Dennis Lee Wolrab

Dennis Lee Wolrab

Dennis Lee Wolrab

Cedar Rapids

Dennis Lee Wolrab, 77, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, passed away on Dec. 29, 2022. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, at Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services in Cedar Rapids, starting with the rosary at 3:30 p.m. An additional visitation will take place from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church on Wednesday preceding Mass. A luncheon will be held after mass, followed by the burial with military honors at St. John’s Cemetery, Lisbon, Iowa.

Those unable to attend are invited to watch the service via livestream. Please find the livestream link on Dennis’ Tribute Wall and share your support and memories with his family at under obituaries.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Anita; son, Dennis John (D.J.) Wolrab; and grandchildren, Ellie, Bentley and Francesca Leefers-Wolrab, all of Cedar Rapids. Dennis is also survived by siblings, Doug (Susanne) Wolrab of Cedar Rapids, Karen (Joe) Smith, of Denver, Colo.; sisters-in-law, Joette (Doug) Orcutt, of Earlville, Iowa, Stephanie (Dave) Acton of Sun Prairie, Wis., and Debra Sells of Cedar Rapids; nieces and nephews, Kristy (Dan) Campbell, Michael (Amy) Sells, Jason (Breann) Sells, Stacy Sells, Jodi (Nick) Johnson, Drs. Benjamin (Rebecca) Acton, Todd Orcutt and Laura Orcutt; as well as several great-nieces and -nephews.

Dennis was born on Aug. 1, 1945, to John and Neta (Bova) Wolrab at Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids, and was united in marriage to Anita Sells on Feb. 23, 1974. He was a proud member of Ironworkers Local 89 for 55 years, serving 25 years on both the Executive Board and Examining Board, and nine years as a North Central District Council officer. Known by many as “The Legend” for his work ethic, leadership and service, Dennis was equally known for his kind, generous and compassionate nature – helping many financially, or by lending a helping hand or by mentoring up and coming Ironworkers. Dennis loved his breakfast and Veteran group buddies and looked forward to his Ironworker retirement luncheons and Cedar Rapids Kernels games. He was always out and about, checking in on his friends, getting his popcorn at Almost Famous and scouting the Czech Village antique stores for additions to his elephant collection. An avid Iowa Hawkeyes Wrestling fan, Dennis also loved the St. Louis Cardinals and his cabin at Ivanhoe.

Dennis graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1964, and attended the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. An outstanding athlete in all sports, Dennis was inducted into the Mount Vernon High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013. Dennis played baseball for five years (including varsity ball as an eighth grader) and four years each in basketball, football and track, lettering 16 times in all. He ran cross country for one year and was in M Club for four years. Dennis held many school records in track, including breaking the 440-meter record in 1962 which Bud Kudart had set in 1947. He also set conference individual and relay race records in 1962, holding them for approximately 30 years, and held nine school and individual relay records. He qualified for State in broad jump for three consecutive years, and placed in indoor and outdoor track events at the State meet, including winning the 440-meter and placing in the 220-meter and the half-mile. Dennis was named All-State in football, baseball and track, and was All-State honorable mention in basketball. Dennis’ high school teams won Eastern Iowa Hawkeye Conference titles in basketball and track (two years in a row). In baseball, Dennis pitched and played third base while batting over .300 his during his career. He was the point guard on the basketball team and left half-back and defensive back in football. In the early 1960s, Mount Vernon High School did not have the facilities they have today. Instead, they trained for track by running on the street and country gravel roads and played basketball at Cornell College to accommodate the team’s huge following. Not only an outstanding athlete, Dennis also sang in the choir for four years, was class treasurer during his junior year, and was selected as escort for the homecoming court.

Dennis was a proud United States Army Veteran, serving two tours in Vietnam, receiving the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Infantry Combat Badge as a Door Gunner. He was a member of American Legion Cyclops Post 109, Lisbon, VFW Post 788, Cedar Rapids, and a long-time member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

Preceding Dennis in death are his parents; step-father, Darrell Clark; grandson, Grayson Leefers-Wolrab; mother and father-in-law, Robert and Anita Sells; brothers-in-law, Bob, John and Gilbert Sells; niece, Jill Acton; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Memorials may be directed to the family.

Leave a Message