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October 7, 1960 - August 16, 2016
Burial Date: August 20, 2016
Funeral Home Hidden Valley Funeral Home of Kearney
Cemetery Glenridge Cemetery
- Visitation will be 6-7:30pm, Friday, August 19, 2016, at Hidden Valley Funeral Home, Kearney, MO.
- Visitation Saturday, 9:30-10:30am, Saturday, August 20, 2016, with funeral service to follow at 11am, at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Kearney, MO.
- Burial at Glenridge Cemetery, Liberty, MO.
Dennis J. Tonks, 55, of Kearney, MO, passed away Tuesday, August 16, 2016, at his home, surrounded by his family.
Dennis was born Oct. 7, 1960 in Driggs, ID, to Elmo and Verna Hansen Tonks. He grew up near the Tetons in Victor, ID and loved the outdoors, the mountains, cars, snowmobiling, and helping on friends’ farms.
He married Shirlene Miller Tonks on Dec. 27, 1985 in the Idaho Falls, ID LDS temple. They met at a dance in the fall semester of 1984 at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. They love that their start was a great friendship.
Dennis experienced job opportunities in several different areas through the years along with being a very involved father to four boys. They started their marriage in Provo, UT where Dennis finished his bachelor degree in Agronomy at Brigham Young University. He continued on to complete his masters and they had their first son, Jacob. Dennis embarked on more education, getting his PHD from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Co in Weed Science and adding another son, Derek. From there they moved to American Falls, ID while Dennis completed his Post Doc work with both University of Idaho extension and Sandoz, where they had their 3rd son, Cameron. They lived in Sterling, Co for a few years and Davenport, WA for 7 years working in an extension position with Washington State University. Their 4th child didn’t come for some time and then, surprise, a 4th son, Braden! Dennis’ later years were spent in Iowa and for the last 5 years he has enjoyed working for ISK Biosciences in Kearney, MO as a field development representative.
Dennis enjoyed camping, fishing, shooting, cars and just hanging out with his boys, all along teaching them many skills in his quiet, yet strong manner. He’s been their Hero by his example to them and his wife of diligence, perseverance, commitment and love that will be in their minds forever. He has been a lifelong member of the LDS church. He served an LDS mission to Houston Texas in 1980-1982. Dennis also served in many church positions as a teacher, leader and often involved with the youth. When he could, he was very involved in the scouting program with his boys, which shows by 3 of them earning their Eagle’s and one in progress. He fought his colon cancer battle like everything else; quietly, enduring much as he kept going at his job and continually providing for his family until just recently when his decline came quickly.
He was preceded in death by his father, Elmo Tonks of Sugar City, ID.
He is survived by his mother, Verna Hansen Tonks of American Falls, ID; his wife, Shirlene Miller Tonks; 4 boys: Jacob Tonks, currently of Kearney, MO; Derek Tonks of Kearney, MO; Cameron Tonks, currently serving a mission in Barcelona, Spain; Braden Tonks of Kearney, MO; 4 siblings: Jeanine Tonks Sagers (Brent) of American Falls, ID; Marie Tonks Hone (Robert) of San Diego, CA; Brian Tonks (Nancy) of Rigby, ID; Shauna Tonks Burke (Blaire) of Pocatello, ID; 34 nieces and nephews.
Viewing will be 6-7:30pm, Friday, August 19, 2016, at Hidden Valley Funeral Home, Kearney, MO. Viewing Saturday, 9:30-10:30am, August 20, 2016, with funeral service to follow at 11am, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Kearney, MO. Burial at Glenridge Cemetery, Liberty, MO.