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
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
You can also donate directly to Dani through Venmo @DaniEBates

26 thoughts on “Denny’s Obituary

  1. I attended my 15 year old daughters best friends funeral. She too committed suicide. The Pastor addressed all of the young adults about Suicide. It was not swept under the rug as often done. I strongly feel this problem savec lives.

    Thank you for sharing and may God embrace you and your beautiful girls during this painful time 🙏

  2. So sorry for your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you all from this day forward love to winnie and piper

  3. It just breaks your heart! I don’t know you but my heart bleeds for your daughters. God bless from a South African.😥

  4. My heart is breaking!! I lost a very dear friend, and also a dear friend’s son due to taking their own lives😢 sending my love and constant prayers 🙏🙏

  5. I am So Very Sorry for your loss, I too lost my grandson on May 5, 2018 but I can’t even imagine how hard this is for your Children and families. My grandson was only 21 and he also suffered from stress, anxiety and panic attacks. But he missed his Mom more than he could handle!! See my Daughter, his mom was murdered by an ex boyfriend stalker who kidnapped her and beat her and drugged her and raped her until she died and then cut her up into 11 pieces!!! So I know about stress and anxiety and panic attacks ! But every case is different But the hurt and Pain are the same and all to REAL!!! GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN & FAMILY!!!!

  6. I am so sorry you and your sweet family are living this nightmare. Sadly, suicide is the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about or think it will never happen to them. It’s something that can happen to anyone at any time. I too lost my husband to suicide in July of 2012 and my heart breaks for you knowing what you are facing. Please feel free to contact me
    day or night as you are not alone in this sweet angel. Prayers for strength…God Bless!

  7. I too have suffered with depression for over half my life and I am almost 63 years old. It is still so misunderstood as being a selfless act and not caring for your loved ones. No one knows the pain you struggle with each day inside your head. .I am so sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing. This is something that needs to be taken serious, it’s nothing you can snap your fingers at and it go away, it would be great if it were that easy.

  8. My heart gose out to you and your family but also your husband when your brain is fighting against theses thought but the thoughts are so strong they win . I’ve been there luckily I beat the thought in the end . Your husband will always be with you . Yet I know it must be heart broken but you one hell of a mum and your children are so lucky to have you . Be kind to yourself as well don’t loose yourself in this . I want to thank you for sharing this most heart rendering event in your life to help others 🙏🙏♥️♥️

  9. I do not know you, your story came up on my Facebook feed.. but I, too, have attempted suicide several times and I’m lucky to be alive today. I cannot imagine the pain you’re going through, but I can understand how he may have felt in his last moments. It truly pains me to know you’ve suffered such a massive loss. I hope someday your family can find peace and healing.

  10. 9 months ago my sister in law and 16 year old niece were shot and killed by her husband/stepfather. He then turned the gun on himself taking his own life, leaving behind my 2y/o niece (his own daughter) two days before her third birthday. She was in the house. Me and my husband deal with this every day of our lives. We are currently in the process of adopting her. She is beautiful, intelligent, and extremely resilient. Every day I wake up and the first thing that pops into my head is- HOW? How did this happen? It feels like we are living in an alternate reality. There honestly are no words. To the mother and wife of this man if you ever need to reach out, scream, cry, vent, or blow of steam please reach out to me. It is not a common situation to raise children lou of such tragedy and it might be “helpful” for lack of a better word. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hang in there.

  11. My dad committed suicide 28th July 2018. He had not been himself for months after having a fall. We asked the doctor’s and nurse for help with him but they laughed it off. My dad woke up on that Saturday with a mood all day and then after dropping my daughter home to us he went back home.
    Still in a mood he ate his tea, took of his watch and necklace, and put them down with his phone and watch and walked out the door.
    That was the last we saw of him.
    At 1am we got police at mom’s house saying they had found his body. He had jumped in front of a train. He was 64years old. He left behind a devastated wife, daughter, son and grandaughter. My wedding was last Friday and it’s been so hard without him.

  12. Thank you for sharing what happened to no doubt the love of your life. You have taken your devastating loss to help others in your husband’s name. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain you and your children have been and are going through. Your husband will live on in the many people who will no doubt be helped by your courage in sharing this. Not everyone can do this.

  13. I am so sorrt for your loss. I attempted suicide 2 major times and even tho i know the pain it causes, in the moment nothing will remind you of it. Feeling so helpless is an unplannable moment that nothing helps. Im so sorry for you and your babys. God bless you. Im always here.

  14. My condolences to your beautiful family 🌹
    As a person who finds most days a struggle to keep breathing, I thank you for sharing something so personal.
    May you and your girls find peace and blessings.

  15. I’m so so sorry for your loss. May you find the strength to carry on and raise your beautiful daughters with lots of happy memories of their daddy.

    Julie from Scotland.

  16. Dani,

    I was a the Out of the Darkness walk on Saturday, 9/14. I was seated next to your sweet Piper and the young lady with her. You and Winnie did such a great job at the bead ceremony, honoring your hubby in jerseys from his favorite team. You looked strong, resilient, hopeful, and just radiated love for your Denny. Thank you for sharing your story and videos of little Winnie. I’m mom to an amazing little girl and have struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for 20 years. Those videos helped me realize even more that I need to be here for my daughter. My brother died by suicide in 2010, which is what has led us to AFSP and the annual walk.

    Thank you so much for being vulnerable and so very strong and sharing your story with the world. It is much needed.

    Jennifer Franklin

  17. This is beautifully written. I’m so sorry that you and your family are experiencing this. I lost my dad to suicide at 12, and there is no words to accurately convey the grief and impact suicide causes. You will never be the same, but your girls are lucky to have a mom who is not hiding in shame and who is allowing her children to process their emotions.

    1. Hi Dani, my thoughts much love and prayers are
      with you and your sweet girls.
      Much love to you all and may our Father in heaven continue to cover you all with His power, blessings and love always and forever.
      You can talk to me when things get overwhelming any time for I’d love to be your friend.

  18. Dear Dani:
    I wish I had the opportunity to know yourself and Denny, if even for ine week. To see you both burst into laughter over something ridiculous. To see you tuck the girls in for their bedtime. To see you cook in the kitchen, each of you carefully doing your part independently and while still in the same space. To see you rushing off to another busy work day. To see you both collapse on the sofa into each other after a long week, both exhausted from all that you had accomplished. To hyst be together. Quiet. Peaceful. Content. Spent. Being everything that each other needs in that moment as in so many normal moments you’d already shared in your too short lives together.
    I piece these moments and thoughts together, not to further your aloneness but in hopes that as you grieve you hive yourself permission to slip back into those wonderful normal routines and wonderful memories shared with Denny; not so you ache more or deeper, but so you will can still have what you have lost. So you can share your energy with the remembered presence of marrige, love and fatherhood. So you can speak to your loss and still go on. Go forward with your 2 beautiful daughters that your will always share with Denny because they are from the union that was not broken, but is now singular.
    I hope that in sharing my way of seeing this very sad broken heart of yourself first and then from little Winnie, that some loneliness dissipates, and that your healing can be ensconced in love, compassion, empathy and strength. May I mention that that I am not inferring that you will heal quite soon, but that grief will always be with you. You will need some “sick” days when it’s biting at your soul too harshly and yet you wil always be growing in integrity, emotional wellness and empathic ability to stand with others who face the facts of mourning. Please feel no obligatiry agendas with your grief. Always be kind as you would be if Denny were whom you were sharing that kindness with. You know him best. You know you better. GOD BLESS♡ you Dani, and Winnie and Piper♡

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