Dennis L. Champagne | News, Sports, Jobs

June 13, 1936 – Oct 20, 2022

Dennis was born and raised in Mohall, North Dakota, to Eugene and Lillie Champagne. He moved with his older brother, Gordon, to California and graduated from Armijo Union High School in Fairfield, class of 1955, before moving to Wisconsin where he opened The Den and Champ’s restaurants, among others. He married June Rachu in 1957 and had three sons, Sheldon, Steve (Nancy), and Coby (Traci). In 1972, Dennis married Kathryn Ann Sladich in Wausau Wisconsin. He returned to northern California in 1974 and opened several more restaurants, including Champs Restaurant and Lounge, which he and Kathy operated from 1980 to 1987 in Orland, CA, and raised their two children, Cory (Sara) and Julianne (Tony).

After closing Champ’s, Dennis worked for Yellow Trucking Company until his retirement in 2003 after safely driving over one-million miles. Early in retirement, he spent time working in his small orchard growing citrus that he enjoyed sharing with the neighborhood, and volunteering with the Loyal Order of the Moose. Later in life he liked to read (Louis Lamour and Clive Cussler), watch old westerns (Dances with Wolves and Lonesome Dove), and visit with his grandchildren. Denny and Kathy celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in September of 2022; The following month, Dennis passed away at Enloe Hospital (Chico, CA) on Oct 20, with his loving wife and daughter by his side. He is preceded in death by his parents, Eugene and Lillie, his siblings Jerome, Audrey, Sheldon, and Gordon, and son Sheldon. He is survived by his wife Kathy, sons Steve, Coby, and Cory, daughter Julie, and grandchildren Shelby, Reed (Bailey), Mikayla, Ayden, and James.

A memorial Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, Nov 19th at 11:00 a.m. at the Sweet-Olsen Family Mortuary in Orland, CA, with a reception to follow at St. Dominic’s Parish Hall.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations made to Alcoholics Anonymous (