Dennis Lee Korpi
Dennis Lee Korpi passed away on March 31 at the age of 75. The Winlock community lost a great man.
Dennis Korpi was an institution in Winlock, serving the public as a Winlock City Council Member and a Winlock Reserve Officer. He was all about Winlock and Winlock is a better place because of Denny. Denny served in the Winlock Police Department as a reserve officer from 1985 to 1995. He also served in the role of Winlock City Council from 1990 to 2017.
Denny was raised in Winlock, graduated from Winlock, and stayed in town to serve the people he knew. His Parents were Frank "Fritz" and Alice. The Korpi family have been longtime Winlock residents, his brother Jerry also graduated from Winlock. Denny was preceded in death by his son Richard, his parents and brother Jerry. Denny is survived by two sons, Brandon and Theron. He had five grandchildren.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Denny after his retirement from the City of Winlock Council. Denny was always the voice of reason, not getting into personal issues but always looking out for everyone he represented. Denny was a true public servant, one of the best in Winlock's History. There will never be another Denny Korpi who cared so much about the great City of Winlock.
Denny wasn't just a public person, he was also a neighbor. Bobbye Pennington stated, "Great neighborhood watchman. Always letting me know if crazy people were around. He cared for Winlock like no one else I know. Winlock lost a great asset. He will be missed."
Jodie Curtis, who served with Denny for a short time stated, "I wasn't on council long enough to know Denny very well. He was a fairly quiet man unless something roused his passion. He liked to fly under the radar and blend in. He was a wealth of information about all things Winlock and had a heart bigger than most people will ever have the honor of knowing. Denny was a piece of Winlock that will never be replaced!"
Another well known public servant is Randy Pennington, Randy had the opportunity to work with Denny, he stated, "Outstanding public servant, in multiple arenas, law enforcement, fire/EMS, local government, community involvement. Within him beat the heart of a volunteer, a commodity that is a rare special jewel in our society.....was an honor to know him, honor to serve with him." True public servants are hard to find, ones who care about the community, that was Denny Korpi!
Before Denny retired, he worked with Connie Sneed on the Winlock City Council and they remained friends, she continued, "He was a true mentor to anyone entering city politics. You might think it should be one way but he'd explain the history and why it wasn't as it seemed. He was my go to man when I needed advice on city matters and sometimes just life advice. He lived a life of community service which has not gone unnoticed by so many here in Winlock. He set the bar high."
Carol Wallin, another lifetime Winlock resident and super volunteer in the community stated, "The kind of guy you were always glad to call your friend. He had no problem speaking his mind when it came to making our community a better place and helping to preserve its history." Denny and his family had a history in Winlock and they definitely made it a better place.
Denny served 17 years on the Winlock City Council and while there, he impressed many. Barbara Lewis stated, "I was on the council with Mr. Korpi in the early 90s. He was always the voice of reason. He knew so much about the city and cared deeply about it. Winlock has lost another part of its history with him gone."
Holly Orbino, who also served with Denny stated, "Dennis taught me so much. I feel blessed to have been able to sit on the council with him!"
If you had the chance to talk to Denny, you would find that he never minced words. He said what he meant and he was honest, always one to look for the best for the citizens who live in the city. He cared deeply for our community. Denny was one of the very last true public servants Winlock has seen and he will be missed by everyone!