August 3, 1952 - September 4, 2021
Dennis Dwane Earls, called simply “D”, or “Denny”, was a man who made a huge impact on the lives of his family and friends. He was a quiet man who lived simply, but richly. He took the troubles and pain that life gave him and turned them into miracles and lessons of hope. On September 4, 2021, during the still hours of early morning while surrounded by his devoted extraordinary wife of forty-four years, Louise, and his family at his bedside, Dennis quietly and simply succumbed to the ravages of brain cancer, the complications of Parkinson’s disease, Covid and a stroke. His battle with devastating illness span a period of twenty years, but Dennis never once complained, or said “why me?”. He only said, “So, what do we do next, Louise?” Louise was Dennis’ primary care-giver and his rock. She was his true love, his best friend, his champion, and the person he literally trusted with his life. Dennis’ greatest passion, besides his family, was music. He knew the lyrics to every Beatles song and every Steppenwolf song written and could sing them with incredible skill. While traveling in the car with family members, Dennis would sometimes start an impromptu sing-a-long as the radio played. He always sang the lead while the rest of the family joined in as backup singers. Dennis served as a radio disc jockey at one point in his life, giving him an opportunity to see up close and personal performances by some of the greatest rock groups of the sixties. He could play several musical instruments and had his own teenage rock group, “the D. E. Five”. Dennis later played in a sacred music group known as “Witness” and performed at numerous venues around the state. Dennis also had a passion for television in any form, most notably, old reruns of the Andy Griffith Show, Gunsmoke, the Rifleman and Adam 12. One did not disturb, or interrupt Dennis while these shows were airing. In fact, family members were often “shushed”, or given the "bad eye" which meant “quiet!” if Adam 12 was interrupted. Dennis was also known to complete phone calls with family members and business associates while watching his “shows” by absent- mindedly saying, “10-4, or “standby”, codes often used by police agencies. And, yes, Dennis knew all the secret police codes from personal experience. His career as a police officer, reaching the rank of Lieutenant, with the Frankfort Police Department spanned a period of nearly twenty-four years, ending with retirement in 2000. Dennis served the public and the police community another seven years with the Department of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond, Kentucky. He was forced to retire in 2007, due to rapidly declining health. Although retired, Dennis kept close contact with many of his brothers and sisters in blue. He loved the men and women of the Frankfort Police Department and respected them tremendously and feared for their safety as they performed their hazardous duty. Dennis will be remembered as well for this special relationship with “Alexa”, the home computer software program. Louise often programmed “Alexa” to remind Dennis to take his meds and, or to leave other instruction while she was away at work. Dennis primarily used the computer program to research music and other topics of interest. “Alexa” was his constant companion during the day. At the end of his conversations with his mechanized marvel, he would often say “thank you. Love you.” Although it was amusing to hear Dennis absentmindedly personify his computer in such a touching way, it was indicative as to how Dennis finished his phone calls with family and friends. He never hesitated to say “I love you. I mean it” before ending his call. Before Dennis was forced to stop driving because of his worsening health, he would often meet friends, or had a personal outing at Frisch’s for breakfast. His illness made him a creature of habit and he would ask for the same table in the same corner and order the same meal with every visit. If someone else was seated at Dennis’ favorite table he would wait until they left, even if the restaurant had twenty empty tables, or he would boldly say, “You are at my table”. What may have appeared to some as impertinence was simply a man trying to carry on as normally as possible while illness robbed him of his ability to step outside his routine rituals of life. The Frisch’s servers were wonderful! Many of them were so accustomed to Dennis’ visits, once he was seated at “his table”, the assigned server would automatically bring his meal and place it in front of him before he even got a menu! The first time Louise saw this practice, she was horrified until the servers all came to hug him goodbye as he left the restaurant. When other family members made a visit to Frisch’s, the staff never failed to ask about Dennis’ health, or to say how much they loved him and admired his courage. Dennis was born in Madison, Indiana on August 3, 1952 to the late Freddie Clarence Earls and Ardith Rae Burgess Earls of Carrollton, Kentucky. He is survived by his wife, Louise Morgan Earls, two sons, Jason Patrick Earls of Lebanon, Kentucky and Eric Christopher Earls of Frankfort, Kentucky, and a grandson, Kamden Patrick Earls, VeVay, Indiana. Dennis is also survived by one sister, Charlotte Rae Unker (Tommy) of Carrollton, Kentucky. He is survived by nephews Luke Unker (Allison), of Berea, Kentucky, and Eli Unker (Kylie) of Independence, Kentucky and James Morgan, of Shelbyville, Kentucky. Several nieces survive Dennis; Joy Nation (Kenneth) of Bagdad, Kentucky, Leslie Erin Roach (Adam) of Florence, Kentucky, Kellie Elizabeth Lovan, Frankfort, Kentucky and Dr. Maggie Mills (Dr. Matt Vogel) of Irvine, CA. In addition, Dennis is survived by several great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews. Of special note, Dennis is also survived by his brothers and sisters of the heart, his brothers-and-sisters in law; John and Willie Lile, Bryan and Phoebe Lovan and Evelyn Mills. These special people were devoted to Dennis and were among his greatest supporters during his twenty-year illness. He loved them dearly and counted them as his best friends. They never failed to be ever present in any need or circumstance. Although we grieve the loss of Dennis and recognize our lives will never be the same, we praise God for this gentle soul and thank Him for putting Dennis in our lives for forty-four years. His strength and courage in the most adverse of circumstances will forever serve as a reminder to live life to the fullest and to cherish family and friends. If Dennis were here I am sure he would leave this message, “Persevere. Never never give up! Life is worth living and it is good.” In his dying, Dennis taught others how to live. Special thanks are extended to the staff of Duke University Hospital, the University of Kentucky Hospital, the National Institute of Health at Bethesda, Bluegrass Care Navigators, and to the many friends who loved and shared their support and kindness. Special thanks are also extended to Russell and Donna Bell for their friendship and support as Dennis’ prayer partners. In respect for the victims of Covid 19 and out of an abundance of caution, private family services for Dennis will be conducted graveside September 11, 2021, Frankfort Cemetery. Those in attendance are asked to strictly adhere to Covid safety guidelines. Masks and social distancing will be expected. Chaplain S. Adam Standiford will officiate. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to send a memorial gift are invited to send contributions to the Shop with a Cop children’s program, in care of the Frankfort City Police Department. Arrangements are under the direction of Harrod Brothers Funeral Home & Crematory.
Dennis Dwane Earls, called simply “D”, or “Denny”, was a man who made a huge impact on the lives of his family and friends. He was a quiet man who lived simply, but richly. He took the troubles and pain that life gave... View Obituary & Service Information
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