Cress Funeral Home



Dennis W. Presser
November 10, 1958 - February 16, 2013

Dennis W. Presser

Dennis W. Presser
Nov 10, 1958 - Feb 16, 2013

Dennis W. Presser
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Madison - Dennis W. Presser age 54, passed away on February 16, 2013 suddenly from natural causes at his home in Madison. He was born on November 10, 1958 in El Paso, Texas, the son of William and Joan (Hamilton) Presser. Dennis faithfully served his country for over 20 years as an Army Infantryman, serving both in active duty and in the National Guard. He retired from the 32nd Infantry Brigade at the rank of Captain. Dennis graduated from North Dakota State University where he received a BA in Humanities. From 1991-1995, he attended and graduated from UW-Madison with his MA, MS in Public Administration and Urban and Regional Planning. In 1987, Dennis was united in marriage to Laurie Jo Larson, DVM in North Dakota. Over the years, they resided in North Dakota, Maine and Wisconsin. Dennis was an avid conservationist, hunter and trout fisherman. He held active roles in many organizations including the Ruffed Grouse Society, Dane County Conservation League, the Nature Conservancy, Southwest Wisconsin Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Prairie Enthusiasts and until recently was Chairman of the Prescribed Fire Council of Wisconsin. Dennis served as a Union Steward for the Wisconsin Science Professionals. He was also an active member of his church, Circle Sanctuary of Mount Horeb and he led conservation efforts on the nature preserve there. Dennis also enjoyed making music and was a member of the Madison based Brazilian percussion group, "The Handphibians" for several years. Dennis was beloved by many for his humor and full hearted generosity. To his last day, he lived his life fully.
He is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Laurie Larson , his two children; Hunter and Allegra Larson all of Madison, his mother; Joan Presser of Turtle Lake, ND; brother; David (Theresa) Presser of Mercer, ND a sister; Deborah Presser of Bismarck, ND, aunts and uncle; Gary (Judy) Presser of Mercer, ND, Vern White of Minnesota. Dennis is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father William Presser, sister Donna Presser, his brother Douglas Presser and a niece Heather Presser.
Memorial services will be held at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3325 E. Washington Ave., Madison on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm with Reverend Selena Fox officiating. A visitation will be held at the funeral home on Saturday from 12 Noon until the time of services. In lieu of gifts or flowers, the family requests donations in Dennis's name be directed to Madison Chapter - Rough Grouse Society, attn.: Jim Shurtz, 2822 Chamberlain Ave., Madison, WI 53705 and/ or Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, P.O. Box 9, Barneveld, WI 53507

Dennis, may the trout rise to the fly you cast, may the grouse flush in just the right direction, may the spring rains bring up green shoots from the blackened prairie, and may there always be more cowbell. We love you and miss you, Papa Bear!
Cress Funeral & Cremation Services
3325 E. Washington Road
(608) 249-6666
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Healing Registry on Feb 21, 2013

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Jim Voss on Mar 4, 2013

Dear Laurie, Hunter & Allegra,

I was very fortunate and privileged to have known and worked with Dennis when he interned at the Madison City Attorney's Office. He was one of the best legal clerks I ever had during my 34+ years in the Office, even though he was not a law student. Dennis had a nearly instant understanding of the law, and was a gifted communicator. He almost completely drafted for me this one particular bypass motion from the Court of Appeals to the Wisconsin Supreme Court that was nearly perfect [even according to off-the-record comments by a Court of Appeals Judge], required almost no editing by me, and was successful. In addition to his many talents, Dennis was a first-rate person who loved his family and was very proud of their accomplishments. Those of us throughout the community who had an opportunity to have known or worked with Dennis will miss his smile, hearty laugh, and universally positive outlook on life and the boundless energy with which he lived it. I am truly sorry for your loss and for the loss to the greater community good.

Kalen on Feb 25, 2013


I am so sorry about Dennis. This is why I try to live every day to the fullest, and I am glad he did the same. I only met him once, or maybe twice, but from reading this I know what a good person he was. Take care as you try to heal. My best to you and the kids. You will be in my thoughts.

M.L.HURT on Feb 23, 2013

Very sorry to read of the passing of your dear loved one Dennis. Life is such a precious gift yet so short-lived for the time we exist.
We are comforted by the hope of the resurrection
God holds out this wonderful hope for all those in the grave. At John 11; 25 Jesus said " I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. HE THAT EXERCISES FAITH IN ME EVEN THOUGH HE DIES, WILL COE TO LIFE."
Mark 5-38-43 is one of the nine accounts of ones who were resurrected. How comforting to know these things from the Holy Scriptures.
The gift of your memories fo Dennis will bring you great joy and turn into a treasure.
You and yours will receive strength through prayer to God, you will feel comfort by the loving concern of your God-fearing friends, and you will be uplifte by studying God's Word.
Trust in " the God of All Comfort" Psalms 83-18

Jack Benjamin on Feb 23, 2013

I met Dennis only recently, through Trout Unlimited. Always positive, always smiling. What a good man. How fortunate for me to have known him, if only briefly.

Sue Jones on Feb 21, 2013

Laurie, Hunter, and Allegra,
Dennis was a wonderful colleague, and I enjoyed getting to know him through our work together since 2008 to improve the Yahara watershed through Yahara CLEAN.

A kind and gentle man -- a super volunteer -- a person who cared deeply for our land and water. We miss him.

Rev. Selena Fox on Feb 21, 2013

CandleI am cherishing many memories of Dennis and our times together ... restorative Earth Day prairie burns at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, energetic drumming, environmental planning meetings, storytelling around campfires, veterans rights work, Solstice celebrations, environmental activism, his life filled with love and service for Nature, family, community, country, world. Support to Laurie, Hunter, and Allegra. May all of us mourning Dennis' death be comforted in knowing that he lives on in many ways - in our hearts and thoughts, in natural places he cared for, and in the greater Circle of Nature of which we are all part.

Debby Ward on Feb 20, 2013

Dear Laurie, Hunter, and Allegra,
How lucky I feel to have known your husband and Dad. With such love and passion that he cared for all three of you and all that life encompassed. His passion was contagious and surely a gift. The world lost a special man~ May you find peace in your memories and the love you shared. So sorry for your loss. Love to all you, (Ms.) Debby from Countryside Montessori

Emmett and Julia Mullin on Feb 20, 2013

Dennis - we will miss you and your bright spirit. It was a pleasure to get to know you and Laurie during our graduate school years in Madison. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

Sandy Gunderson on Feb 20, 2013

Dar Laurie, Hunter and Allegra
Cathy Hunt and I want to express our deepest sympathies to your family. Dennis was a terrific Mendota parent and we sure enjoyed his visits there. We are thinking of you today and sending our love and prayers. He was quite a wonderful man and he left a beautiful legacy in his bright and caring children. Accept our hugs. xx

Waz on Feb 20, 2013

Pass easy my friend, may the blessings of the universe be upon you.

Lori Price on Feb 19, 2013

CandleDear Laurie,

I am so sorry to hear of Dennis' passing. He talked about you and the kids often. You could tell that he enjoyed being a family man. I hope that God is with you during this difficult time, and know that my prayers are with you too.

Lori Price
Former BLWR, DATCP Employee



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Cress Funeral Home - East Washington Chapel
3325 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, Wisconsin 53704
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Cress Funeral Home - East Washington Chapel
3325 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, Wisconsin 53704
2:00 PM

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