Beloved son, husband and father Denis Ray Dahl passed away April 2, 2022. Deny was born in 1950 in Moscow to Harold Raymond and Barbara (Russell) Dahl. He joined sisters Pauly and Patty. A farming family, the Dahls moved to LaCrosse, Wa., in 1956. There, Deny drove grain trucks by age 12, raised steers for 4-H, kept company with his dog, Wolfie, and made happy family memories with his parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, his grandmother and the Harold Snow family.
The family returned to Moscow in 1964 and Deny graduated from Moscow High School in 1968. He attended the University of Idaho and a Phoenix, Arizona-based program for race car technicians. As any good student, Deny applied his knowledge by drag racing through Phoenix with friends and running hot laps on the city’s historic raceways.
The shiny blue pedal car he received for Christmas in 1952 was the first car Deny loved, but not the last. He grew up making models, collecting sales brochures and advertisements and, together with his dad, learned how to repair cars. He prized his 1957 Chevy and was notorious for his 1969 Camaro Z-28. He was proud of the 1927 Buick he meticulously restored with his dad and son Michael.
Deny’s career as service manager for Moscow’s Toyota and Nissan dealerships, sales manager for Neill Motors in Pullman and owner of Deny’s Conoco, a service station on Third Street, led to the opening of Deny’s Auto Service in 1978.
Later joined by lead technician and friend Wayne Collins, Deny operated the Shop for almost 40 years. He treasured his customers and took seriously his responsibility to provide service delivered with honesty and integrity.
He met his wife Dayle during the Christmas season in 1981. They married in 1985 and later welcomed twin daughters, Kymberly and Kirsten. The girls joined a “yours, mine and ours” family of eight kids. Deny was a wonderful and supportive stepdad, like teaching Craig to drive, introducing Nikki to Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves…and candied burnt peanuts (don't eat them - they “will grow hair on your chest”); and showing Toni how to unstick the gears in her first, and finicky, car. As they became adults, Deny supported/rescued with car repairs, assisting with home projects and yard care and occasionally helping out with clogged sinks or drains.
His pride in the accomplishments of his daughters, Kym and Kirsten, was unquestionable. The girls were his bright spot. He enjoyed their Disney and princess-obsessed early years tremendously and admired their adulthood achievements and character. He and Kirsten were fans of Gonzaga basketball, black coffee and Val Kilmer’s performance in “Tombstone.” Kym and her dad appreciated classic movies, picking (and eating) raspberries, and being generally fastidious about everything.
Deny and Dayle shared a love of dancing and music. Many stories of their early years centered around dancing to country and pop hits of the day, and Everly Brothers songs, at the Capricorn or the Scoreboard lounge at the University Inn. His ability to cut a rug never faltered. He and Dayle competed nightly over who could answer the most questions on Jeopardy. Deny's trivia skills were well honed.
Deny enjoyed the fun of a gambling town and he and Dayle had memorable vacations to Jackpot, Reno and Las Vegas, NV. His favorite travels were to Hawaii, Glacier National Park and, always, Lake Chatcolet where he spent summers since childhood and created many memories boating, water skiing and singing oldies around the campfire with family.
Deny loved helping his family find solutions for problems large and small, caring for the gardens and property at his beautiful Moscow home, and cheering on the Gonzaga men’s basketball team. His stories, distinctive laughter and generous heart will be greatly missed. In his memory, enjoy something beautiful about Latah County, thoughtfully tend your summer vegetable garden or share a laugh with a friend.
He is survived by his wife Dayle, son Michael, and daughters Kirsten and Kymberly; his mother Barbara Means; sisters Pauly Waldron and Patty Cass; stepchildren Toni Hites, Craig Shepherd, Nicole Bond, Heather Agidius; and several grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his father Ray Dahl, stepfather Robert Means, stepson Bradley Shepherd and adored Australian Shepherd, Jasmine.
Please join Deny’s family for a memorial at 1p.m., Friday, June 24, 2022 at the Latah County Fairgrounds Events Center in Moscow. Arrangements were entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel of Moscow and condolences may be left at shortsfuneralchapel.com. Memorials may be made in his name to the Moscow Volunteer Fire Department & EMS, the Humane Society of the Palouse, or donate to Rotary to help eradicate polio worldwide at endpolio.org.
To send flowers to Denis' family, please visit our floral store.