Obituaries » Denis Clark DuBois
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Denis Clark DuBois
October 24, 1935 - April 14, 2023
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On April 9, Denis Clark DuBois was taken to the hospital with congestive heart failure. The family was
gifted 4 precious days with him to share stories and memories of a life well lived. He passed away
peacefully in Bellevue, Washington on Friday, April 14, 2023, at the age of 87 and a half (the half was
very important to him).
Denis was born in Aurora, Illinois on October 24,1935 to Florence (Guth) and Albert DuBois. He had
a passion for sports and during high school and college he participated in many sports including his
favorites of football and track. He studied biochemistry at Northern Illinois University on an athletic
scholarship and did postgraduate studies at Purdue University.
Denis’s early career included working at a youth prison. He often talked about his time working with
troubled youth and the lessons he learned including that there are no bad people, just people that do
He later taught elementary through high school in Lombard, Illinois where he met the love of his life,
Joan Helmers. They were married on December 28, 1963.
In 1967 they moved their infant daughter, Michele, and Alaskan Malamute puppy across the country
to work as a biology consultant for the Idaho State Department of Education. While living in American
Falls, their second daughter, Charise, joined the family.
In 1969 the family moved to Bellevue, Washington where Denis taught biology at Newport High
School. He also taught many Bellevue area students to drive as part of Bellevue’s driver education
For many years, the family attended St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church where Denis, among other
activities, led the youth group. Denis and Joan were also avid square dancers and enjoyed their
After retirement, Denis helped Joan with her home daycare business and became the official
chauffeur for his two beloved granddaughters, Janelle and Cassie.
His kindness and humor will be missed by the many people whose lives he has touched over the
years. One of his goals was to make people smile or, better yet, laugh. He had an endless collection
of bad jokes to support that goal. Even without the jokes, he often had all around him laughing.
His love for athletics continued his entire life. From 5:30 a.m. swims at the Mercer Island pool, to early
morning walks with his beloved dog Otter, to daily morning workouts at the Sammamish YMCA where
he reveled in his title of King of the Rowing Machine. When COVID shut down the YMCA and Denis
and Joan moved to a senior living community, he had the staff open the community’s gym door early
in the morning so he could continue to work out.
Denis is remembered with love by his wife of 59 years Joan DuBois, daughters Michele Hendrikse
DuBois (Remco Hendrikse) and Charise Eliason (John Eliason), granddaughters Janelle and Cassie
Eliason, brother Jule DuBois, sister Deri Malo and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Per Denis’s request, there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider
making a donation to a local animal shelter or rescue center.