Densel Dale Fankhauser of Tecumseh was born on March 14, 1926 to Jacob and Goldie (Moore) Fankhauser in DuBois, Nebraska, and was the only child.
He attended the DuBois elementary and high school and graduated in 1944. In 1943, at age 17 with permission from his parents and with full credits from his senior year in high school, he enlisted in the Navy V-12 Flight Training Program. He was sent to Peru State College where the training program was held at that time. After attending a full year the war was winding down and it was phased out. Densel was sent to the Great Lakes Training Base and from there was sent on a troop train which stopped at the North Platte Canteen on its way to San Diego. From San Diego he was sent to Pearl Harbor and served a short time on the air craft carrier, Siboney. He was chosen to work in the ComServPac office of the fleet headquarters and remained there until he was discharged on June 10, 1946. He processed the returning of former prisoners of war of the Japanese.
Densel was married to Irene Caroline Russell on June 30, 1946 in DuBois, Nebraska at the home of her grandmother, Caroline Koester.
In September of 1946 they moved to Lincoln where he enrolled in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Nebraska and graduated in midterm of 1949-50. After graduation they returned to DuBois and started a small drug store. In 1954 Densel was called to Colwell Drug in Pawnee City where he worked until 1957 when they moved to Tecumseh to work for the Nachtigall Drug Store. In 1969, they purchased Chief Drug and he worked there until they sold it in 1991. He continued to work there part time until July of 2015 when he retired completely, having spent 65 years in the profession of pharmacy.
He was a member of the St. Paul’s United Church of Christ (Maple Grove) for over 60 years and served as treasurer of the church board at various times. Densel was also the first president and co-founder, along with Rev. Fred Kruse, of the former Maple Grove nursing home. He served on the Nebraska Pharmacist’s Association board of directors and was a member of the National Association of Retail Druggists and attended many conventions. Densel was a past president of the Tecumseh Chamber of Commerce and was currently a member of the Tecumseh Architectural board. He was a member of both the VFW and American Legion and was often called upon to serve as an honor guard.
He was a member of the committee which constructed the new Veteran’s Memorial in Tecumseh. He assisted in the setting up of the Avenue of Flags on the courthouse square as long as he was able and was always willing to help when called upon. Densel was a regular with the Action Center morning coffee group.
Densel enjoyed the outdoors and spent much of his time in the yard and garden. He enjoyed making stained glass items and oil painting in earlier years. He loved to collect pharmacy and Rexall related memorabilia. He loved to travel and over the years took his family on vacations around the country.
In later years Densel and Irene traveled around the United States, Europe and the Middle East. He enjoyed escorting visiting VFW and Legion officers in his red Corvair convertible in the county fair parades. He was always concerned about the community and gave back in any way he could.
Densel loved his family and enjoyed being with them. Surviving him is his wife, Irene, three daughters, Charlotte Grof, Janet Stephenson, and Carolyn Coldwell (David), grandchildren, Scott Grof (Stacy), Susan Johnson (Chad), Sarah Jazbec (Nate), Caroline Marciano (Christopher), Cassandra Heath (Bryan). Great grandchildren, Tyler and Nathan Grof, Koko, Norah, Merritt, Holland and Jewel Johnson, Masheala and Kaiden Maynez and Tayah Kephart, Kathyrn and James Marciano, and Eva and Laura Heath. He had many cousins and extended family.
Preceding him in death were his parents, infant twin daughter, Cheryl Lynn, born at rest and son-in-law, James Stephenson.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, June 10, 2019 at the St. Paul’s United Church of Christ (Maple Grove) Church, rural Tecumseh, Nebraska with Pastor Eric Biehl officiating.
Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sunday, June 9, 2019 at the Wherry Mortuary in Tecumseh, Nebraska.
Memorials may go to the family’s choice.
Interment will be at 2:00 p.m. in the Friedens United Church of Christ Cemetery, rural Bern, Kansas, full military honors by the Navy Funeral Honors Team and the Tecumseh VFW Post #8221 and Legion Post #2.
Online condolences may be left @ www.wherrymortuary.com.
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