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Dennis Needham

Dennis Stewart Needham

Sunday, November 8th, 2020
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Obituary

Our wonderful husband, father and grandfather, Dennis Stewart Needham, was received into the arms of our Lord on Sunday, November 8, 2020 at the age of 82. Known to many people as Denny, he was born in Taft, C.A., where he spent his younger years living with his parents, Joe and Susie Needham, and his beloved Pop Needham. They eventually moved to Bakersfield where Denny was in the first graduating class of North High and was a proud North High Star. After high school he met his lovely wife to be, Carmen. Together they made a life in Bakersfield. Denny was in the Marine Reserves from 1956 to mid-1963. He was hired by Bakersfield City Fire Department in March of 1960. He rose through the ranks to eventually be the youngest chief to be appointed in April of 1976. Denny led the department forward from manual communication into the age of computers affecting every facet of the department, which was an exciting era. He retired in May of 1991, after 31 years of service, 15 of those as the Chief. He was dedicated to the Bakersfield City Fire Department.
Denny had many interests in retirement. He loved to carve wood, design and build birdhouses, design and build furniture, all of which his family and friends treasure. In his later years he enjoyed the Iconography Painting Class at Mercy Hospital, and all of the friends he made there.
Denny was a dedicated family man, known for his leadership, integrity, determination and sense of humor. He was our beloved patriarch, always wanting to take care of his family. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Carmen. Two daughters, Mende Silva and Margo and husband Mike Virden of VA. Grandchildren, Eric and Shannon Silva, Emily and Steven Easterby, Alexander Morze and Mairi Morze, Sister-in-law Robbi Needham, with the first great-granddaughter Easterby due early next year, which Denny looked forward to with great anticipation. He is pre-deceased by his parents and brother, Douglas Needham.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Denny’s honor to: Bakersfield Firefighter’s Burn Foundation: P.O. Box 2393, Bakersfield C.A. 93303, Bakersfield Firefighter’s Historical Society: P.O. Box 78191, Bakersfield, CA 93311 and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
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PW

Peggy I Williams

Posted at 01:21pm
I still have one of Denny's carved Santa Claus figures. I treasure it and all the wonderful times we had together. God bless.
Peg Williams, Cami and Mandi.
AA

Alejandro Andreatta

Posted at 07:22pm
My thoughts are with all of you as I fondly remember Denny. He was like my away dad when I went to Bakersfield College as a young foreign student. He treated me with kindness, love and respect and demonstrated what a great husband and father should be like. He will be missed.
Love
Alejandro
 
MV

Margo Virden Posted at 01:17pm

Thank you for highlighting how special he was, Alejandro - to you and in general. Our family appreciates your support.
PM

Philip Morze

Posted at 07:05am
My deepest sympathies to the Needham family. Denny was a great person and a man of great character. One to look up to in all his accomplishments and how he lived his life. My thoughts and prayers to all.
 
MV

Margo Virden Posted at 10:57am

Thank you for your kind words, Philip.
MY

Marsha Baer Yeager & John Yeager

Posted at 08:04am
We are thinking of you
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