6 N Main • Caldwell, KS • 620-845-6424
January 15, 1952 ~ February 22, 2020
Dennis “Hug” Wayne Thurman Sr. passed away February 22, 2020 at the age of 68 years, one month, and seven days. Dennis was born January 15, 1952 to E.J. and Betty Jo Guffey Thurman at St. Mary’s Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma. At a young age, the family moved to Caldwell, Kansas for a few of years before residing in Kremlin, Oklahoma. Dennis grew up in Kremlin and attended Kremlin schools throughout his senior year. He graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in 1975 with a double degree in Industrial Arts and Physical Education.
On October 28, 1972 he married the love of his life, Patricia “Patty” Conrady at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wakita, Oklahoma. They celebrated 47 years of marriage together. Dennis and Pat welcomed three children into the world, Dennis Wayne Jr., April Dawn, and Ami Deanne. Dennis was an incredible husband, dad, grandpa, teacher, coach, and friend. He loved his children and grandchildren and teaching them about the outdoors, coaching them in sports, and important lifelong lessons.
His first teaching assignment was in Marland, OK for two years. When looking for a house, kids approached him and thought he was a new high school student. Of course, he didn’t tell them otherwise. It was during his teaching career at Marland that the students gave him the name, “Huggy Bear”. He then accepted a teaching position in Caldwell, Kansas and taught for 41 years until his final year in 2018. He coached many sports during these years at Caldwell.
Dennis was assigned to teach Geography at Marland and that was not his favorite. He was happy when the State of Kansas started issuing the teaching certificate different and he didn’t see Geography on his certificate. He did not want the administration to know he could teach anything other than Drafting, P.E., Metal or Wood Shop.
Dennis was a man of many trades. If you ask him to do something, he could do it. He was so talented and artistic. He could draw anything and always had a vision for any project big or small. He loved hunting, fishing, camping on the Chicaskia River, coaching many sports (little league baseball in particular), going to his grandkids games, and watching his favorite sport, baseball. Dennis was very active in his community and always volunteering. He was an officer for the Caldwell Sportsmen Club for many years. After 20 years he retired from the Caldwell Fire Department as an Assistant Chief.
Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, in-laws; Ralph and Dorothy Conrady. Brother-in-laws; Charles Conrady, Mike Conrady, Gary Conrady, and Jon Fossett. Sister-in-law; Mary Conrady.
He leaves his beloved wife Patricia, his children; Dennis Jr. and wife Alissa of Andover, Kansas, April and husband John of Enid, Oklahoma, Ami and husband Matthew of Caldwell, Kansas. Sister; Ann Fossett of Enid, Oklahoma. Brother; BJ Thurman of Caldwell, Kansas. Grandchildren; Alexa Thurman, Denton West, Luke Thurman, Adebel Lebeda, Lawson West, Alie Lebeda, Caroline Sue West, and Lance Lebeda. Brother and sister-in-laws; Carolyn Murphy, Donald and Pat Conrady, Richard and Lynda Parker, Dave and Phyllis Blanton, Jerry and Janet Frazier, Shelly Conrady, Robert Conrady, and John and Carla Conrady. Not to mention names, but Dennis leaves with 134 niece and nephews and numerous close friends.
Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Thursday, February 27, 2020 at the Caldwell High School Gymnasium.
Memorials may be made to the Caldwell Firefighters Association, Sumner County Hospital District #1 or to the Caldwell Sportsmans Club and may be left in care of the mortuary.