Dennis Edward Rawley, 75, of Tonasket died January 28, 2016 at his home in Tonasket. He was born September 24, 1940 in Sacramento, California, the oldest of seven children born to parents John and Gladys Rawley.
Denny moved with the family to Nespelem when he was five, before finally moving to Tonasket where his father bought a small farm where they raised a few cows, pigs, chickens and a small apple orchard. In 1957 he married Ann Marcy and began working for the North Central Washington Telephone Exchange at the age of 17, earning just $1.00 an hour. The following year they moved to Republic and a daughter, Sandy, was born in August 1959. They divorced in 1960. Denny served the Republic community in a variety of roles including Justice of the Peace, Coroner, Assistant Police Chief as well as delivering the Sunday Spokesman Review.
Denny met Rose Taylor of Republic and they were married in the spring of 1961. Three sons were born before they moved to Tonasket in 1967.
Denny loved the outdoors where he enjoyed camping, fishing trips to Canada, the Methow Valley and the San Juan Islands. He enjoyed hunting deer and grouse, but his real love was elk hunting. In 1964, along with his best friend Tom Hull, he established an elk hunting camp in the Naneum Ridge area affectionately known as Whisky Corner, aptly named by other hunters due to the amount of empty whisky bottles on display. Denny’s sons and several of his grandchildren continue to hunt from this camp to this day. Denny enjoyed a lifelong passion for bowling and watching boxing on TV. He thoroughly enjoyed gardening, caring for his lawn and was an avid wood-cutter. He not only cut wood for his own home, but for many others in the area. Denny was well known for raising a vegetable garden of which he prided himself in quality tomatoes, having as many as 200 tomato plants.
In 1985, he retired from CONTEL Telephone Company where he had served as a lineman, installer-repairer and central office foreman. Even after retirement he would receive calls at home from people in the valley in need of telephone repair.
In 1986, he started his own business, DenRose Produce, initially raising plants to sell and after two years transitioned to general yard care where he cared for customer’s lawns, rototilling, weed control, insect control, fertilizing and watering.
Denny sold his interest in DenRose Enterprises and retired permanently in 2006. He continued to pursue outdoor interests and served as the President of the Bonaparte Snowmobile/ATV Club for over 20 years.
Memberships: Tonasket Eagles Aerie #3002 President and was the District Deputy for all the Eagles clubs in Okanogan County, Treasurer; Bonaparte Snowmobile/ATV Club President, NRA, U.S. Armed Forces Legacy, Tonasket, Sons of the American Legion.
He is survived by his wife Rose M. Rawley; daughter Sandy and Don Stanley of East Wenatchee; sons, John E. and Christina Rawley of Tonasket, William F. and Shelly Rawley of Spokane Valley, James L. Rawley of Renton and daughter-in-law Doris Rawley of Tonasket; his half-brother Wayne Rawley of Riverside, brother Dale Rawley of Oroville, sisters Judy and Roger Paine of Spokane, Susan and Ellson Miller of East Wenatchee, Brenda and Randy Riggan of Forks and Wendy and Val Bitton of Connell; 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Denny was preceded in death by his parents, John and Gladys Rawley of Tonasket, half-brother Stanley of Grand Coulee, brother Jack of Tonasket and granddaughter Rachael of Tonasket.
Thank you to Dr. Stuhlmiller and Nurse Benie of North Valley Family Medicine, Nurse Stacy and the staff of Frontier Hospice and a very special thank you to Dr. Jim Helleson for his many years of care for Denny.
A celebration of his life will be held at the Tonasket Eagles, on February 6, 2016 at 11 a.m. The public is welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Frontier Hospice of Omak located at 800 Jasmine Street, Suite 2, Omak, WA. 98841, www.frontierhhh.com/omak.