Born in Mountain Grove, a small rural town in the Missouri Ozarks, Dennis was the fourth of six children. He logged many hours of pew time at the local Baptist Church, honing his artistic abilities by drawing on church bulletins during Sunday morning sermons.
After high school, he attended Southwest Missouri State University and studied art. During the college years, he spent his summers working at amusement parks (Opryland & Silver Dollar City) where he drew caricatures. Dennis graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and stumbled blindly into a career as a freelance illustrator.
After spending the 90s in Texas, Dennis and family moved to Northeastern Indiana where his wife Karen is a professor at Huntington University. Their two sons live in Oklahoma City and Denver.
For fun Dennis plays in recreational ice hockey leagues where he pretends to be Wayne Gretzky, but plays more like Wade Gretkowski, the ninety-two year old store greeter at their local Wal-Mart. He also occasionally plays bass and guitar in the band at his church where he continues to insist that a pyrotechnics show and hydraulic stage for the band would really add a lot to the Sunday morning worship experience.