BOARDMAN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Dennis Richard Henneman died on Tuesday, August 9, 2022. 

His parents, Joyce Edward and Lorena Florence (Winters) Henneman of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, as well as his sisters, Delores (Willi) and Eleanor Joyce (Aspenwall), predeceased him.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary Lou (Koenig) Henneman and their children, David Charles Henneman, Joyce Ellen Henneman and Philip Thomas Henneman. His departure is mourned by Sandra LeVie Henneman; grandchildren, Noah Henneman, Chris LeVie and Monique (LeVie) Anderson; great-granddaughters, Natalie Anderson and Giana Anderson and many nieces and nephews including Mark and Craig Willi, Kathy (Willi) Gregersen, Jeff Aspenwall and Brent Aspenwall.

Dennis was born in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin where he began school and graduated from Chippewa Falls High School in 1958. He attended North Central College, an EUB school on scholarship and graduated with a double major in English and Speech/Theater.

His first teaching job was at Franklin Grove High School Illinois (1962-1963) teaching English and Speech and directed the Theater program and choir. He then taught English, Speech and directed plays and musicals at Joliet High School in Illinois (1963-1967). He then directed his first chancel drama play performed at a local church. 

He met his future wife, Mary Lou and they were married in the Ottawa Street Methodist Church on April 8, 1967.

In the following years Dennis taught theater in various states, Nebraska: Dana College in Blair (1967-1978); Pennsylvania: Gannon College in Erie (1978-1980); Ohio: Youngstown State University (1980-2011). He retired as full professor and received professor emeritus status. Two of his many major accomplishments included developing a chancel drama touring company at Dana College and getting the YSU theater program national accreditation.

Dennis received his MA degree in theater from the University of Minnesota in 1966 and his PhD in theater from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 1975. His dissertation was titled Chancel Drama and Ultimate Reality: An Application of Paul Tillich’s Theory of Aesthetics to the Functional Aspects of Chancel Drama Production. He was a member of many organizations, wrote articles for professional journals, and actively supported local theater including the Youngstown Playhouse, Hopewell Theater, the Rust Belt Theater Company, and both high school and university productions in the area.

The most important legacy of Dennis was his faith, love God, love neighbor. He believed in putting his faith into action as an active choir member, adult Sunday school as well as working on various committees in each United Methodist Church we joined in our moves. He became a lay speaker in the United Methodist Church and sharied the love of Christ in different churches. He followed the motto that you could get anything accomplished if you didn’t care if you received the credit. Dennis became a teacher because he wanted to bring out the best in his students and help them realize their full potential. All his students were important to him and became members of our family. 

“You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.” George Bernard Shaw

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 24, 2022 at the Boardman United Methodist Church with Pastor Jerry Krueger officiating. Friends may call from 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. prior to the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests material contributions take the form of donations to the Boardman United Methodist Church, 6809 Market Street, Boardman, OH 44512, to Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past, 4117 Oak Knoll Drive, Youngstown, OH 44512, or to Hospice of the Valley, 5190 Market Street, Boardman, OH 44512.

Arrangements are by the Davis-Becker Funeral Home in Boardman. Please visit to send condolences.

A television tribute will air Wednesday August 24, at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV.