David Russell Dennon

David Russell Dennon, age 75, of St. Louis, MO, passed away at St. Luke’s hospital on April 9. Preceded in death by his mother Patricia Mary (Walker) Dennon and his father Russell Earl Dennon, Dave is survived by his wife of 30 years Olga Dennon, his children Brian Dennon and Christine Dennon, bothers Michael Dennon (Rhonda) and Mark Dennon (Kathy), beloved Auntie Mary Ann Doeling, many nieces, nephew, cousins.

Dave was born in Fort Wayne, IN, where he spent his school years. He graduated from Bishop Luers High School and went on to Indiana University to receive a Bachelor degree in Education in 1971. A teaching job brought Dave to St. Louis, where he taught Spanish for eight years at Saint Louis University High School while completing his post-graduate studies at Saint Louis University to receive a Master’s degree in Applied Spanish Linguistics in 1976. In subsequent years, his career was in sales for a textbook division in Houghton Mifflin publishing company. He also pursued opportunities as an entrepreneur and a small business owner, working hard to overcome challenges and never discouraged by outcomes.

Dave and Olga met in 1991 when she came from Moscow to teach Russian at Saint Louis University High School on an exchange sister-school program. Their first date took them to the Missouri Botanical Garden, the place that would become very special for both of them. The following year, Dave visited Olga’s hometown in Russia at Christmas time. He would often recall their trip to St. Petersburg, with the overnight Red Arrow train arriving at the railway station early Christmas morning, snow falling outside, and Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” playing on the train radio. Dave and Olga married in July of 1993 at the Missouri Botanical Garden.   

Dave had a zest for life, his interests diverse and many.

Gardening was Dave’s passion. As a certified Master Gardener, Dave generously volunteered his time at the Kemper Center for Home Gardening, Missouri Botanical Garden, receiving a certificate and commemorative pin for 10 years of service. No task too big or too small, Dave landed his helping hand to tending to demonstration gardens. Throughout his life, Dave devoted time to growing orchids and prized heirloom tomatoes in his home garden. He passed his gardening passion to others, teaching them patience when caring for plants and generously sharing his gardening knowledge with family, friends and neighbors whenever asked.

While playing football in High School, Dave developed love for sports. He was ‘bleeding blue’ as a Blues fan, enjoyed Cardinals baseball games, and followed college basketball. A proud Billiken, Dave held season tickets for Saint Louis University men’s basketball for 20 years, rarely missing a home game.

Shared love for travel took Dave and Olga to many places at home and abroad. They especially enjoyed road trips, either two-up on a Harley in the Monument Valley or on Tail of the Dragon in the Smoky Mountains, or driving to the Southwest to take yet another ride on a steam locomotive.  But the majestic Rockies held a special place in Dave’s heart and Dave visited Estes Park many a time, hiking mountain trails and enjoying scenic Trail Ridge Road. He always wanted to go back no matter his age. With fishing as another favorite pastime, Dave frequented area trout parks and looked forward to annual trips to Florida for offshore fishing. He was an avid reader, loved classical music and enjoyed exploring new things.

A loving husband, devoted father, caring brother and loyal friend, Dave will always be remembered for his remarkable kindness, gentle spirit and optimism. No matter the circumstances, his Irish eyes were smiling. He will be dearly missed every minute of every day.

Services: Celebration of Life services in St. Louis, MO, and Fort Wayne, IN, will be held on dates yet to be determined. Family and close friends will be notified of plans.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Dave’s name can be made to Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org) or American Lung Association (www.lung.org)


  1. Joe Chatman on May 15, 2024 at 8:16 am

    What a wonderful tribute to Dave. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Olga and the entire family.

  2. Patti and Dave on May 15, 2024 at 6:06 pm

    Thank you for sharing this awesome tribute to Dave. He sure was a very talented and busy man. No mention of his accordion playing! Our thoughts and prayers continue for you and Dave.

  3. Bob Vonderhaar on May 16, 2024 at 3:06 pm

    Very nice obituary Olga i’am sure Dave is looking down and saying thank you Olga for all the good years we had together and we will be united again someday in Gods beautiful garden

  4. Darren Dunlap on May 24, 2024 at 9:43 am

    Such a great tribute to Dave. Olga, I enjoyed hearing your stories over the years of the many adventures you shared with Dave. I especially enjoyed the many times you shared the bounty of Dave’s (and your) gardening efforts. I never knew fried okra was even a thing! Sending you many thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

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