Reyburn H. Dennis Jr. was born in Washington, D.C., in 1924 to Reyburn H. Dennis Sr. and Grace S. Dennis. He spent his high school years in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1942. He dated his future wife throughout their high school years and married in 1943.
The day after his graduation from High School, he enlisted in the United States Navy to begin his pilot training in Hutchinson, Kansas. Immediately after his pilot training and graduation he returned to Washington, D.C., and married his high school sweetheart, where they began their lives together for the next 67 years.
His military career spanned 28 years of service, placing him in several campaigns while flying combat missions off the deck of the USS Yorktown during WWII. His significant awards were two Naval Air Medals, a Navy Commendation Medal, and Presidential Unit Citation with Star, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the Navy Occupation medal and a National Defense Citation.
His more significant duty stations included the USS Yorktown CVS-10, CINCUSNAVEUR, SACLANT, the executive officer of the Naval Air Station in Memphis, TN, and the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CV-12.
He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Maryland and a Master Degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California while attending night school and serving in London, England. He retired at the rank of Commander.
Upon his naval retirement in 1970, his family moved to Guntersville, AL, where he taught NJROTC at Guntersville High School for 4 years. He was Principal of Carlisle Elementary School and retired from the Alabama school system after 10 years of service in 1980.
His mother was still living in Johnson City, TN, and he and his wife began their journey to Limestone, TN, to live out their retirement years. His wife passed in 2011.
He left behind his three sons (two in the Dallas, Texas, area and another in Limestone, TN), a grandson, and a great grandson, both of Jonesborough, TN.
Rey Dennis was a man beloved for his compassion, his strength of character, and his love of life and friends. His greatest comfort was in his faith and participation in the family that was developed at Jonesborough United Methodist Church.
The graveside committal service for Reyburn H. Dennis Jr. will be conducted at 2 PM Saturday, November 23, 2013, in the Morris-Baker South Chapel. Pastor Tammy Wright will officiate.
The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 PM Saturday prior to the service.
Memories and condolences may be sent to the Dennis family via www.morrisbaker.com.
Morris-Baker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2001 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, is serving the Dennis family. (423) 282-1521