Dennis Haller passed away on October 3, 2023. H was the second of six children born and raised in St. Louis where he played basketball and water polo, ran cross country, and bussed tables for the Stadium Club at Busch Stadium. Stan Musial was the nicest pro player he ever met.
As an adult, Dennis became an avid jogger, mower of lawns, and dentist. He began his adulthood upon high school graduation by joining the Marine Corps where he served his country in Vietnam. Following his military service, Dennis attended UMKC and the UMKC School of Dentistry. He then served the Kearney community as a dentist for 42 years, retiring in 2021.
There were many reasons Dennis loved being a dentist. The greatest was the many people he met, especially those who patiently listened to his passionate “conversations.” He loved to mix in a really corny joke or two with his opinions on politics, the economy, or any other controversial topic of the day. Although he took advantage of his patients as captive audiences, in all other ways he prided himself as fair and honest.
On any day after work, regardless of weather, you could find Dennis on the trail, the high school track, or mowing his lawn. And if the riding mower broke down, no problem; the push mower worked just great for all five acres. If he wasn’t jogging or mowing, you could find him at a high school sporting event. Though soccer and basketball were his favorites, there was no sport he didn’t enjoy and no athlete he didn’t wish success.
His greatest passion, however, was his family. Dennis was very, very proud of his three children and he never looked at a grandchild without smiling. Grateful for his family, patients, friends, and the entire Kearney community, Dennis had one goal in life. It was to be a “good guy.”
He is survived by Jackie, his wife of fifty-two years; sons, Joe Haller (Olivia) and Jeff Haller (Ryan); daughter, Jamie Lisi (Luke); three grandchildren; brother, Richard Haller and family; sister, Bonnie Novy and family; sister-in-law, Cathy Haller and family; and many cherished friends.
Dennis will be laid to rest during a private service at the National Cemetery in St. Louis. As he wished, his ashes will forever rest just a few blocks from his childhood home and in the company of fellow marines.
If desired, memorial contributions may be made to:
The Dementia Society of America
PO Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901
Or online at www.dementiasociety.org/donate
Arrangements in care of Fry-Bross & Spidle Funeral Home, Kearney.
Our Sincere Condolences
Jackie and family,
Was so saddened to hear of Dr. Haller’s passing. I will never forget the first time I sat in that office chair at age 19, after having horrible experiences with dentistry in my childhood nor the 40 years that followed that visit where he would “paste me together” yet again and the many times he would do “warranty or experimental work” for us. We could always count on him to shoot us straight, no matter if it was a dental or personal opinion. He was always so kind to our family, (even when Greg would test the waters!) and the only generational medical provider our family has ever had.. having seen my parents, myself, and my son.
Even though visits to the dentist aren’t top on the entertainment charts, I have missed them over the past few years he’s been retired and even cried after that “one last time” out in front of the building on Washington.
Heaven has gained yet another angel. I know there will be a difficult void to fill in your family and wish you all the best in the world Jackie, Jamie, Joe, and Jeff. (and families). He will be missed.
Pam and Greg Bullock
Jackie—I echo the great comments made by Pam. I too enjoyed being a patient of Dr HALLER’s for 40 years—after my childhood Dentist (Whiteman in Liberty) scaled back his practice.
Dr Haller always accommodated my emergency visits, often coming in on a Saturday to get me out of a situation.
Enjoyed his stories—from Vietnam to UMKC Dental School to Politics—both National and Local. He loved his Country and loved his Community and did his part in making Kearney a great place to live.
And he loved to laugh!
Wish you and your family the best.
Jackie and family
So sorry to hear of Dennis’ passing. It was never dull working for him. He helped a lot of patients on many different levels!! He will be missed. You have my deepest sympathy.
Jackie and family,
So sorry to hear of the passing of Dennis. Thoughts and prayers go to your family. I am on 8th year of dementia / Alzheimer’s with Ken. Horrible disease. Prayers to all of you.
Jackie, so sorry to hear about Dennis! He was a lively one to say the least , but we enjoyed our visits both at the office and at school events! We have many great memories and hope that this next chapter will be smooth for you and your family!
Jackie, I am so sorry for your loss. My husband was one of his patients over the years, as well as my kids and I.
Our boys were in school together, and my granddaughter had Jamie as a teacher. I too lost my husband recently. Prayers and appreciation for all the memories.
Buffy, Smokey, Lanny and Jedediah Brown