Dennis “Denny” R. Gilson

Dennis “Denny” R. Gilson

Dennis “Denny” R. Gilson


Dennis “Denny” R. Gilson, 76, of Independence, Iowa, passed away at the Buchanan County Health Center in Independence, on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.

Denny was born on June 2, 1946, in Independence, the son of Robert and Jane (Greenley) Gilson. In 1964, he graduated from Jefferson High School in Independence then went on to Iowa State University and Upper Iowa University, where he received a degree in accounting. After graduating, he enlisted in the U.S. Army on Aug. 22, 1969. He served proudly until his honorable discharge in 1972. He then returned to Independence, where he was a lifelong member of the VFW.

On Dec. 21, 1968, Denny married the love of his life, Catherine M. Connolly, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Independence. For years he and his cousin Don, helped their Uncle Vic with his Christmas Tree business in Wisconsin. Denny owned and operated Denny’s DX Station for several years until 1978, when he opened Denny’s Service and Repair on the east end of Independence. He went to work at the street department for the City of Independence in the early 1990s. Denny later retired from the city in the early 2000s, but never stopped working in his shop.

Denny loved everything about vehicles. He enjoyed attending car shows, driving in classic car cruises and long rides on his triumph motorcycles. Some of his best memories were of having “Just one more,” Old Mill and a little SnoShoe with friends and family in his shop, A.K.A. East Side Lounge.

Denny is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Cathy; his children, Dennis Jr. (Molly) Gilson, Ankeny, Iowa, Daniel (Tasha) Gilson, Independence, Iowa, and Darci (Shawnee) Gilson-Starz, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; his grandchildren, Jordan, Dustin, Myles, Kendall, Hannah, Jace and Jack; and a great-granddaughter, Brooklyn.

He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Gilson; his stepfather and mother, Roy and Jane Reidemann; his father and mother-in-law, Ray and Dorothy Connolly; a brother-in-law, Don Connolly; and many loved aunts, uncles and cousins.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 3, at the Reiff Family Center-Funeral Home & Crematory in Independence, Iowa. Burial with military honors will be held at St. John’s Cemetery, Independence. Visitation will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 2, with a parish vigil service at 5 p.m. at the funeral home.

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