Dennis Gilbert Spink
September 11, 1931 - October 16, 2017
Dennis Gilbert Spink passed away October 16, 2017 following a brief illness. Born in 1931 in Mitchell, South Dakota to Gale and Alice Spink, Dennis was the seventh of the nine children. When Dennis was seven the family moved to Harrisburg, Oregon. Dennis graduated from Lebanon Union High School. After high school, he worked for his older brother Charlie in Anacortes and Burlington, Washington. After four years he returned to Oregon and entered Oregon State College where he majored in food science and business. Dennis was a member of the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity.
Shortly after starting college Dennis met the love of his life, Beverly Jean Johnson of Lebanon, Oregon. They were married at St. Edward's Catholic Church, Lebanon in 1954. Dennis graduated from OSC in 1956 and started his twenty plus year career with Stokely Van Camp in Oxnard, California where their first son, Dennis Michael “Mike” was born. In 1960 Dennis was transferred to Kent, Washington where David, their second son, was born. In 1968 Dennis was transferred to Mount Vernon, Washington. The family resided in Burlington, Washington for a decade. Upon closure of the Stokely plant, Dennis joined Agripac, Inc. in Salem, Oregon as vice-president for quality assurance. After retiring from two decades of exemplary service and contributions at Agripac, Dennis utilized his food science expertise to consult with companies in multiple countries including Chile, Peru, Mexico and Egypt.
Dennis was a long time Rotarian beginning in 1962 in Kent, Washington where he served one term as club president. He transferred to the Mount Vernon club upon his move to Mt. Vernon and later founded the Rotary club in Burlington, where he served as the founding president. Upon moving to Salem, he joined the Downtown Salem Rotary club, and a short time later founded the West Salem Rotary club. His leadership and philanthropic drive served many scholarship recipients and community members over the years.
Throughout his career, Dennis dedicated tremendous time and effort to improving the food industry as well as educating current and future food scientists. He accomplished this through his work with Washington State University, University of California Davis, and Oregon State University.
Dennis is preceded in death by his parents, sisters Helen Erickson and Teresa Gooding; brothers Charlie, Ronnie, Terry, and Jim. He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Beverly, sons Mike and David (JoAnne), grandsons Dennis, Sean, Lance, Ted and Sam, great-granddaughter, Olivia, brother Clarence, and many nieces and nephews.
A private mass and interment will occur at a later date. Donations in Dennis' name can be made to the West Salem Rotary Scholarship Fund; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee; or the Don Welp Memorial Scholarship Fund, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
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