the staff at Southside for the 1971-72 school year and stayed until his retirement in 1996.
The Withee’s were committed to education and found great satisfaction in helping students find the joy of learning. Eventually, their passion for education lead Dennis & Evelyn to open The Teach & Learn Shop – a retail business that sold teaching aids and school supplies in Manchester for 30 years.
When he wasn’t teaching or running his business, Dennis was active in youth sports. He was a founding member of the Manchester Jr. Soccer League and spent several years coaching youth soccer teams. He loved all his players and proudly displayed his team pictures at his store.
While many knew his public persona, those closest to him knew how he could engage you with a smile and that his wit could be both sharp and hilarious. He was a master crossword puzzle solver, loved walking and swimming for exercise, and enjoyed playing cards and cribbage with family and friends. Whether or not he enjoyed playing Trivial Pursuit is an unanswered question.
Dennis is survived by his wife Evelyn; his sons DJ (and his wife Jessica) of Windham, Jim (and his wife Kristen) of Hooksett, and Mark of Wellington, FL; his grandchildren Hannah, Jack, Kyle, Aidan & Luke; his sister Elaine McGuire of Missouri; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, his grandson Adam Withee, and his six older siblings.
SERVICES: Calling hours will be Monday January 16th from 4 to 7 pm at Lambert Funeral Home, 1799 Elm St., Manchester. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday January 17th at 10am at St. Catherine Church, 207 Hemlock St., Manchester. A private committal will take place at the New Hampshire State Veteran’s Cemetery in Boscawen at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Massachusetts/New Hampshire chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association at https://www.alz.org/manh or the American Diabetes Association New England Chapter at https://diabetes.org/get-involved/community/local-offices/new-england