Dennis Michael Lipa, age 76, of Houghton Lake, formerly of Swartz Creek, died on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, at his home. Dennis was born January 2, 1947, in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Leo and Edith Lipa. Dennis was drafted in May of 1966 and served as an Aircraft Engine Mechanic and UH-1 Huey Maintenance Crew Chief in Vietnam until 1968. In 1979 he joined the Michigan National Guard in Grand Ledge, Michigan and served as a UH-1 Huey Crew Chief and Technical Inspector until he retired in 1998. He worked for General Motors Parts Division from 1968 until his retirement in April 2002, dedicating just over 33 years to his career there. Dennis was a very disciplined and loyal man. He was fun, active and a man of many talents. There wasn’t a challenge that he would not tackle and he was quick to show up for his family and friends anytime it was needed, many times without even being asked. He was loving, generous, kind, sentimental, mischievous, adventurous, sometimes stubborn, always forgiving, and had a laugh that was contagious. He had many friends that he loved dearly and he would spend hours sharing stories of shenanigans he participated in with his friends on Runyan Lake, his guard buddies, his family, and many other friends. He had several hobbies throughout his life including scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing, boating, snow skiing, photography and traveling. He was an excellent cook, in the kitchen and on the grill, and loved creating his own blend of seasonings to level up any dish. He carved a turkey like it was a work of art, and always sampled it just a little too much before serving. Dennis spent the last 27 years married to the love of his life, Toni Lipa (Leasure-Klusack). He had one daughter, Stephanie, two step-children that he loved like his own, Rachel and Adam, and several grandchildren. His family meant everything to him and the love he gave was endless. Dennis and Toni maintained a loving relationship with Dennis’s previous wife, Ann Hunt and her husband, Larry Hunt. Many cherished memories were created over the years in the blending of these two families. Dennis will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends. He is survived by beloved wife, Toni, daughters Stephanie Skinner of Fenton, MI, Rachel Thayer (Chris) of Owosso, MI, son Adam Klusack of Lansing, MI, grandchildren Ally, Rachael and Emma Skinner, Haylie and Triston Klusack, Rhiannon, Kirrah and Reese Thayer. Great-grandchildren Mila and Malachi Thayer. Sisters Karen Franchi (Tony) and Linda Githens-Cassa (Steve), sister-in-law Carol Lipa, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Dennis is preceded in death by his parents Edith and Leo Lipa, his brother Kenneth Lipa, and his beloved grandson Jentery Michael Farmer. A memorial service will be held 12:30 PM Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at Sharp Funeral Homes, Miller Road Chapel, 8138 Miller Rd., Swartz Creek, MI 48473. Interment of cremated remains will follow at Great Lakes National Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 2 PM – 8 PM Tuesday, October 17, 2023 and from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at the funeral home. If so desired, contributions may be made to YMCA Camp Copneconic in Fenton, MI, a passion very close to his late grandson, or to Vietnam Veterans of America.
Dennis Lipa, 76, of Houghton Lake
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