Eight Bells: Dennis Vellenga

Published on November 5th, 2014

Florida sailor and sailmaker Dennis Vellenga, 72, passed away after a brief illness on October 25 at the Bay Pines C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center in St. Petersburg, FL while under Hospice care.

Dennis, who was born on an Indian reservation in South Dakota and grew up in the Portland, OR area, came to the Tampa Bay area in the 1981. He was the owner of Banks Sails Tampa. As a competitive racer, he competed with his Hunter 37 Ankle Deep II. He later reconstructed and modified a Lagoon 42 catamaran, Ankle Deep, which he sailed in Florida and Bahamian waters.

His closest family was his partner of 26 years Barb Afield, a daughter, Amber, and two sons – Sean and Hans. Friends will come together Sunday, November 30, for a private Celebration of Life for Dennis in St. Petersburg, FL.

Donations in his memory can be made to C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center Hospice Unit Ward 5C, P.O. Box 5005, Bay Pines, FL 33744, or to Sacred Lands: http://sacredlandspreservationandeducation.org

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