Obituary Listings

Remember all we enjoyed with them while they were alive. If you have recently lost someone you love, we hope that you will accept our condolences.

Dennis James Gillcrese, Sr.

06/24/1954 - 03/24/2024


Obituary For Dennis James Gillcrese, Sr.

Dennis James Gillcrese, Sr., was born on June 24, 1954, in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, to the late Anslem Gillcrese and Verlan Hawkins. He was one of eight children, four of whom preceded him in death; two older siblings, Alberta and Rhoda and his two younger brothers, Anslem, Jr. and Roy. On March 24, 2024, Dennis departed this life to be with the Lord and loved ones gone before him.

Despite having such a large family, his parents ingrained good values amongst all of them. “Always be respectful to others, treat folks right, work hard for whatever you want in life, last thing to live and enjoy life”. Dennis would pass these values on to his sons.

Dennis was educated through the Pittsburgh Public School system and graduated from Gateway High School in Monroeville in 1973. Shortly thereafter, Dennis attended the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. While in college he met Brenda Webster whom he married. They had two sons, Dennis, Jr. and Reginald.

Later in life, Dennis enlisted in the United States Navy. He reached the rank of Petty Officer, served 23 years, and was honorably discharged in 1997. While in the Navy Dennis and his family were able to live in many different places like Texas, Virginia, and New York. The place he was most fond of living in was Naples, Italy. Dennis spoke about their experiences often while he served the country.

After retiring from the Navy, the Gillcrese family settled in Dover, Delaware. Dennis worked for DSWA for a few years as a Compliance Officer before switching over to the Dover Police Department as a 911 dispatcher. He came back to DSWA as a weighmaster up until his final days.

In 2016, Dennis met his new love, Kendyll Hill and they hit it off instantly. They became engaged two years later. The two were inseparable and enjoyed going on cruises together, shopping, or just getting in the car and asking whether we go North or South. Thrift shopping was one of his favorite things to do.

Dennis was a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan and enjoyed sports betting. He also enjoyed going to Bally’s Casino where he was well known and liked by many of the staff. He knew the drink attendants, slot attendants, and hostesses by name as they knew him. His favorite game was Caveman Keno which he could make a hundred dollars last for hours.

My father like “Zorro” was a man of the people, to be more specific he’d say in his voice, “I fight for the people!” He valued friendship, connections, and family, and loved helping folks who were down on their luck or not in a good mood he’d be there to cheer you up. He treated everyone with respect and dignity no matter who they were. I’m looking at a lot of sad faces and can honestly say don’t be. My dad would say, “Don’t cry over my grave when I’m gone. Celebrate the life I lived, and damn, I lived a heck of a life.” Honor his life by living yours to the absolute best of your abilities and to the fullest.

Cherish those around you because you won’t see them again when they are gone until it’s your time. Reflecting on the memories of Dennis will keep his spirit alive in each of us here in this room. He will be greatly missed and loved by so many. Parting words that my father would say are these, "I’ll see you soon” and “That’ll do!”

Dennis leaves behind those to cherish his memory and love, his fiancé, Kendyll Hill; Dennis, Jr. and his fiancé, Nicole Miller Ross; Reginald and their mother, Brenda Webster Gillcrese; brother, Walter Gillcrese and his wife, Bridget; sisters, Hellen Gillcrese Wilkerson, and Roslyn Jean Gillcrese; grandchildren, Kalice Gillcrese, Savanah McDonald, and Lane Lewis Gillcrese; Kendyll’s children, Candice, Elijah, and Zanaria; her grandchildren, Zion and Zakari, who affectionately called him Grandpa Dennis. Dennis also leaves those to cherish his memory, all his casino friends, route 10 WAWA employees, DSWA family, Mikal Waring, Kenya Tate; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins


6 Apr


12:00 PM - 02:00 PM

Bennie Smith Funeral Home of Delaware (Dover) 717 W Division Street Dover, DE 19904 Get Directions »
6 Apr

Funeral Service

02:00 PM

Bennie Smith Funeral Home of Delaware (Dover) 717 W Division Street Dover, DE 19904 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • 04/06/2024

    My condolences to the family of Dennis. Didn't know him except at DSWA, where he made it a point to greet myself and family, on our weekly visits. From our limited encounters, it was evident that he was raised correctly, and will be very much missed - every week. Eternal energy and love is being sent.

  • 04/04/2024

    Dennis, I can't believe this has happened. You will be missed by many, with that big smile and laugh. We all have lost a good friend and co-worker. Rest my friend. Jerry

  • 04/04/2024

    Dennis always gave me smiles acceptance & comforting hugs. Those are moments that I will always hold in my heart. Reggie you are in my thoughts during this heartbreaking time. Love, Jo Joanne O'Neill

  • 04/03/2024

    Dennis, you will be missed by all the employees and everyone that came through the scalehouses at DSWA. You were a true joy to work with. May you rest in peace with all the Angels up there with you. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family....Steve Lowry PTCTS

  • 04/01/2024

  • 03/29/2024

    To the love of my life. Words can't explain this pain I feel right now. Nothing could told me that this would be the end. My heart is forever broken. I will love you for the rest of my life. You were a truly wonderful man. Whom I loved wholeheartedly. Thank you for loving me the way you did. I will cherish your love forever. This has been five of life. Sometimes it feels as if I can't catch my breath.. I know you would want me to okay. Just want you to know that I truly love and miss you. Thank you so much giving and showing me real love. Love alway your Woman.

  • 03/29/2024

    You gave no one last farewell nor ever said goodbye. You're going before we know it and only God knows why 1 million times we will miss you 1 million times we will cry you hold a place. No one else can ever fill. Our hearts is broken our hearts to lose you, but you did not go alone us is with you God took you home. May you rest in peace your sister-in-law misses you and your brother-in-law never be forgotten Mr. laughter and the good Times.

  • 03/29/2024

    Dennis was a great person I was a good friend Dennis help me though my hard times... He was a great supporter!!! He's really going to be missed !!!!Love from your good friend Catherine

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Popular Question

Remember all we enjoyed with them while they were alive. If you have recently lost someone you love, we hope that you will accept our condolences.

Why is having a funeral ceremony important?

Throughout human history, and around the globe, people have gathered together to acknowledge the death of a member of the community. No matter who the deceased was, a funeral ceremony is the one (and sometimes the only) opportunity for everyone to come together to acknowledge their death, recognize the community's shared loss and share the burden of grief.

What is the average cost of a funeral service?

The National Funeral Directors Association states the national median cost of a funeral details the average costs of a funeral in 2012: $7,045 (however, if a burial vault is required by the cemetery–and it usually is–the median cost can rise as high as $8,343). These statistics aside, the cost of a funeral service is wholly dependent on the specific services and products selected by the family member(s) responsible for making funeral arrangements. Your funeral director will thoroughly explain all options, ask the important questions about your family's budget restrictions; and otherwise do everything he or she can to provide you with a funeral, memorial service or celebration-of-life that meets your emotional and social needs, all the while staying in line with your financial expectations

How does the cost for a funeral ceremony compare to the cost of a memorial service or celebration-of-life?

Attempting to compare the costs of the three is rather like trying to compare oranges, mangoes and apples; it can't be done. Perhaps it's easier to see funerals, memorial services and celebrations-of-life as three points on a spectrum–a range, if you like–of ceremonial formats. At one end is the funeral; at the other, the celebration-of-life, and in the middle, the memorial service. The funeral is most commonly the most expensive of the three; which is especially easy to see when you consider the cost of the casket is a significant expense. The cost of any of the three is totally dependent on the choices you make during the arrangement conference.

Who should be invited to a funeral?

It's a lot like asking 'who should be invited to a wedding': people who would want to be there. A person's role at a funeral is two-fold: one, they are there to demonstrate support for the bereaved family. Second, funeral guests are there to tend to their own sorrow; to begin to come to terms, in the safety of a shared collective experience, with the death of someone they held dear. While it's not common to send out invitations to a funeral (generally, the service details are published in the newspaper or online, and those who wish to attend, do); it does make a certain amount of sense to reach out to certain individuals by phone, email, or social media to ensure they are aware of the service date/time (and express your desire for their presence). When preparing the guest list for a funeral service, you should both listen to your heart and use common sense. You know the people that mattered most to your loved one, as well as those who mattered least. Whatever you do, don't invite more people than the venue can comfortably handle.

Is it necessary to have flowers at the ceremony?

Flowers create a background of warmth and beauty which adds to the dignity and consolation of the funeral service. "Necessary" may not be the right word; but there's no doubt flowers at a funeral or other end-of-life ceremony serve many valuable purposes including a means of a visual expression of sympathy, love and respect or a means of lending support.

What's involved in preparing the body for viewing at a visitation or funeral?

The preparation of the deceased can involve a number of different tasks performed by trained and licensed embalmer and restorative artists. Without going into too much detail; the body is temporarily preserved by embalming, refrigeration, or a combination of the two. It is washed, dressed and otherwise groomed; then placed in the chosen casket for viewing. Should you wish to know more about the process, contact us. There are also many excellent articles online describing the process in greater detail.

If it makes people uncomfortable, why is it necessary to view the body in the casket?

Human beings are interesting creatures: sometimes we need to see in order to truly believe. It's a way of confirming the fact that, indeed, this individual is dead; but it's also an opportunity to say your "good-byes". You may find it a cathartic time where you can quietly share a long-held secret, let go of any anger or resentment, and otherwise come to terms with their death.

How can I best prepare my children to attend a funeral?

When asked this question, we like to tell people it's best done with honesty and awareness. Let them know basically what they can expect. Advise them there will be people there who will be sad and may cry openly; tell them there will be time for some people to stand up and talk about how much they loved the person (but they won't be required to do so). Let them ask all the questions they need to ask, reassure them you'll be right next to them throughout the experience. Never force them to go to a funeral, and always give them the opportunity to change their mind about attending.

What is a celebrant?

The Celebrant Foundation and Institute define celebrants as "trained professionals who believe in the power and effectiveness of ceremony and ritual to serve basic needs of society and the individual. The Celebrant's mission is to help the client create a ceremony that reflects his or her beliefs, philosophy of life, and personality." A life-cycle celebrant is especially valuable when a family has no religious affiliations or ties to a clergy person or minister who can officiate the funeral service, but involving a celebrant in the funeral planning process has been found to enhance the funeral experience for all concerned. "The Celebrant comes to the table with no agenda," shares the Institute's website, "and no preconceived notion of what the ceremony should or must look like. Instead, through careful interviewing, the Celebrant elicits what is meaningful for each client." If you think hiring a celebrant is the right for your family's situation, contact us for more details.

How long is a funeral service?

Simply put, "it depends on the service". Just as no two movies or novels are the same length or cover the same emotional ground; no two end-of-life ceremonies are the same.

Must I wear black to the funeral ceremony?

Black used to be the only color to wear to a funeral; but not anymore. Today things are less formal than they once were, and it's not totally uncommon for families to ask prospective guests to altogether avoid wearing black clothing. Should you have additional questions about funeral attire or etiquette, please contact us.

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