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Dennis Joseph Raines

Dennis Joseph Raines

    Dennis Joseph Raines, 86, passed away with his family at his bedside on November 10, 2017, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Boise, Idaho.

Dennis was born December 15, 1930, to Bernice “Bernie” Joseph Raines and Mildred “Pat” Rosetta (Jensen) Raines in Boise, Idaho. Dennis was a lifelong Boise resident who had a million stories to share about Boise and what it was like to grow up in such a wonderful place at such an interesting time.

Dennis demonstrated a talent for mechanics from the time he was in elementary school.  His dad ran a car lot back in the days when Model A’s and T’s were still a common site.  So, he grew up repairing, restoring and selling cars to make a living.  He worked on his dad’s car lot and for Campbell-Simpson Motor Company until he was drafted into the army in March of 1951 at age 20.  He served in Korea during the Korean War as a mechanic with the 14th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company, as well having a short stint in Germany with the American Occupation Forces.  Dennis received his honorable discharge in 1953 and was so proud of his military experience.  An interview of his wartime experiences is recorded for posterity with the Library of Congress.  For his service, Dennis received the Army Occupation Medal (Germany) and the Korean War Service Medal.

After his discharge, Dennis came back to Boise where he resumed his civilian life.  He married Betty Jean Dexter on March 14, 1958, and instantly became a father to her three young children.  They added a fourth child in 1959.  Dennis and Betty were married for 55 years.

Dennis worked for the Idaho Department of Transportation for thirty-five years.  He worked as a surveyor, snowplow driver, vehicle maintenance specialist, and any other job that needed to be done.  He was a jack of all trades.  He built his first house in order to support his new family when money was hard to come by.  From then on, there wasn’t anything he couldn’t build, repair, improvise or improve on when it came to his home or vehicles.

Dennis loved the mountains.  He enjoyed exploring the backcountry of Idaho on his ATV, Kawasaki Mule, motorcycle or VW Thing.  He would often spend his evenings working on his home in Boise and his weekends working on the cabin.  His children and grandchildren have a lot of special memories of their time with him at the cabin.

Dennis is survived by his sister, Jackie Shutz of Boise; two sons, Steven Dexter (Marc Goodwin) of Boise, and Greg Dexter (Rosie) of Eagle; two daughters, Gloria Wickham (Michael) of Meridian, and Renae Vandever of Boise; six grandchildren Marnae, Joe, David, Lisa, Derek, and Blake, eleven great-grandchildren; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and close friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his grandparents, and brother James “Jim” Raines, all from Boise.

Our family would like to thank Dennis’ extended family at Garnet Place Assisted Living in Garden City.  You made him feel at home and treated him with respect and dignity.  He genuinely enjoyed all the fun activities you provided for your residents, and especially for the UNO games, Wii bowling, Bingo nights and holiday events.  Our family would also like to thank the staff, doctors and our new family at the VA Medical Center and Home Based Primary Care Team for the excellent services and treatment you provided him during his later years.  Your care, compassion, support, and professionalism was truly exceptional and deeply appreciated.

Cremation was performed by Bella Vida Funeral Home in Boise.  Dennis’ ashes will be interred at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery on November 30, 2017, at 3:00 PM.  All friends and family are welcome to attend.


  • Theresa and Loran Hancock Posted November 18, 2017 12:19 am

    First Sir, Thank You for your service. Condolences to your family. What an amazing man he must have been. Although we did not know him on a personal level, he was family. Thinking of your family Gloria and Mike during this time and wishing you peace and strength through this time. I know you have given us strength through our battle, and that is a testimony to the people you are and who raised you. Much love.

  • Joe Raines Posted November 19, 2017 11:07 pm

    Grandpa was more a father to me he raised me taught me everything I know from how to shoot a gun build stuff run chainsaws I am the man I am today because of Dennis I am so proud to carry on the Raines name and that my son Atticus is a Raines. Grandpa the the best man i have ever known and his memory will live on through me and I will teach my son everything grandpa taught me including song three Irishman lol love you with all my heart and miss you terribly Joe Raines

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