Dennis Keith Ferrero
Oct. 5, 1959 - May 11, 2020
from the Napa Valley Register
Dennis Keith Ferrero lost a brief, but fierce, battle with pancreatic cancer on June 11th, 2020. Dennis declined rapidly after being diagnosed, but his passing was peaceful. Our family has lost a loving dad, grandfather, brother, family member and friend to many.
Born on September 5th, 1958 to Peggy and Dick Ferrero, Dennis was raised in San Carlos, attending Arundel Elementary School and Tierra Linda Jr. High, graduating from Carlmont HS in 1976. Baseball was his favored sport, and he played Little League, Babe Ruth. Joe Dimaggio and for the Carlmont Baseball Team.
After graduating from an Industry School in 1980, Dennis became a Flight Attendant for a charter airline owned and operated by Flying Tigers, and later, FedEx. Dennis flew for 12 years, based our of LA and NY. Flying Tigers participated in Military Airlifts from Asia, Malaysia and Europe. They also had contracts with the U.S. Military during Desert Storm. A FTL contract had Dennis working in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
After his airline career ended, Dennis held several different jobs before moving to Napa and working for Paupaiz Coffee. Upon leaving Paupaiz, he became a conductor on the Napa Valley Wine Train, spending 10 years there. Dennis loved planes and trains!
When Dennis moved to Napa in 1998, he expanded our family with three wonderful daughters, Arlina and Rebecca Medina, and Amanda Ferrero. He knew those girls had hung the moon, and now, granddaughter Lyla Belcher, has replaced the sun. Over the years, Amanda shared Dennis’s love of softball and baseball, and became a pitcher, like her dad. Dennis was looking forward to one day catching a softball for Lyla. Until then, he was her “Papa”, who would play anything, and her little face lit up when he walked into the room.
Dennis had a quick wit and was a great story teller; with a large pool of adventures from which to pull those stories. He was also a practical joker and was known to pull one over on any of us, at any time. Like his Dad, Dennis was an avid Bay Area sports fan and loved Football Sundays! A close second to sports was his love for Disneyland; he had been an annual pass holder for years.
After spending two years living in Las Vegas, Dennis moved to Yountville in November, 2019. He was thrilled to be back in North CAL, near his remaining family. Dennis was so excited about his new home that he felt like pinching himself every morning to make sure it was real. Sitting on the deck drinking coffee and watching the sunrise was paradise. Those last months before his diagnosis brought Dennis great peace and happiness. We’re sorry he didn’t have more time here, but are so glad that he was back home and had found his peaceful happy place.
Upon receiving his diagnosis, Dennis handled it with unwavering courage and grace. His spirituality was very strong and he was thankful for every day of life he had been given. He said he couldn’t have asked for anything more.
In addition to his daughters and granddaughter, Dennis leaves behind his sister Darlene de Beauclair, former wife Gloria Pinkston, uncle Bob Lowe (Imogene), aunt Marilyn Cardone (Marty), cousins Rebecca Lowe, Valeri Roberts, Gary Grainger, Jeanette Brown and Doreta Scott, numerous other cousins and his beautiful English Cream Retriever, Bella. Also missing Dennis will be a large network of friends, many of whom he’d known since his elementary and high school years.
Dennis was predeceased by his parents, brother-in-law Dale de Beauclair, uncle Don Lowe, aunts Doris Grainger and Betty Brown, grandparents Rose and Don Lowe and Frank and Grace Ferrero.
Dennis will always be remembered for his genuine interest in people, sincerity, humor, generosity and the ability to see beauty in every day. He has left a hole in our lives, and the world is a little less bright these days, but the memory of his smile and his warmth will remain with us always. Remembering his laugh will always bring a smile to our face.
At a future date, when we can all be together, a joint celebration of Dennis and his Dad’s life will be held. Please stay in touch with the family for details. Expressions of sympathy may be left for the family online at www.tulocaycemetery.org. Anyone wishing to make a donation may direct it to St. Jude’s or to a charity of your choice.
from Houston Wray:
What to say about Dennis Ferrero? Okay, facts.
He entered this world September 5, 1958 and departed June 11, 2020. That being said, his sister wrote me saying he wasn’t afraid to die, just angry it came so soon. It’s no secret that Dennis had an alcohol problem. He triumphed over it, maintaining solid sobriety for his last 9 years.
Dennis and his beautiful dog Bella live with me for a year, 2018/2019. We often had discussions about spirituality. He told me he had found “God Consciousness“through AA. I would tell him I found mine through the Episcopal Church. It was funny. Daily, he would read his AA spiritual books. I would read the Prayer Book. Dueling paths to God? No, more like parallel roads.
He would often go up to Napa to see his family. He’d say , “I’ll only be gone a week. Can I leave Bella?” I’d say, “Of course. I love her. Besides, picking up dog shit is my favorite activity in life!” What a year of laughs we had. Even our occasional spats were fun and quickly forgotten.
Dennis was blessed with that rarest of all virtues. He possessed a magnetic personality. Almost eerily he would enter a room and without a word exchanged you knew you had a new friend. Though loyal, he was not above being a merry prankster to his friends.
An example. I went to bed at the Okinawa Hilton one night. I must admit, I had been drinking. I awakened the next morning only to notice scorch marks across my carpet. I thought, “My God, what happened last night?” Subsequently I learned fuzz nuts and his little friends had shot bottle rockets under my door. I was on a lounge poolside at Marlin Mansion, you know, drink, cigarettes, book, glasses. Dennis thought it was a great opportunity to flip the lounge and accessories in the pool. I came up like Donald Duck and chased Dennis around the pool. Of course, I slipped and landed on my hip. Much pain. He said, “Chill out, man, I’ll get the glasses.” I screamed, “By f---, you’re going to be a pearl diver until they’re back on my face!”
Through it all, he was a loyal, faithful, loving friend. I have lost the brother I never had. We’ve all lost an icon of the Flying Tiger Line. Never forget Dennis Ferrero.Back To Memorials