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Dennis Thurman, Sr.

January 15, 1952 ~ February 22, 2020

Dennis “Hug” Wayne Thurman Sr. passed away February 22, 2020 at the age of 68 years, one month, and seven days. Dennis was born January 15, 1952 to E.J. and Betty Jo Guffey Thurman at St. Mary’s Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma. At a young age, the family moved to Caldwell, Kansas for a few of years before residing in Kremlin, Oklahoma. Dennis grew up in Kremlin and attended Kremlin schools throughout his senior year. He graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in 1975 with a double degree in Industrial Arts and Physical Education.

On October 28, 1972 he married the love of his life, Patricia “Patty” Conrady at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wakita, Oklahoma. They celebrated 47 years of marriage together. Dennis and Pat welcomed three children into the world, Dennis Wayne Jr., April Dawn, and Ami Deanne. Dennis was an incredible husband, dad, grandpa, teacher, coach, and friend. He loved his children and grandchildren and teaching them about the outdoors, coaching them in sports, and important lifelong lessons.

His first teaching assignment was in Marland, OK for two years. When looking for a house, kids approached him and thought he was a new high school student. Of course, he didn’t tell them otherwise. It was during his teaching career at Marland that the students gave him the name, “Huggy Bear”. He then accepted a teaching position in Caldwell, Kansas and taught for 41 years until his final year in 2018. He coached many sports during these years at Caldwell.

Dennis was assigned to teach Geography at Marland and that was not his favorite. He was happy when the State of Kansas started issuing the teaching certificate different and he didn’t see Geography on his certificate. He did not want the administration to know he could teach anything other than Drafting, P.E., Metal or Wood Shop.

Dennis was a man of many trades. If you ask him to do something, he could do it. He was so talented and artistic. He could draw anything and always had a vision for any project big or small. He loved hunting, fishing, camping on the Chicaskia River, coaching many sports (little league baseball in particular), going to his grandkids games, and watching his favorite sport, baseball. Dennis was very active in his community and always volunteering. He was an officer for the Caldwell Sportsmen Club for many years. After 20 years he retired from the Caldwell Fire Department as an Assistant Chief.

Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, in-laws; Ralph and Dorothy Conrady. Brother-in-laws; Charles Conrady, Mike Conrady, Gary Conrady, and Jon Fossett. Sister-in-law; Mary Conrady.

He leaves his beloved wife Patricia, his children; Dennis Jr. and wife Alissa of Andover, Kansas, April and husband John of Enid, Oklahoma, Ami and husband Matthew of Caldwell, Kansas. Sister; Ann Fossett of Enid, Oklahoma. Brother; BJ Thurman of Caldwell, Kansas. Grandchildren; Alexa Thurman, Denton West, Luke Thurman, Adebel Lebeda, Lawson West, Alie Lebeda, Caroline Sue West, and Lance Lebeda. Brother and sister-in-laws; Carolyn Murphy, Donald and Pat Conrady, Richard and Lynda Parker, Dave and Phyllis Blanton, Jerry and Janet Frazier, Shelly Conrady, Robert Conrady, and John and Carla Conrady. Not to mention names, but Dennis leaves with 134 niece and nephews and numerous close friends.

Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Thursday, February 27, 2020 at the Caldwell High School Gymnasium.

Memorials may be made to the Caldwell Firefighters Association, Sumner County Hospital District #1 or to the Caldwell Sportsmans Club and may be left in care of the mortuary.


Pat and family

Dave and 0eggy Ginn - 02/23/2020

We are so sorry for your loss. The boys always spoke good things about Hug. We will always remember the energizer bunny. He was a good man. May God hold you and give you peace.

Pat and Family,

Joey and Kelly ... - 02/23/2020

Pat and Family,

We are so very sorry to learn of the passing of your loved one and our beloved teacher and coach Huggy. Hug was an awesome teacher, great coach and even better person. He used his wonderful sense of humor to connect with kids.

Hug was a positive influence for so many Caldwell students. He made a difference in our lives! God bless you and your family and thank you for sharing Huggy with Caldwell.

Joey Hudson 83

Kelly Harris Hudson 84

Pat and Family

Tim Schmidt - 02/24/2020

Dennis "Hug" was an amazing person and Coach. He was always one of my favorite Teachers and Coaches to look up to. He was an incredible influence in the lives of so many people in CHS and in the Community. I will always remember the great person he was and the outstanding Football Coach who led the BLUEJAYS to 27 Wins and only 3 Losses (seasons 83, 84 & 85). We send our hearts and prayers to the entire famly. "Hug" was Special!

Tim Schmidt - CHS class of 1986

Pat and Family,

Chris (Ziba) Kahler - 02/24/2020

Pat and Family,

I am so sorry for your loss.

Huggy was one of my most favorite teachers. He had a tremendous, positive influence in my life. Without his encouragement in the Drafting classes I took for four years, I would more than likely not gone on to college.

I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of his passing. He was a wonderful person. I know he will be greatly missed. May God comfort you through this time.


Chris (Ziba) Kahler Class of 1982

To Pat and your family,

Marla (Dillard)... - 02/24/2020

My heart was so heavy when i got the news but my mind was flooded with so many wonderful memories of our Hug. Memories that I will hold forever! Such a special guy to so many of us Caldwell students. God's blessings upon you and your sweet family during this time and prayers for the days to come.

Coach Hug was such a great

Michael (Dino) ... - 02/24/2020

Coach Hug was such a great person! He had a very positive influence on me during high school, for which I will always be great full! We will keep your family in our prayers.

Pat, Butch, April, and the Thurman family

Steve Adams - 02/24/2020

My thoughts and prayers go out to you in this time of loss. Like many other CHS alumni, I am recalling so many fun and fond memories of Coach Hug. He really knew how to motivate! A great teacher/coach and even better human being! He will definitely be missed. The great memories are helping us celebrate the life he lived and the impact he had on so many lives.

God Bless,

Our deepest sympathy to the

Daryl Guffey Family - 02/26/2020

Our deepest sympathy to the entire Thurman family. We were very saddened to hear the news. Daryl has spoke highly of his fond memories from his early days in Oklahoma. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time.

All our Love, Daryl, Tricia, Daniel, Allison and Amanda Guffey

Life goes on.

Family and Friends - 03/02/2020

Life goes on.

The final bell has sounded

Harry Simpson - 03/02/2020

The final bell has sounded and Dennis is responding to the call. Godspeed Dennis.

Hug was much more than a

Kevin Brown - 03/13/2020

Hug was much more than a teacher for me. He was a mentor as I took 4.5 years of wood shop and he was also my coach in Football and track. They dont make-em like HUg anymore. Prayers to the family - This is sad... Remember him saying you spend way too much time in the finish room. Kevin



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