Thu, 04/13/2017 - 3:27pm admin
Dennis Eastman, 56, of Staples, Minn., formerly Brainerd, Minn., died Saturday, April 8 in St. Cloud Hospital.
Baadiaitchish “Achiever of a Good Life” (Crow Indian Name given to Dennis by his adopted uncle Ronnie Little Light) was born Dec. 23, 1960 in Crow Agency, a son of Sid Eastman and Marjorie Day Child. Dennis was a member of the Crow Tribe - Whistling Water Clan. In his childhood years, he grew up in California and Utah, and then moved with his family to Wahpeton, N.D., where he graduated in 1979.
While attending Wahpeton High School, he participated in football, basketball, wrestling, track and baseball. In 1979, the Wahpeton “Wops” won the State High School Basketball Tournament – Dennis was the captain of the basketball team. The Wops went 21-0 that year. He was honored as the North Dakota High School Athlete of the Year in 1979.
Dennis received a football and basketball scholarship to North Dakota State School of Science for two years, where he was a football quarterback and a basketball guard. He transferred to Moorhead State University, Minn. on another football scholarship. In 1993, Dennis was inducted into both the NDSCS Athletic Hall of Fame and the Moorhead State University Hall of Fame.
He obtained multiple degrees in his field, including a Bachelor’s of Science in Recreation from Moorhead State University, a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Education from Mayville State University, a Master’s degree in Sports Management from the U.S. Sports Academy and a Diploma in Massage Therapy from the Minnesota School of Business.
Eastman began a career as a football coach at Moorhead State University, and teacher and football coach in Lower Brule, S.D. Beginning in 1990, Dennis held a number of roles in his 26 years at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, including Health and Physical Instructor, football coach, women’s basketball coach and women’s softball coach. He also taught two years from 2005-07 at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn.
Dennis’s work reflected his passion for teaching students as they learn and grow. He truly loved being a coach and getting to know his student athletes. He was the proverbial big man with a big heart.
His grandparents Charlie and Stella Howe Eastman, and Joe and Agnes Day Child, preceded Dennis in death.
Survivors include his wife Pam; his daughter (Mike) Megan Ness; his son Zach (Chantel) Eastman; his father Sid (Veronica) Eastman; his mother Marjorie Hilbers; his sister Sydney Eastman; his father/mother-in-law Brian and Joann Halverson; his uncles Marvin (Gayle) and Ronnie Bruce (Bernadine) Eastman; numerous cousins; as well as his extended Crow family the Howe, Eastman, Davis, Big Day, Lion Show, Rock Above, and Mullenburg families; plus his extended Northern Cheyenne family the Eastman-Lei, Bixby, LaFranier-Spang, Beartusk, Robinson, Brien, Whitewolf, Sherman, Pease, Storm, Parker, LaFever, Bolson, Dahl, Pitman and Livingston families; also the Chippewa Cree extended family the Day Child and Gopher families. Our family is large; if we have missed you, please accept our apology.
A celebration of Dennis’ life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 23 at Central Lakes College Gymnasium in Brainerd. The public is invited to attend. Family are invited to gather beginning at noon on Sunday.
Arrangements are by Brenny Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services in Brainerd.