In Memoriam – Dennis Frensko, father of Bennett ’02 and Caroline ’05

Dennis Frensko

Father of Bennett ’02 and Caroline ’05

Dennis passed away on Sunday, March 14, 2021.

Dennis was an independent free spirit who found pleasure in the present and extraordinary. He was very in tune with the seasons, did not see the point of hurrying most tasks, loved the details in quality craftsmanship, and gained great satisfaction from the process of fixing things.

He was an advocate for the environment; designing holiday decorations from spare parts, speaking up in local politics, and wearing clothes till they were worn-through. He was at heart a boy of the countryside and found great joy in stopping to admire flowers, cattle, sunsets, and storms. He had a fondness for stories and would rarely miss the opportunity to tell a joke and laugh.

Dennis was born on August 17, 1950, in Tyler, MN, to Cecil and Marie (Harrigan) Frensko. After graduating from Ivanhoe HS in 1968, he attended SCSU until he was drafted into the Army and stationed in Germany. Upon honorable discharge, he attended UMD where he could be close to the love of his life, Mary Jo (Frank).

After returning to Ivanhoe, they had two children, Bennett and Caroline. In 1988, they moved their young family to Sartell, MN, where Dennis enjoyed two of his favorite years being “Mr. Dad” to his children. He then pursued a career as a radiological technician and worked for 20 years at the St. Cloud Hospital. His diagnosis of multiple myeloma in 2009 changed his retirement dreams.

His great love outside of family was singing. He contributed to the choirs and did solo work at the St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ivanhoe, St. John Cantius Catholic Church in Wilno, and St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Sartell. He also sang in numerous local musical productions and concerts, including the Sartell Community Singers.

Dennis will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 44 years, Mary Jo, and their children, Bennett and Caroline, his mother Marie, his siblings, Rose, Thomas (Cindy), John, Kathleen (Scott), Margaret (George), Patricia, Greg (Julie), and Elizabeth (Steve); and many in-laws, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his father and his brother Robert.

A celebration of Dennis’ life will be held for family and friends at a later date.