Dennis's Story

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Dennis Michael Carr, 74, of Ankeny, a former resident of Urbandale and Albia, died Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, at Mercy Medical Center/West Lakes in West Des Moines.
He was born in Albia on May 10, 1942, the oldest son of Bernard and Lillian Carr. He grew up in Albia and graduated from Albia Community High School in 1960.
Dennis devoted his life to public service, starting in high school when he was a volunteer emergency radio operator for the Albia Police Department and the Monroe County Sheriff's Department.
In November 1964, he took a big step toward his career dream job when he was appointed as Monroe County deputy sheriff. Four years later, at the age of 26, voters in Monroe County elected him as their sheriff. He was re-elected in 1972, 1976, 1980 and 1984.
He resigned in 1985 to become an investigator with what is now known as the Iowa Board of Medicine. The state agency licenses and disciplines Iowa physicians. In 1988, he was promoted to associate director of the board, and he remained in that role until his retirement in 1997.
During his career, Dennis served as a law enforcement instructor at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa and at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy in Johnston. He also served on the security detail for Iowa visits by Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and for Pope John Paul II's historic visit to Living History Farms.
Dennis twice was president of the Iowa State Sheriffs' and Deputies' Association and was a member of the organization's board of directors for 10 years. He also was the Iowa director of the National Sheriffs' Association.
In 1962, Dennis married Donna Cook of Albia, and they enjoyed 54 years together, including the years when they lived with their two children in the sheriff's residence that was in the Monroe County Jail building.
Survivors include his wife; one son, Patrick and his companion, Caryl Carlsen, of Evanston, Ill.; one daughter, Deborah (Dennis) Powers of Ankeny; two grandsons, Logan Powers of Ames and Connor Powers of Ankeny; one brother, Jerry (Marla) Carr of Altoona; and two nephews, Bryan Carr of Pleasant Hill and Eric (Michelle) Carr of Mitchellville.
A funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Pius X Church in Urbandale. The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service. A second funeral service will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Albia. Burial will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery in Albia.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made in Dennis' name for the law enforcement program at Des Moines Area Community College. Donations can be sent to DMACC Foundation, 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny, IA 50023.
Published on January 17, 2017
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