Surrounded by those who loved him most, Dennis Paul Mickelsen (age 54) lost his three-year battle with cancer on Nov. 8. Denny was born to Dennis and Linda Mickelsen and spent his childhood in Winlock, Washington on their family dairy farm. Most of his childhood memories involved working and learning on the farm. Known then as Denny Paul, he loved working with his dad, grandpa Clayton, and the crew. He loved the cows, fields, and equipment - farming was truly in his blood.
After graduating from Winlock High School in 1986, Denny attended Washington State University in Pullman. He worked hard to balance his rigorous engineering classes, working on the campus dairy, and enjoying a social life. After earning his B.S. in Agricultural Engineering in 1991, Denny spent four years working as an engineer for the USDA/SCS, earning his professional license before returning to his true passion on the Winlock farm.
It wasn’t long after graduating from WSU that Denny met and married Wendy, whom he described as the only woman he ever loved. They had three daughters; Delaney, Avery, and Chloe. Denny loved ‘his girls’ more than anything.
In 2002, Denny moved with his family to Moses Lake to farm with his brother, Aaron. After a few years, his parents moved over the mountains as well and Denny, Aaron and their dad worked together until his passing. Denny spent many years serving the farming community on the East Columbia Basin Water Board and on the Board of Directors for Darigold.
Denny is survived by his wife Wendy; daughters Delaney (Layton), Avery and Chloe; parents Dennis and Linda; sister Kelly (Brendan); brother Aaron (Jennifer); in-laws Larry Tornow and Karen Slater; along with numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
Denny was blessed with so many wonderful friends. He will be remembered for his quick wit, strong opinions, relentless work ethic, and integrity - in addition to his constant use of movie quotes. His memory will live on through his wife and daughters, parents, siblings, and friends. His family will be holding a Celebration of Life for him on Jan. 7, 2023 at 2 PM at the Ephrata Recreation Center. All are welcome to attend.
To honor his legacy, his family has started the “DP Mickelsen Memorial Scholarship Fund.” Donations for the fund can be made to the Columbia Basin Foundation. Call 509-754-4596 or visit columbiabasinfoundation.org for more information. Additionally, fond memories and/or photos can be shared with dennypaulmickelsen@ gmail.com.