Dennis was born in Lima, Ohio in 1956. In his early teens, Dennis liked to "hang around" a small airport packing parachutes. At the age of 16 he began parachuting, and at 17 he joined the Army as a parachute rigger. He had the urge, "Just to be in the Air!" He spent seven and a half years in the Army, three of which he was an Air Traffic Controller.
While in the Military, he began flying. Between 1978 and 1980, he received commercial, instrument, and multi-engine ratings. He received a sea plane rating in 1984, and a commercial glider rating in 1987, and for two years he flew a traffic watch aircraft. In 1982 he became a federal Air Traffic Controller and has worked at Pittsburgh and Rochester towers prior to transferring to the Cleveland Center.
He has been married for 27 years and lives in Wellington, Ohio.