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Dennis Franklin Brendel

11/11/1940 — 10/02/2023

From Pasco, WA | Born in Kansas City, KS

Dennis Franklin Brendel


Dennis Franklin Brendel was born on November 11, 1940 in Kansas City, Kansas to Michael and Stephanie Subelka Brendel. He died peacefully at 82 years old on October 2, 2023 in his home in Pasco, Washington with his wife, Judy, by his side.

Dennis graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1958. In 1964 he became the first member of his family to graduate from college, having worked summers as a brakeman for the Union Pacific Railroad to fund his education. That educational journey was also where he met his future wife, Judith Ann Dunlap at Emporia State.  They later married in 1965.

Dennis’ education culminated with his being awarded his PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of Michigan in 1972. Son Brian was born in 1968 while Dennis and Judy were in graduate school. The family enjoyed camping and canoeing in Michigan’s forests and rivers. Dennis remained an avid supporter of the U of M football and basketball programs until his passing.

Dennis’ professional career started at Dairyland Power Cooperative in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where he provided technical support to its nuclear, oil and coal fired power plants. The time in Wisconsin was highlighted with the birth of daughter Alison in 1976.

Next came a management opportunity in radiological health programs with WPPSS, Richland, Washington which brought the family to the Pacific Northwest.

Later, as Vice President of Environmental Affairs and Safety for the Bunker Hill Company, Dennis and the family enjoyed boating on the beautiful lakes of North Idaho.

Dennis became Manager, and then Director, of Environmental and Occupational Safety at N Reactor for UNC Nuclear Industries with the family’s final move back to the Tri-Cities. Dennis then spent several years consulting to nuclear utilities on the East coast before founding his own consulting firm, Columbia Energy and Environmental Services, Inc. in 1989 in Richland. Outings to Seattle, boating on the Columbia, and vacations on Maui provided family enjoyment.

Dennis was actively involved in the kids’ extracurricular activities: track and soccer for Brian and horses for Alison. He was both supportive of and insistent on their college educations.

Upon retirement in 2008, Dennis continued to help start-up businesses. He also took pride in mentoring young people in their work/career aspirations.

During retirement Dennis enjoyed the home he built on the Columbia River. He travelled to France, cruised to Alaska, grew roses, hosted family reunions, enjoyed anything automotive, and camped and hiked in the Northwest. The trails around Paradise on Mount Rainier were dear to him as were the beaches on Maui, Hawaii.

Dennis is survived by his wife of 58 years, Judith Brendel; son Brian Brendel; daughter Alison Brendel; grandson Sam Brendel, granddaughter Morgan Brendel; sister Melissa Pippin Rogers; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Michael Brendel; mother, Stephanie Pippin; step father, James Pippin; infant brother, Timothy Brendel; sister Carolyn Brendel Schiele; and infant granddaughter Kathleen Marie Brendel.

Until they meet again Dennis will be dearly missed by his family and friends. A celebration of Dennis’ life will be held at a later date.


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Dennis Franklin Brendel

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  • My condolences Alison and family. What a nice tribute to your Dad. Sounds like he had a wonderful life and will be greatly missed. “GO BLUE”.

    October 27, 2023
    West Richland, WA
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