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Dennis Ray Whitman January 12, 1948 - September 17, 2018

Dennis Ray Whitman

January 1948 ~ September 2018

Dennis, age 70, passed away unexpectedly in Hilmar on September 17, 2018.  He was born in Los Angeles in 1948 to Robert and Ray Jacqueline Whitman.

In 1979 Dennis came to San Francisco Teen Challenge as a student who needed to transition from San Quentin Prison, and it was there God continued the work he had begun in Dennis.  A year later Dennis met his wife Jody at Courtland Church at a service.  Dennis and Jody were married and celebrated over 37 years of marriage.  He went on to become staff with Teen Challenge and dedicated his life to helping others find the hope in Jesus that he had experienced.  Dennis served as Executive Director for many years at Teen Challenge/Faith Home Ranch in Turlock for many years until his retirement.  Recently he and his wife Jody enjoyed serving at their church.

Memorial service on Friday, Oct. 12 at 11:00am at Keyes Haven of Hope, Keyes, CA.

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  1. Brett Dickinson says

    I met Dennis at San Quentin when I was doing chapel volunteer work there in 1977 -78. We worked together on starting a group called Free Con in Christ which would help men transition once they left San Quentin and help them get plugged into local churches. Dennis loved the Lord and I have shared his testimony with many people. We saw each other when he got out in 1979 and through some later phone contacts after I moved to southern Texas. One day while listening to an Unshackled program I began to think how familiar the testimony seemed. By the end of the program, I realized this had to be about Dennis and I was thrilled to find out it was. I know he will be missed, but the seeds he sowed will continue to bear fruit. I was blessed to see how he continued to walk faithfully with the Lord.

  2. Kelly Flannery says

    I remember Dennis very well from my stay in the Teen Challenge program in Turlock cal, somewhere around 1995, he played a major role in my recovery back then. I was actually trying to reach out to him today many years later and was very sad to find he had passed. RIP Dennis and so thankful for the role you played in my recovery, thank you.

  3. marla cornelsen says

    I am looking for the wife of Dennis Whitman,he was my biological father,I think he knew about me,I was given up for adoption,my biological mother was just 16,this was 53 years ago, I found my biological mother,27 years ago and am very sad to find out, I was to late in finding my biological father,I was hoping hi wife Jody can give me some answers to my quedtions!

  4. James Chatelain, a.k.a. Jimmy says

    The first time I ever heard of Dennis Whitman, was when I was incarcerated and read his testimony, then in 2009 I entered teen challenge,in Monterey and was transferred to faith home ranch, it was then I meet Dennis, as a student I allowed God to have His will and I submitted to what He had planned for me. After completing my year as a student I stayed on as an intern , I drove what Dennis would call our lovely bus, taking the students to outings and eventually became a full time staff member, working along side some really good Christ followers who taught me how to love others the way God does. And when you think you can’t pray enough, just pray 5 more minutes. I love and miss talking with Dennis , and Miss Jody always prayed that God would bring me a Christian woman and in 2015 I met her, and was married in 2016, I was blessed to be with Dennis and Jody, from March, 2009 – until Aug, 2016, until we meet again love and miss you big “D”.

  5. Tim Moynihan says

    Read about his testimony in “Changed Lives in San Quentin.” His life was a living testimony of the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. I thank God for the way Christ used Dennis’ changed life to influence others for the Kingdom. What a wonderful homecoming it must have been on the day of Dennis’ passing into the eternal presence of God. But this wicked world lost a man with a shepherd’s heart, one who loved the lost as his Savior loved him. He will be missed.

  6. Randyc.Lawrence says

    My second father one of the greatest men I’ve ever known “hope to meet you at GOD’S house one day” I miss you!!!

  7. James J Blazin says

    I met Dennis,when I came to Turlock Teen Challenge,from the San Francisco Teen Challenge. There God used Dennis to point me back to Jesus. After graduating from the program,Dennis and I became very good friends. I just now learned of his homegoing. I am sad that he is gone,but I rejoice that he is with the Savior. I now am an ordained pastor. Because of how Dennis impacted my life,I have a heart to help those struggling with any addiction. I will miss my friend, brother in Christ,and fellow preacher,but I will also remember him for the kind and gentle man he was. See you in glory one day Dennis,I love you my brother,thank you for everything you have done for me. Rest In Peace.

  8. Ron Havill says

    Remembering what Dennis called “Leg theology….”holding unswervingly to the leg of Jesus as if life dependred on it”

  9. Michael Lopez says

    A true Believer. When I first met Dennis, he told me that God had put it on his heart that the Local Teen Challenge would one day have a ranch. At that time they were in the Denair Road location in Turlock with about eight men. His belief and trust in God’s plan, not his, was steadfast. Now look, he was able to see God’s Plan come true at Faith Home Teen Ranch.
    What a blessing to have known and have become friends with Dennis. I believe we will all be together again one day. Lord God, help me to Believe as my friend Dennis, Amen.
    Thanks be to God.

  10. Hazel Bishop says

    Dennis and my husband John Bishop were in San Quentin at the same time. John had the privilege of praying with Dennis as he asked Jesus into his heart. John is on a trip right now disconnected from the world… wireless. I literally told him just as he was boarding the boat he is on. I am sure we will be coming to the memorial. We have both respected Dennis and his continued devotion to his Lord, his Wife Jody and his community. God used him on Earth because he made himself available. He showed up. A servant always.
    Jody please know our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  11. shellie j Davenport says

    If I ever met anyone who had a heart for the addict, it was Dennis Whitman. I spoke with his beautiful wife Jody just today and she said… Dennis is with Jesus, walking on streets if gold, and reaping his reward. Great is his reward. Dennis Whitman you’ve left a legacy that will keep on growing. We love you and we shall meet again.

  12. pastor russell silva says

    when GOD called dennis home we lost a strong advocate for our LORD and saviour JESUS CHRIST WE HERE on earth will miss dennis there must be rejoising in heaven. We will meet again my brother on that beautiful shore

  13. Diane Silva says

    So sad to hear of Dennis passing. I got to hear him preach many times. He did so much for men in the Teen Chalkenge program. Through his work so many found recovery and hope. Condolences to his family and friends

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