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Dennis C. Elam
September 17, 1942 ~ October 15, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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Dennis Carlyle Elam, aged 81, of Cripple Creek, Colorado, passed away on October 15th, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. He was born on September 17th, 1942, in Wise, Virginia, to proud parents Nat Elam and Dorothy Mae Fugate. Dennis's journey through life was filled with dedication and a commitment to service.
He grew up in Bluefield, West Virginia, and enlisted in the Air Force upon graduating from high school. Dennis was stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster, Missouri, where he earned a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from Central Missouri State. His thirst for knowledge and passion for education led him to Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kansas, where he established a Criminal Justice Department. He also became deeply involved with Ryukyu Kempo Karate. In 1973, Dennis moved to Garden City, Kansas, where he initiated the Criminal Justice program at Garden City Community College. He dedicated years to teaching, not only imparting knowledge but also creating innovative programs like the Black and White Pre-Academy police courses, rescue rappel training, in addition to his karate classes. His expertise and passion earned him the remarkable status of a 10th-degree black belt in Ryukyu Kempo Karate. Dennis's impact extended beyond the classroom. He was a visionary and inventor, holding several patents. Among his inventions was the QuikKuf, a rigid handcuff that made a significant impact, especially in the United Kingdom, where he trained police from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
Colorado held a special place in Dennis's heart, particularly the Cripple Creek area, where he fell in love with the mountains during his annual visits. After retiring from his teaching career, he decided to make his mountain cabin his full-time home, embracing the serenity and beauty of the Rockies.
Dennis is preceded in death by his daughter, Danielle Elam-Jobe of Kansas City, Missouri. He leaves behind a legacy of love and memories, cherished by his younger sister, Dorothy Martin, his eldest daughter, Briana Stanek, and her partner, Jessie Hooper of Denver, Colorado. His son, Stev, and daughter-in-law, Grayce Elam, reside in Los Angeles, California. His granddaughter, Rachael Stanek, calls San Diego, California, her home.
Dennis's impact also reverberates through a vast network of friends and extended family who held him in high regard. Dennis Carlyle Elam will be remembered for his unwavering dedication to education, martial arts, and innovation. His adventurous spirit and love for the mountains will continue to inspire those who knew and loved him. He leaves behind a remarkable legacy that will be celebrated and cherished for generations to come.
Graveside Service with military honors will be held at 1PM on Thursday, October 26, 2023 at Pikes Peak Cemetery, 10545 Drennan Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80925 - Staging Area 2.