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Ankeny Funeral Home & Crematory

1510 West First Street, Ankeny, IA

OBITUARY

Dennis Joseph Walljasper

February 25, 1939August 9, 2019
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Dennis Joseph Walljasper of Ankeny died August 9, 2019, at Mercy Hospice in Johnston after a courageous battle with cancer. Born to Katherine Hauber and Robert C. Walljasper on February 25, 1939, he graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Iowa City in 1957, where he played on the 1956 and 1957 state championship basketball teams. He attended the University of Notre Dame on a basketball scholarship, earning an athletic letter. In 1961, he married his wife, Barbara Delaney.

After graduation, Dennis taught math and Spanish for 35 years—28 of them at Marshalltown High School. He also coached girls’ basketball and softball. In 1995, Dennis was inducted into the IHSAA Basketball Hall of Fame.

He fulfilled his retirement dream by building a log home on Sun Valley Lake, where he enjoyed fishing, golfing, and boating with his family. He’ll be remembered for his warm personality, sharp wit, and uncanny luck at the casino.

He is proceeded in death by his parents and brother Robert B. Walljasper. He is survived by his wife Barbara; siblings Dolores Moore, Stan (Marcia), Rita, and Terry (Ruth) Walljasper; sons Tim (Sandy), Gary (Cheri), Bill (Lori), and Phil (Kirsten) Walljasper; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 5-7:30 pm on Thursday, August 15, at Ankeny Funeral Home. A Vigil Service will be held at 7:30 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will at 10:30 am on Friday, August 16 at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Catholic Church in Ankeny. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to MercyOne Cancer Center Nurse Navigation Program or Mercy Hospice-Johnston.

  • DONATIONS

  • Mercy Hospice
  • MercyOne Cancer Center - Nurse Navigator Program

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, August 15, 2019
  • Vigil Service Thursday, August 15, 2019
  • Mass of Christian Burial Friday, August 16, 2019

Memories

Dennis Joseph Walljasper

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Marti (Costolo) Hendricks

August 20, 2019

God bless you through your sorrow. Remembering when Barb and Denny set up blind dates for Darlene and me, when they were at Notre Dame. My date was Nurmi Ingram... a very nice man. Other memories go back to St. Mary’s... a miracle really. How does a St. Mary’s Basketball team win a Class B State championship without having a school basketball court? Coaches! Teams! Standards! Denny carried those standards forward for future generations through his teaching and his coaching. Lucky world. Denny’s sister Rita was in my brother Jim’s class at St. Mary’s and Regina- another family role model. A blessed family.

Kelly O’Connell (Agnew)

August 17, 2019

Mr. Walljasper was one of my favorite teachers- he gave me a real appreciation for speaking the native language of the countries I would visit as an adult . I offer my prayers for him and his family.

Joe McCright

August 15, 2019

Señor Walljasper had a lot of guts. He took a busload of us to Mexico in 1974. We didn't always behave well but he always kept his cool.

Francis Lalor

August 15, 2019

Dennis and I grew up just a couple of blocks from each other, on Church Street, in Iowa City. On a number of occasions, as I would be passing his house, Dennis would yell out to me, and I would go up on his porch and we would walk to Saint Mary's School. I always appreciated Dennis' friendship. May he rest in peace with Almighty God, Mary, and all the saints forever.
Prayerfully,
Francis Richard Lalor
Ph.D.
Iowa City

Joe Klein

August 14, 2019

Good friend, married to another best friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.

Joe Klein

Sue Wolken Winter

August 14, 2019

To Barb ,Tim, Gary, Bill and Phil----
We wish to express our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to you and your loved ones also.
From former neighbors-----
Sue, Warren and Mark Wolken

Eugene Cassidy

August 14, 2019

Sorry to learn of Mr. W's death.
He was one of those memorable teachers who change a life.
My daughter Meredith (MHS '58) was in his Spanish classes.
A flame kindled blossomed into her Master's degree (UNI) in Spanish.

Ave atque vale (Latin).

Jeff Abbe

August 13, 2019

Sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Walljasper. He was a great teacher and true supporter of all Marshalltown students. He had an impact on my life as a future educator. Prayers to all the Walljasper family.

Jeff Abbe

Harry Schwartz

August 13, 2019

I still think often of Mr. Walljasper, my Spanish teacher. He had a great sense of humor and made learning enjoyable. My condolences to his family and friends and may he Rest In Peace and bring smiles and laughter to heaven.

Cathy Houlihan

August 13, 2019

Mr. Walljasper was my junior high Spanish teacher way back when and he was great - one of those teachers that made a big impression on me. I’d run into him periodically over the years and he always remembered me and my family. I’m very sorry for your loss.