Dennis Rohner Obituary (1950 – 2021) – Grand Rapids, MI
Dennis Kirk Rohner, 71 years old, died on October 27, 2021 at the Metro Heart Center, Grand Rapids, MI, where he was being treated for heart failure due to his 58-year battle with type 1 diabetes.
Denny (also known as Kirk) was born on October 10, 1950 in Greenfield, IA to Ivan and Phyllis Rohner. Kirk was the third child with an older sister Bette, an older brother Craig, and two younger brothers, Randy and Michael.
Kirk graduated from Bridgewater-Fontanelle High School in 1969. He began his professional career after school and on weekends as a grocer for Strom’s grocery store in Fontanelle. He attended the Devry Institute in Chicago but left after deciding it wasn’t what he wanted. He later worked for the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago before moving to Portage Michigan to be near Bette. He found a position at the Great Lakes Computer Center in Portage, MI, where he worked for 35 years as a support analyst and completed his career at National City Bank as a computer programmer.
Shortly before retirement, Kirk took advantage of his interest in music and started a small sideline called “Kirk’s Dancing Music”, where he provided music for wedding receptions or parties of all kinds and could choose from thousands of literary songs. He was happiest when he played and listened to music. He bought an organ with all the functions of a full band, signed up for lessons, and spent hours playing the organ.
Colorful lights always caught his attention and he loved tinkering with electrical switches to control the various light displays. He was his father’s senior assistant in organizing the Christmas lights. He followed his mother’s interest in always wanting to decorate inside and outside for all special holidays.
Kirk loved family gatherings, he made sure all games and activities were scheduled. He always brought a smile to people’s hearts, but he wasn’t afraid to give you his opinion, no matter what the topic. He was very much loved, had a heart of gold, and was generous to a certain extent. He will really be missing.
Kirk never married, spending 25 years with partner Bob Rohdy until his death in 2000 and the last eight years with close partner Steve Verburg, where they shared a house in Paw Paw, MI.
Kirk was preceded in death by his partner Bob Rhody, parents Ivan and Phyllis Rohner, and sister-in-law Jayne Rohner.
He is survived by his partner Steve VerBerg; Sister Bette (Rohner) Forsberg and her husband George; Brothers Craig, Randy (Janet), and Michael (Mary); all nieces and nephews; numerous aunts and uncles of the Edwards family; and a huge list of cousins.
To send a message of condolences to family members, sign up for Kirk’s online guest book, or share a favorite memory, please visit: www.MichiganCremation.com
The cremation will be Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, (616) 452-3006. entrusted
Published by Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care November 1-2, 2021.