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Dr. Benjamin G. Dennis

Dr. Benjamin G. Dennis went home to be with the Lord on December 17th, 2009 in Ft. Myers, Florida. He is survived by his wife, Anita; his daughter, Winona McGowan and her husband Anthony of Nashville; his son Dr. Benjamin N. Dennis and his wife, Susan, of Bethesda, Maryland; his son Joseph Dennis of Chicago; and his son Peter Dennis, Esq., and wife Amanda of Ft. Myers. Grandchildren include Winona's children: Mario, Anthony, and Joy; Ben Jr.'s children: Luke and Julia; and Peter's children: Mali and Benjamin Morlu. Great grandchildren include: Mario's daughters: Keshon, Marzel, and Keiara; Tony's daughter, Shakira; and Joy's sons, Danti and Vernon.

Dennis was born in Monrovia, Liberia, on June 5, 1929, to Mali and Ngombu Tejjeh Dennis, the Liberian financial attaché in Berlin, Germany. He spent the early part of his life in Germany and Liberia before moving to England. In 1950, he came to America from Queens College, Oxford University. He received a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in sociology in 1954, from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. In 1956, during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, he marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., and received his master's degree from Fisk University. He received a dual Ph.D. in sociology and anthropology in 1963, from Michigan State University. From 1964-1970, he taught at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where he served as chairman of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, & Social Work. From 1970 to 1991, Dennis taught at the University of Michigan-Flint, later serving as Executive Assistant to the Chancellor for Minority Programs. He is the author of two books: The Gbandes: A People of the Liberian Hinterland in 1973; and Slaves to Racism: An Unbroken Chain from America to Liberia, in 2008. From 1975-89, he served on the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Mission Board and was instrumental in the establishment of the LCMS in Liberia.

Memorials for projects in Liberia may be sent to: St. Michael Lutheran Church, 3595 Broadway, Ft. Myers, FL 33901. A memorial service will be held at St. Michael Lutheran Church on December 23rd at 5:30pm.

 

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