My life and family

Remembering My Dad

I woke up early on New Year’s Day 2021. The family was sound asleep, so I went to watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee. I reflected on 2020 and looked ahead to what I know will be a better year as I look forward to a new job, a slow return to normal life as we enter the age of the COVID vaccine and seeing friends and family.

At mid-morning I got a call that my father was nearing the end. He’d not been well for a while but the sudden turn for the worse was not what I was expecting. Kara, the kids and I hopped in the car for the hour and a half drive to my dad’s house. He passed when we were about 20 minutes away from arriving.

Thankfully he passed peacefully, and with his wife Brenda who had cared for him tremendously since suffering a stroke. We are grateful for all she did.

I wasn’t able to see him recently due to COVID. Kara and I were in quarantine that I just came out of on Thursday. As a result we couldn’t celebrate Christmas with my dad, and were hoping to do that soon. I had flown to see him in Florida in October and drove him and his wife from Bradley Airport in November when they returned home.

I’ll miss a whole lot about my Dad, especially his chats about his fascinating career. He was an electrical engineer for decades with Raytheon, working on classified government projects. He studied missile technology in college and later worked on radar for the U.S. Navy. Dad wasn’t allowed to talk too much about what he did, and I never entered his workplaces. I found a few photos of him on the job, including this one below, but their origin is not known.

Dennis Carl House traveled extensively for his job, including Europe and Asia. By the way, I have a different middle name, so I’m not a junior. I accompanied him on a couple of business trips, including one summer in college to a military base in Norfolk, Virginia. After I dropped him off, I stopped to take some photos of some really cool ships. Within minutes the military police were on me, telling me photography on the base was not allowed. Wherever he went Dad would send me postcards, and I’m compiling them for a future remembrance.

My dad was raised in Haverhill, Massachusetts, the second of four sons of an old Yankee and the daughter of Lithuanian immigrants. I will miss those stories of growing up in the 50s, and his favorite car a late 1950’s Oldsmobile, just like this one he spotted at a car show he took me to when I was in college.

He met my mom at Nortronics in Norwood, which later became Raytheon. Dad would get promoted and moved to other Raytheon plants in metro Boston, but Norwood was our home.

Dad loved the Patriots and took me to a game in the late 60s at Harvard Stadium where we got this pennant, that hangs in Julian’s room. He was a loyal fan and former season ticket holder, attending games with my brother for years including Super Bowls.

He loved genealogy. Inspired by the television miniseries “Roots”, When I was in high school we would head into Boston and go through records and trace our ancestors. We learned the House family came from England to Scituate, Massachusetts in 1634, and we visited graveyards and libraries in Maine and the Cape learning about our forefathers. His work in the 70s and 80s let an amazing discovery just about a year ago, thanks to the website Ancestry, we went all the way back to the year 700, and discovered we have royal Spanish blood.

We took some fun road trips, including one to the northern woods of Maine to visit his brother. We talked about everything during our 12 hours in the car, round trip. I encourage anyone with an aging parent to spend as much time with mom and dad as possible and talk about all the things on your mind. That Maine trip was a great time, and reminded me of how my dad hated traffic, dating back to family vacations to the Cape when he would load up the car and sit in bumper to bumper traffic, for us.

My father always told me how proud he was of me and constantly asked about my career in television news. He came to Rockford, Illinois to visit me at my first anchor job at WREX-TV, and a few times scheduled business trips to nearby Iowa so we could meet up.

Dad loved his grandchildren, and visited them in Hartford and Naples. Julian still remembers him at one of his baseball games.

He also loved golf, and planned on spending winters in Florida playing it. Now he can play every day in heaven. Godspeed Dad. Love you.

Funeral services will be private.

Categories: My life and family

56 replies »

  1. Dennis and family, I am so sorry for your loss. May your memories of your dad be embedded in your heart. Cherish the bond you had with your dad.

    Lisa Pellerin

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  2. Dennis, I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad, I know he meant a great deal to you and your family.
    He is with the lord now, and will always be in your heart.
    God bless , Doreen Ritchie

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  3. Dennis, I’m sorry for your loss. May your memories of your father comfort you. Prayers and thoughts for you and your family.

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  4. Sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. And I am sorry you did not make it in time to be with him when he did pass. I have worked in healthcare for many, many years and I have always said if you are meant to be there at that very moment, then you will be there. But there is something more important and sometimes difficult for loved ones to accept; something people who work with end of life care call “the gift”. Not all get the gift or maybe some do and do not recognize it as such. It is the “gift of presence”. Being with that person, if only for a moment in time. It is a very special time and I can tell by the lovely tribute you wrote that you shared many such moments with your dad. You are Blessed Dennis House and there is a greater plan for you. Your dad will be within you all days of life. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings and prayers to all your family.

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  5. Dennis,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. You’re absolutely correct in advising all of us to spend as much time as possible with your aging parents to learn things about their life and your family. I wish I had spent more time with my dad and really regret it.

    Sending prayers of comfort, peace and love to you and your family. Praying that God will surround you with His healing and grace as you mourn the passing of your dear dad.

    With love, hugs and blessings to you and your family
    Bev Blakeslee
    Lebanon

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

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  6. So sorry to hear about your father’s passing. I hope that G-d will give you strength and endurance in the coming days. You look just like your Dad.

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  7. My sincerest condolences on the loss of your Dad. I just lost my Mom a few days after Thanksgiving, so I can relate to the newness of your sudden loss. I smiled as I read your tribute for it is obvious that
    you, like I was, were fortunate to have a wonderful and positive relationship.with your parent. There are so many folks out there who have never been able to experience the closeness of that special relationship and I have found that it is for those I mourn as I celebrate the life I was so fortunate to have known for so long. Take comfort in those fabulous memories- share them with your children and share some laughs along with tears. I wish you and your family the best during this difficult time of loss.
    In Sympathy,
    Christine Hayward: Torrington, Ct

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  8. Very sorry for your loss such a beautiful story you wrote about him. God Bless your family. Sincerely, Christine Blanchard

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  9. What am amazing story. First I am so sorry for your loss. It’s never easy losing your dad no matter how old you are. So I’m so sorry.

    What a fascinating career he had. What a service to our country. For that we are all thankful. He helped keep the Russian bear away. My best to you and your family. Yes it has to be a better year. At least I pray.

    And thanks for all you’ve done for me in 2020

    Your friends

    Jum and jsne vicevich

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  10. So sorry for the loss of your father prayers going out to to and your family at this time

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  11. So very sorry for your loss Dennis and family. Prayers for peace and comfort during this time.

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  12. So sorry for your loss Dennis. May your father rest in peace. Sending lots of love to you and your beautiful family during this sad time.

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  13. Dennis so very sorry for your loss.
    You seemed to have inherited many of your dad’s wonderful characteristics .
    Cherish those wonderful memories and be in peace with him at rest now.
    Love and Blessings to you and your family.

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  14. Dennis Cherish the love he gave to the Family, Pass it down to Ur Son and look back what things mean. I miss my dad too he passed away on my 25, Birthday So I never felt the move to celebrate no more. ☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️☹️ Pls take care Missing U at Big 3!!!!!!

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  15. So very sorry for your and your family’s loss. What wonderful memories you have and have the ability to share for future House generations.

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  16. Dennis and family.. I am so sorry for your lost..
    Dennis, you sure do resemble your good looking father.
    Please except my most sincere and humble sympathy.

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  17. I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. You have beautiful memories and that is something that will never go away.

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  18. So sorry for the loss of your dad, he sounds like he left you with a lot of good memories and a sense of where you came from. Sincere sympathies

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  19. Dennis…writing must be theraputic for you, as you do it so well. Tears in my eyes listening to YOU talk about YOUR Dad! Remember the good times and it looks like you are

    JDIPIETRO

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  20. Rest In Peace Mr.Dennis! 🙏🙏And as for you, Dennis, your story and memories of Dad was beautiful! Sounds like he was quite a wonderful father figure! They are always missed physically, but our memories are everlasting! Sympathy for your family!

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  21. Dennis and family….so sorry for the loss of your Dad. It’s very sad to see our parents leave us, I lost my parents together in a car accident in 1997. We honor them by always remembering the fun times and all that they taught us. Keeping you all in my prayers.

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  22. Please know that those of us who have lost beloved parents are sharing in your sorrow. Right now you are probably numb, as it takes a while to truly absorb. Take comfort in the wonderful memories. They likely are bringing tears today, but they will turn to smiles in time. Sending sincerest condolences to you and your family.

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  23. I am sorry to hear this. Your dad is now at Peace and is watching over you and your family. He will remain in your hearts forever. Sending HUGS to you and your family .

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  24. Dennis, thank you so much for sharing the story of your Dad’s life with us. You were so lucky to have supportive and loving parents, siblings, extended family and a wonderful childhood. I lost my mother in September. Losing a parent is tremendously difficult but with all of the restrictions and challenges of the pandemic it is all the more painful. He was so proud of you and your family and your tremendous accomplishments both professionally and personally. You are right. He is at peace after a life well-lived. Wishing you comfort and peace.

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  25. So sorry to hear that your father’s physical presence has passed from your life but from your words, it is clear that you had a close and loving relationship through the years and the memories you hold will carry you in the years to come. I lost my own mother some years ago on Christmas Eve. Christmas for me has never been quite the same but every day I feel her loving presence in my life and so I know your father’s will be in yours too. He will be with you and will whisper his words in your ear when you need to hear them, his gift to you as you go through your life.

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  26. Dennis sorry for the loss of your Dad. Hold onto your memories that you have of you and him. They will help you through the rough times. The Lord bless him and your family. May he rest in peace. My prayers and thoughts are with you. 🙏🙏💔.

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  27. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. It’s always tough losing a loved one during the Holidays.

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  28. Dennis: I’m very sorry for the loss of your Dad. I know how you feel about this. My own dad died on New Year’s Day in 1994. It’s been 27 years, and I still feel the pain. May your Dad rest in peace and may you find comfort knowing he is no longer suffering.

    Peace

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  29. It is so hard to lose our parents…my deepest sympathy to you and your family. We can never replace them. So glad you got to spend some quality time on that long road trip…which you will never forget. Peace to your Dad and asking God to give you the strength to get you through…take good care

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  30. Dennis,

    So verry sorry to hear this. You have had more than your fair share this past year. May you find peace in the wonderful memories you and he created together…..

    Prayers, Love and Hugs

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  31. So sorry for your loss. I enjoyed reading your history and memories with your dad. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

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  32. So sorry for your loss but sounds like you have great memories to fall back on. Sincere sympathies 😢

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  33. Dennis a 12yo girl in Ansonia I think lost her DAD at 130am New Yrs Morning ! Her and her Dad Served together in the Gulf War his name is 1st Sgt James Mckenna died in a Collission COVERED BY WTNH ! He told me how proud he was of Her 3weeks ago and you cant mistake that LOVE IN IS EYE WHEN HE SPOKE OF HER ATHELETIC Accomplishments !

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  34. Dennis, we are so sorry for your loss thank you for sharing your family history that you had with your Dad. It was s beautiful tribute to him. Our condolences to you and your family. In our prayers during this sorrowful time.

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  35. Mr. House, I am so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, I know how you feel. My father passed away a year ago ( suffering from strokes and a seizure that was the final blow) . Together, with my seven sisters and our aging mother we cared for him at his home; which is where he wanted to be in his final days ( once it was determined nothing else can be done for him ) . We all shared in the responsibilities of caring for both our parents at the same time. Luckily, we have a large family. Since our Dad has passed, we are now caring for our Mother; sadly, a whole different situation. It’s so sad to watch your parent just “disappear” from what your used to. I don’t think any of us are over our fathers death yet; not that you ever get “ over it” , it just seems like we can’t believe he’s not here, still. We have tons of pictures and videos we watch over and over again. It puts a smile on our faces and tears in our eyes. Enjoy every memory you have of him and share it with your children. I’m sorry for rambling on… My condolences to you and your family. May your Dad Rest In Peace and May you find the strength to continue on. Good Luck at News8; I look forward to watching you there! Tina

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  36. Dennis – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.. what an amazing guy and set you up to follow in his footsteps. So sorry for your loss.. be well take care and know many have you on their minds and in their hearts in the months ahead.

    Paddi LeShane
    Managing Partner
    [pture]
    287 Capitol Ave | Hartford, CT 06106
    [cebook] [nkedin] [itter-2] [named]
    pleshane@ctlobby.com
    Phone: 860.560.0000
    Cell: 860.614.3991

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  37. I’m sorry for the loss of your dad, Dennis. He lives on through the fond memories you made together.

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  38. Dennis and Family. My sympathy to you and your family. By reading your article, the love you both had for each other Is SO obvious. May he RIP knowing the love he has left behind. I will keep him and your in my prayers.

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  39. Dennis ,,,,Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of and with your father…..God Bless You and your family……

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  40. Our thoughts and prayers are with you on your loss of your father. What a beautiful tribute you wrote. He will be watching your new adventure from heaven. Bill & Mary McGurk

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