Dennis George Bates II
1983 ~ 2019
Dennis “Denny” George Bates II unexpectedly took his own life on March 23rd, 2019. He was born in Ames, Iowa on October 14, 1983, to Esther Bates-Baker and Dennis Bates. Denny was raised in the small town of Mount Pleasant where everyone knew him and his funny, eccentric personality. He had six siblings who adored him, just as he adored them. As the eldest brother, he took it upon himself to tease and annoy these siblings as much as possible, but he would loyally protect them from anyone else.
Growing up, Denny played the trombone, was on student government, and was the life of every party. He sang in the top choirs in school, played soccer for a season, and was an Eagle Scout and a Seminary graduate. He began college at Iowa Wesleyan University, then moved out to Utah and completed his Business degree at Utah Valley University.
Denny spent the last 15 years here in Utah, making friends everywhere he went. He was someone short in stature but incredibly strong and quite intimidating to many who encountered him. He pretended to not like people and attention, but secretly enjoyed every bit of it when someone was intrigued by his uniqueness. People eventually saw past the beard, the Iron Maiden t-shirt, and the grizzly exterior. Denny had many loves: The Chicago Cubs, the Iowa Hawkeyes, Star Trek, Seinfeld, Golden Girls, John Stamos, karaoke, the color orange, tacos, Ron Swanson, Neil Diamond, and Metal music. When this man loved something, he loved it with his whole heart. In 2016, he actually fell to his knees and wept in gratitude when he reached the lifelong goal of watching his beloved Cubs win the World Series.
Denny worked for many years selling minivans and worked his way up to CFO of Automaxx. He was the hardest worker, he was fair to everyone, and he was determined to be successful in life. He was particular, picky, and a planner which was a combination equally obnoxious and endearing.
Denny was a champion of his imperfections and his quirks. He was never afraid to admit he needed help reaching the top shelf or changing a light bulb. He also was not shy about his talents. The very first time he tried doing a plank, he did three minutes – something others take years to work up to. Denny knew he was funny and he loved doing stand-up comedy. Making people laugh filled his soul. At the same time, he had no problem speaking the truth even when it made people uncomfortable. He was a man of few words, until it was a topic he was passionate about – and he reveled in awkward silences. His patience, too, was a thing of beauty. Especially with babies and old people, and anyone who needed assistance or grace.
In August of 2013, Denny met Dani on an online dating website. He had always wanted children, but had never found the right woman to share this with. Dani saw right through Denny’s gruff exterior and loved him wholly and entirely. Denny saw Dani’s potential as a mother and wife, and they were married on May 31, 2014. They were sealed a year later in the Timpanogos Temple, to be best friends and companions for eternity.
Denny and Dani healed each other in many ways, were a great team, and held hands through many trials in a few short years. The most wonderful things happened to them in 2016 and 2018, when Winnie and Piper were born. Denny was the best father. No human has ever loved and adored his children the way that Denny did. He was super dad, and both of his kids saw him as their superhero. As each of his girls came into his life – first Dani, then Winnie, then Piper, Denny blossomed. He relaxed into being even more weird and wonderful and he allowed more people to see how good of a man he truly was. This family life is everything that Denny had always wanted. His three girls were everything to him, and they helped him find peace, stability, healing, and happiness that he had never been able to find on his own.
Denny had fought depression since he was a very young child, but he had many years with his wife and kids that relieved him of that. He was not struggling even a week before his death, and just in a few prior days showed there was some internal turmoil. Denny’s loved ones are heartbroken, but know also that he would never have made this choice if nothing were imbalanced in his brain. This was not a selfish act; he truly believed he was doing the only thing he could to protect his little family. Denny died of suicide, but it was because his body didn’t work the way it needed to. It caused him to have painful thoughts and feelings that he could not control. As Denny’s loved ones, we are sharing this openly and encouraging others to reach out, in hopes of helping others. Before you get to this point, please talk to someone. People love you and they want to help. Please don’t allow this to happen to even one more family.
Denny is preceded in death by his father, Dennis, and by Dani’s mother, Dana Israelsen. He is survived by his wife, Dani (Israelsen) and his two beautiful daughters Winnie (3), and Piper Sue (10 months). He is also survived by his mother, Esther Hayward Bates-Baker (Bob), and his siblings Heather (Michael), Michelle, Charlie (Jan), David (Kenzie), Rachel (Patrick), and Jared (Karina); his step-siblings Joey, Danielle, Nicole, Drew; and Beth and his many nieces and nephews; and by Dani’s sisters, Gabi and Jessi, whom Denny loved as his own.
We know that Denny is now in the loving arms of his Heavenly Father and will remain in service as Dani, Winnie, and Piper’s overly protective and very stubborn Guardian Angel.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 noon on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at the Westfield 2nd Ward Chapel, 1251 West 900 North, Lehi, Utah. Family and friends may call at the church from 9:30 to 11:30 am on Saturday prior to the services. Interment will be at the Lehi City Cemetery immediately following the funeral. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.warenski.com
In lieu of flowers, if you feel so inclined, there is a gofundme for Dani and her daughters. Denny was not able to receive life insurance due to his Chronic Crohn’s Disease so financial help is imperative. Please go to https://www.gofundme.com/71tvj1k
You can also donate directly to Dani through Venmo @DaniEBates