Dennis Lamont Brewer was a self-made man: a fixer and a doer who built two homes near Toledo for his family, a glittery blue go-cart for his three sons and a comfortably ordered country life for them all. He spotted Laverne (aka Cookie) Minton at Mel’s Drive In, asleep in the back seat of a friend’s ’55 Ford after a long day’s work, and in his recounting she woke up and noticed him. They fell in love instantly, and on November 25, 1961 they were married. Denny was the one who always brought fireworks to Fourth of July celebrations, coached Little League football, learned to drive a motor boat so the family could fish, and taught the boys to love hard work and always be honest. “Hand me that wrench” could be his epitaph.
Denny came of age in 1950s and held onto the pleasures and tempos of his youth. He restored his favorite car, a 1956 Thunderbird, listened to Elvis, and loved any movie starring Ginger Rogers. At Ford Motor Company, he was a shop steward, a millwright, and a troubleshooter during his thirty years there. After he retired, he and Laverne moved to The Villages, Florida, where he acquired a closetful of color-coordinated golf shirts and a close-knit group of friends.
Denny was soft spoken, fair, big hearted, and gracious. He had a sly sense of humor when he needed it most, when his body began to fail him. The lung cancer went undetected until February and then it took hold quickly and unsparingly. When he finally had to let go, he did so with the ultimate grace.
Dennis Lamont Brewer was born June 23, 1940 in Bryan, Ohio to Kenneth Wilbur Brewer and Maxine Sperbeck, the youngest of three. He died at home in The Villages on March 29, 2018 cared for and loved. What his family—four generations strong—will remember are the 28,383 days in between.
He was preceded in death by his youngest son, David Scott. Denny is survived by Laverne, whose happiness was his first and last concern; his sons, Denny and Tim,
who believe they can fix anything, and their wives, Suzanne and Susan, who he lovingly teased; the grandchildren, who he delighted in, Kayleigh, Shannon, Tom and Olivia, and the great-grandkids who were pure joy, Hannah, Killian and Rebecca; Gloria Roth, his sister, childhood playmate and fellow black cherry eater; Mary Toth, his half-sister, who was like a daughter; his half-brother and wife, Geoff and Connie, who were as dear friends; niece Kim and Perry Swy, who helped make Florida feel even more like home.
Family and friends will gather at Ottawa Hills Cemetery at 10 am on April 16, followed by a memorial service at Compelled Church, corner of Jackman and Temperance Road at 11 and lunch afterward.