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Dennis Samuel Brandon, age 66, of Montevideo, MN, died on Monday, December 18, 2023, at his home with family and under the care of hospice. He was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer in January 2023 and courageously endured two surgeries and medical treatments for several months. Though much too soon, we are at peace knowing our beloved husband, father, and grandpa ("Grampy") is now resting with God alongside his father (David Jr.) and brother (David III) who passed before him.
Memorial services will be held on Thursday, December 28, 2023 at 10:30AM at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Montevideo with Rev. Donald S. McKee officiating.
Visitation with the family will be held from 5 to 7 PM on Wednesday, December 27, 2023 at Anderson-TeBeest Funeral Home in Montevideo. Visitation will continue on Thursday one hour prior to the service at the church.
Dennis Samuel was born April 21, 1957, in St. Paul, MN, to Janet and David Brandon, the fourth of six children. The Brandon family moved from Windom, MN, to Montevideo, MN, in 1962. Dennis graduated from Montevideo High School in 1975. He attended the University of MN for a brief time before marrying his high school sweetheart, Debra Ann Hill (daughter of Kenneth and Delores Hill), on March 27, 1976. They had four children across a 14-year spectrum, one girl (Rhea) and 3 boys (Kohler, Ross, & Eric). Their union has thus far produced 10 beautiful grandchildren who were the apple of Grandpa’s eye.
Dennis’s relentless work ethic and stoic sense of responsibility permeated his long work history. He began his work career in high school as a radio announcer for KDMA and a gas station attendant at Fina (with Debbie). In 1976, Dennis joined his father in a family business, Brandon Tire of Montevideo. He and Debbie took over ownership and operations from 1983 through 1998, when he merged and eventually sold to Royal Tire by 2003. In the early 2000s, Dennis founded a security camera company, USA Security, with his sons, Ross and Kohler. In 2005, he became the general manager of Western Co-op Transport, following the footsteps of his father, who had been manager there decades earlier. Dennis was semi-retired in 2017, but as a lifelong entrepreneur, he continually engaged in business opportunities, especially those invested in the Montevideo community. Throughout his life, he took on volunteer board roles that supported community entities such as MIDC (Montevideo Industrial Development Corporation) Board for 20+ years, including serving twice as President; Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Vice-President and Chairman of the Stewardship Board; Montevideo School Board Trustee; Director/Treasurer of the county DFL party; and Board of Directors at Minnwest Bank.
Dennis packed a lot of fun into his 66 years of life. He lived for the moment with little regrets, and when opportunities arose, he took them. Dennis loved trying new things and had a particular affinity for activities that involved just a “little” danger. In his earlier years, he took flying lessons, was an avid scuba diver, and even owned/drove a race car. The great outdoors was his ultimate enjoyment - - Hunting, hiking, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, camping, 4-wheeling, and bird watching. He also loved swimming and water skiing in the lakes of northern MN. One of his favorite things to do at the end of a warm day was to pop a Coors light with Debbie and sit on the back patio overlooking the backyard. Dennis was an intellect and a voracious reader, especially of history, geopolitics, and biographies; he enjoyed the art of debate. He loved all kinds of music and was known to use his rich baritone voice to belt out hymns at church, a wedding, or a Brandon driveway jukebox sing-along.
Dennis cherished his family, friends, and the greater community. He was always eager to start a casual conversation or a longer sit down to learn someone's life story and family history. His contagious laugh is a Brandon trademark - - a loud belly laugh accompanied by a backward head tilt and plenty of shoulder shaking. He approached life with a balance of goofy humor, pragmatism, and grace, always with a big heart and an even temperament that made him an easy rock for people to lean on. Dennis will be buried at Balsam Cemetery in Bovey, MN, with his father and brother near Brandon's family land, initially operated as a Christmas tree farm and one of his most beloved places on earth. He had many Dennis-isms that many of us will carry on through generations. One of his most repeated lessons to his children was, "There is a time and place for everything." Dennis is now looking down on all of us, saying, "This is the time and place for grieving, but after my funeral, get on with it!"
Dennis is survived by his wife, Debbie; mother, Janet Brandon of Grand Rapids, MN; four children, Rhea (Trevor Murphy) of San Ramon, CA, Kohler (Holly) of Cave Creek AZ, Ross (Katie) of Maple Grove, MN, and Eric (Courtney) of Plymouth MN; 10 grandchildren, 7 boys & 3 girls: Brandon, Merritt, Kellen, Drew, Leo, Beau, Ford, Wren, Evie, & Greer; four siblings, Diane (Rob Moser) of Bovey MN, Howard of Hutchinson MN, Heidi (Tom Proell) of St. Cloud MN, and LeeAnn (Jim Hess) of Bemidji MN and mother-in-law, Delores Hill of Montevideo. He is also survived by 14 nieces and nephews and several great nieces/nephews.