Cover photo for Dennis Lawrence Nerby's Obituary
Dennis Lawrence Nerby Profile Photo
1939 Dennis Nerby 2023

Dennis Lawrence Nerby

November 2, 1939 — November 5, 2023

Manitowish Waters


Dennis L. Nerby  (11-2-1939 – 11-5-2023)

Dennis Nerby, age 84, of Manitowish Waters, WI went to his eternal home with God while surrounded by his family on November 5, 2023 after bravely facing an aggressive cancer. 

Denny is survived by his wife Suellen Nerby (nee Pagel), daughter Jill Nerby and grandson Michael Nerby-Sarafolean; daughter Marybeth Akin Brice (Bob), and grandsons Zach (Ashley) and Josh Akin; and son Jeffrey Scott Nerby (Laura) and grandson Cooper Nerby. Also survived by his sister Laurie Albrecht (nee Nerby) (Jim), Brother Ronald Nerby (Nancy) and sister in laws Joanie Nerby and Carole Frank, and aunt Shirley "Toby" Hyland (nee Hartung). He also leaves other relatives, cousins, nieces, nephews and 2 great-grandchildren.

Preceded in death by his mother Jane P. Nerby (nee Hartung) and his father Lawrence "Larry" Nerby, his brother Terry, and nephew Chris Albrecht, uncle Frances "Bud" Hyland, his grandparents Walter and Pearl Hartung (nee Tack), George and Pearl Nerby (nee McKInney), his father and mother in-law Henry and Frances Pagel (Cesafsky) and many aunts and uncles.

A “celebration of life event” will be shared for friends and family and will happen this spring / summer (2024) when many are back in the Northwoods after winter.

Denny met Suellen in 7th grade art class and both went on to graduate in 1958 from Washington High School in Milwaukee.  After attending the Michigan College of Mining and Technology (Marquette University) Denny went into the engineering field with Joseph Schlitz Brewing company.

Denny was a great athlete and won many awards. He played football and was 1st in state in pole vaulting in high school. Later, he played baseball socially on various company teams.

Denny began his career as a draftsman in the engineering dept of Joseph Schlitz Brewing company in Milwaukee, WI in 1962.  He worked his way up to being offered the Plant Engineer at Schlitz in 1977 although this meant his family would have to move from WI to Memphis, TN.  He then followed the company buyouts to Stroh's and Coors before he left the brewing career in 1982.  He went on to work as an engineer at Process Systems Inc. also in Memphis, TN until he retired in 1999 and in 2002 moved back to the family vacation area of Manitowish Waters, WI to build a house next to his parent’s home. He eventually became a snowbird to be able to golf all year round.

Denny and Suellen were married in 1960 and recently celebrated 63 years of marriage which produced 2 girls and 1 boy. Denny loved golf and was golfing 18 holes 5 days a week until shortly before his passing when the cancer quickly took over. He hit 6 “holes in one” over his lifetime.

Denny is loved by so many. He was humble, easy going and fun to be around. He loved his beer (just as his father Larry did)

In lieu of flowers, tax deductible charitable gifts expressing love and admiration in Denny's honor may be given to: The Aniridia Foundation Intl (AFI)  a 501(c)3 that his daughter Jill is Director of and founded in 2001. It is close to Denny’s heart due to having family members affected. For donations or to learn more on this rare disorder, the organization’s focus to help those with low vision and medical issues, or AFI’s funding of important clinical research to help those affected and also others with vision issues in the general population, visit

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, June 15, 2024

12:00 - 3:00 pm

Manitowish Waters Lions Pavilion @ MW Community Center

5733 Hwy 51, Manitowish Waters, WI 54545

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