In Memory of

COL Dennis Wayne Heldenbrand, US Army (Retired)

March 27, 1950 - January 20, 2023


COL Dennis Wayne Heldenbrand, US Army (Retired)
MARCH 27, 1950 – JANUARY 20, 2023
It’s really hard to sum up a person’s life in a matter of a few lines but we’ll give it our best try.  Dennis loved his family and friends fiercely.  He was an amazing husband to Dr. Lois Heldenbrand for over 50 years, an incredible father and protector to Jason Heldenbrand (Kit Sundararaman) and Jen Otto (Nathan Otto) and the best Papa to Madison, Ethan, Bennett and a new addition on the way.  He’s left a very large hole and shoes that will never be filled.
Dennis’s favorite hobby, in addition to fishing and farming, was traveling the world with Lois and his family.  He was always up for any crazy adventure we could come up with and loved being with his grandkids.  
Dennis was also incredibly generous and willing to help anyone, so much so that he insisted that his body be donated to the Midwest transplant network to help others in need.  This was something he was very passionate about, especially as he awaited a new donor heart.  
Dennis was not one for a lot of pomp and circumstance and that applies to his passing as well.  The family will be celebrating his incredible life with a small private adventure sometime in the future, but would love for you to send your favorite Dennis memory or story, to be compiled and shared with his family and generations to come to DennisLegacy@yahoo.comIn lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts to be made to either The Midwest Transplant Network (in memory of Dennis Heldenbrand) or The Saint Luke’s Foundation, 901 E. 104th Street, Kansas City, MO 64131 Cardiac Surgery & Transplant Research Scholar Fund. Online memorial gifts may be made at (include Dennis Heldenbrand under tribute).
Instead of saying goodbye to an amazing man, we are going to say “see you later” and carry on his memory by living a rich adventurous life like he would expect, because in dad’s words…”we’re burning daylight”.

Arrangements by Langsford Funeral Home, 115 SW 3rd Street, Lee’s Summit, MO 64063


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My condolences to all of your family. I served with Dennis for many years. I too was a full-time Guard soldier in Jefferson City. I thought the world of him. He always had a smile and was a pleasure to be around. I know his military family respected and admired him as a man and as a soldier. RIP my friend.

Lois and family my sincere sympathy, I just learned of Dennis passing love to you and your family. Nancy

Lois and family you are in my daily prayers and I wish you peace and pray for healing. Your Dennis was a remarkable man and a good big brother. I can’t begin to recount the lessons I learned from him. He was honored in Bravo Battery when he was commander. I followed him years later and the a Captain Heldenbrand hall was still in tact when I commanded Bravo. Until “Fiddlers Green” rest now my brother.

Col. Heldenbrand was a great officer, leader and person. He made great choices and knew how those choices affected Soldiers. He took our entire Field Artillery Brigade to Annual Training in Shilo Manitoba which was not a simple task. Even though short in stature he was looked up to by many Soldiers for his intense care factor. While I was deployed in Afghanistan, I heard some call my name while walking on the base I was stationed at, I turned around and to my surprise it was him in civilian clothes working as a government contractor for the coalition. Of course he was retired from the MOARNG by then but we had a long pleasant conversation and talked about the “old days” and the places we had been together. Fine person and will be missed. CSM(R) Philip C. Butler

The Heldenbrand Family. I too was a full time soldier in Jefferson City, I did not work directly with Col Heldenbrand, but saw him around ISTS a lot, he was always very friendly and helpful. My story is after I retired I took a part time job at Hallmark in Jefferson City, he and his wife came in during Christmas, I waited on them, I continued to call him “Sir” . He looked at me and smiled and said Patty quit calling me sir, call me by my first name. I said, I don’t know your first name, I thought it was Sir. He said it’s Dennis, I still couldn’t do it. I had a lot of respect for this great soldier. Rest in peace Sir!!!!



He was my Battery Commander at B Battery 129. His faith and trust in me changed my life all through both of our military careers. One of the good ones for sure. His life will never be forgotten nor will his last night at B Battery.

Sorry for your loss.

Retired SFC Randy Rodenberg

Our love to Lois, the kids, and the grandkids. We spend days feeling sorry for ourselves and not realizing what others who used to be close to ourselves are going through. I hope your best memories of Dennis are like mine and Phil’s. Young, laughing, always working hard, or playing hard and certainly never, never wasting daylight. ❤️❤️. Phil and Bonnie

I have fond memories of COL Heldenbrand from my days at B Btry. He embodied the attributes of what I know to be a soldier. To his family I offer my condolences and prayers for healing and comfort from the loss of a fine man and a professional soldier.

I’m sending my condolences to Lois and the entire Heldenbrand family. Dennis was a close, personal friend since his early days in Bravo Battery. He was an understanding, caring, and thoughtful commander. Our lives are all fuller from knowing him. He will be truly missed. God Bless him! Prayers to you all, From all your friends in FDC. mess hawg.

Lois and family. I’m sorry for your loss. It’s never a good time to lose a loved one. Remember all the good times we all had and you’ll smile.
Your friend Sandy Wells

We have many fond memories of Dennis through our years together in the Field Artillery. We shared good times in each others homes and a particular memory of driving to Memphis, MO for a Valentine Dance at the Memphis VFW. What a grand time we shared – that’s because of the camaraderie and love we all shared for each other. Our sincere condolences to you, Lois and your family, we know how much Dennis will be missed. Rest in peace, dear friend til another reunion at the Fiddler’s Green.

Lois, our condolences to you and the rest of the Heldenbrand family. We will miss him!! Remembering all the great times we had brings a smile to our faces. Whether it was sailing, watching the Chief’s, March Madness, playing cards, eating, biking to Hartsburg, bocce ball and throwing darts (while chugging down some beers) or just watching a movie and letting ourselves out of your house and locking up because you both fell asleep😂, we definitely had some great times. Too many to put them all here, but we carry them in our hearts. We love you and the family and pray for your peace and comfort. Hugs!!

So sorry to here of the passing of Dennis. I had the pleasure of knowing him while working at the Missouri National Guard! He always had a smile! Prayer for all!

Lois I have read the words that people have posted. Their connection to Dennis is very close, obviously Dennis was and will always be very heartful to anyone that ever crossed his path, from the small town we grew up Dennis has accomplished so very much and I am proud to have gone to school with him. Most of us don’t even know his accomplishments My sincere sympathy Nancy

Sharon and I send our heartfelt condolences to Lois and family. Dennis and I served together many years in the Missouri National Guard. He was an very competent and dedicated full time technician. We had many interesting and productive times at annual training and weekend drills. As his Battalion and later Brigade commander he provided excellent advise and guidance. He was a good friend and a good man, I will miss seeing him at our, “old Artillery guys” get togethers.

I was proud to say Col. Heldenbrand was my Commander. That said, he became a very close friend as well.
He was always asking “sgt major how are the troops doing? Is there anything they need that we can do for them?” It was indeed a pleasure to work for him as his bed CSM.
I am a better person for having served closely with him for those years .
Much condolences to you Lois and all the kids.

Lois and family. We are deeply sadened by your loss. We did not know Dennis as long as many had, but in that short time of friendship we have many fond memories from when we got together to play games, party at the Lake, go out to eat … and our trip to Steelville to see Arlo. Neither his smile nor his laugh will fade in our memories. With deepest sympathy, Connie and Rick

May his grace and mercy fall upon you and yours always. Love Wally and Derrick

When I think of Dennis I think of the phrase AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN. Dennis was a model of what a good man is like. I never saw him try to impose his viewpoint on another. He exemplified the meaning of civility and demonstrated how to be a good citizen.

Dennis was fun to be around. I never saw a dark side. He loved to play games with friends. If he knew you needed help, he volunteered his time and talents.

I will miss him but I will try to emulate the high standards he always seemed to display.

All the family of Dennis has been on my mind since I heard the news of his passing.

I truly enjoyed the conversations we had together when he stopped by my place. I have such a high respect for the service he gave. His qualities and personality remind me much of my younger brother who currently serves as a Major in the Army.

So I’m going to miss talking to him (in person) this planting season and years to come. I am; however, thankful I have gotten to spend some moments of time with him. He has made an impact on me. And these are the reasons to celebrate one’s life. Rest in Peace Dennis.

Lois and family, my condolences to all of you. Dennis was both a mentor and friend. Fate somehow brought us to the same command in Afghanistan and it was good to have a friendly face to share a meal with in a far off land.

I remember Dennis when we moved to the farm next to his dad’s. It was in the summer of 1962 and Dennis with his younger brother Kent were farming full time with their father. The tractors they used were an H Farmall and a John Deere C. The Farmall had wooden blocks on the clutch and brake pedals so they could operate them and both tractors had no hydraulics to raise the plows at the end of the rows. They raised them manually!
Being fresh from town and new to the farm I equated they had fun all day long driving those tractors. I know now that Dennis and his brother were doing men’s work at that young age. There were no cabs on those tractors and they were out there from dawn to dusk. They wore no shirts or hats and they would be as tanned as Indians with sun bleached hair. Dewayne their father would send them out by themselves at that young age and trusted them to get the job done. If you do the math Dennis was twelve years old when I first saw this. Dennis made the world better by being it.

It was late fall in 1978 when I meet Dennis the first time. We served in the Missouri National Guard together and became close friends. After our retirement from the Guard we still got together for coffee or lunch and to talk about the good times we had in the Guard or on our fishing trips to Canada. Jeanette and I will keep our dear friend in our thoughts and prayers.

I grew up within about 15 miles of Dennis, about the same time. We met in Chillicothe, MO at “B” Battery, 129th FA. He was my commander. I was the senior lieutenant, so by default, his Executive (XO) Officer. He was no nonsense and quite often recognized “bull shit” and told us in no uncertain terms. He also praised excellence and hard work. You knew where you stood with him. I am deeply saddened by his passing and express my sincere condolences to Lois and the family.

To Lois, Jason, Jen, and the rest of the family: I just learned of Dennis’ passing and want to offer my condolences. I have fond memories of growing up with Dennis and his family. We played basketball together, ran track together, and participated in 4-H together. I still remember the time that Dad took Dennis, Kent, Gary, and me on a fishing trip on the Osage River just east of Osceola, MO. That was quite an adventure. After graduating from Wentworth Military Academy, Dennis went to NWMSU. That is where I was going to college, so we got renew our friendship. Dennis was dating Lois, so I got know her, as well. I taught with Lois at Cameron a few years. After we went our separate ways, we pretty much lost touch with each other. I guess the last time I saw Dennis was at our farm auction after Mom passed. It was truly a blessing to have Dennis in my life.

I have known Dennis(my papa) all my life, he was an amazing person. I remember when we were in the truck on the way to the farm listening to happy people by little big town. He always made me smile. He gave the best side hugs, and always said if me or my brother got a scrape or got hurt “well it’s a long ways from your heart”. I miss him dearly and thank everyone who has said something.

Lois and family. So sorry to hear of Dennis’ passing. You are all in my prayers.


Langsford Funeral Home
115 SW 3rd St
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063


Friday, April 28, 2023
10:45 Committal Service
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
2900 Sheridan Road
St. Louis, MO 63125