Friday, July 19, 2019
2:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
**Rosary at 7:00 p.m.**
Saturday, July 20, 2019
10:00 AM EDT
St. Kenneth Catholic Church
14951 Haggerty Road
Plymouth, MI 48170
**Instate 9:30 a.m.**
Life Story / Obituary
Denis J. Hurley - “DJ”
Denis J. Hurley, known to friends as “DJ”, 85, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on July 11, 2019. Beloved father of Denis J., III (AnneMarie), Sharon (Les) Pfenning, and Brian (Debbie). Cherished grandfather of Julia and Cristina Hurley and Jonathan and Jenna Pfenning. Dearest former husband of Elaine Hurley. Predeceased by his sister Barbara Ann Hurley-Wilson, brother-in-law John D. Wilson, Sr. and brother Paul (Patricia) Hurley. Loving companion of the late Martha Bauer. A visitation will be held Friday, July 19, 2019 from 2:00-8:00 p.m., Rosary at 7:00 p.m. at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Road, Livonia, MI (between Middlebelt and Merriman). Instate Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. followed by 10:00 a.m. Mass at St. Kenneth Catholic Church, 14951 N. Haggerty Road, Plymouth, MI. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, MI. Donations will support the Rogel Cancer Center Prostate Cancer Program. Checks may be made to “University of Michigan” and sent to Medical Development, 1000 Oakbrook, Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 in Memory of Denis J. Hurley.
Denis John Hurley was born in Detroit on August 29, 1933 and was the oldest child of Hugh and Ethel Hurley. He had two siblings, his sister Barbara Ann and brother Paul. As a child he attended Christ the King Catholic Church and Elementary School where he was an altar boy and member of the choir, attending mass daily. He graduated from Redford High School in January of 1951. After high school he liked to say he attended the “school of hard knocks”. Growing up, he and his family would spend summers on the family farm in Vankleek Hill, Ontario CA. He married Elaine Mary Clark in November of 1955 and they had three children, Denis, Sharon and Brian. He built his first home in Redford Township, MI and lived there for over 30 years. He and his family enjoyed living just down the street from St. Valentine Catholic Church and School which the family attended and met many lifelong friends. He enjoyed summer camping trips, golfing with his family and vacationing in Florida. He was a very involved and loving Papa to his four grandchildren, Julia and Cristina Hurley and Jonathan and Jenna Pfenning and will be fondly remembered by them.
Although he and his wife divorced after 31 years of marriage, they remained very close friends throughout the years. After separating he met Martha Bauer, his loving companion of over 20 years. He lived in downtown Detroit at the Riverfront Apartments and became an avid boater on the Detroit River (even though he could not swim). Later in life he bought a condo in Northville, MI and in order to escape the cold winters of Michigan, he also purchased a beautiful condo on Venice Island in Florida. Throughout his retirement he lived there for 6 months of every year, enjoying his beachfront condo and golf. In his later years, he was an active parishioner of St. Kenneth Catholic Church in Plymouth, MI and Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, FL.
Denis, or “DJ” as he liked to be called by his friends, is best described as a hard working “go-getter”. He started out at a very early age as a neighborhood paper boy and eventually developed a huge paper route of over 500 customers. Over time it required a car for deliveries since it covered such a large territory and you could say that it was a “business”. When Denis decided to get out of the newspaper business, he moved onto a few other sales jobs including a stretch as shoe salesman. His lifelong career began at Brown Star Products, a company that sold grinding wheels and abrasive products primarily to the automotive industry. He was such a good salesman that other companies observed his abilities and tried to hire him but he remained loyal to Brown Star. Eager to be more successful while maintaining his loyalty, he eventually worked a deal to become a sales representative for the Frank Bancroft Company, another abrasive company, but, a company that manufactured products that did not compete with Brown Star. Still motivated to do more, Denis started his own business, D.J. Industrial Supply, Inc. His new business was unique in that it sold other types of abrasive products that did not compete with either Brown Star or the Frank Bancroft Company, therefore allowing him to continue his career with both companies. During his sales career, Denis had the opportunity to observe many plant operations while calling on his industrial customers. He saw the need for services that the automotive industry could utilize. Thus, Elden Industries Corp. was created with his son, Denis. Elden Industries is a casting repair service company that provides the services of impregnation, welding and the leak test of castings. A few years later his son, Brian, joined the company and it is a very successful business to this day.
Denis was known as a jokester and had a very witty sense of humor. His knack for a play on words kept people laughing. He loved music and over the years he enjoyed singing in church choirs. One of his favorite pastimes was singing and playing the guitar and the family has many happy memories of him doing this, sitting around the campfire on summer camping trips. He was an avid golfer and for 40 years a member of Western Golf and Country Club where he became president of the club in1982. He truly enjoyed the many wonderful friendships he made there.
In his later years Denis was quite adventuresome and liked to try new things. Learning Spanish was one of them. He studied Spanish and spent 6 weeks in Costa Rica to experience the culture and lifestyle. Rosetta Stone became his best friend. He belonged to the Nomad Travel Club and traveled to many parts of the world including China and Australia. He also became an accomplished ballroom dancer. It was not unusual to see him practicing various dance steps and routines at home, taking dance lessons and dancing at various dance clubs for hours at a time. He especially enjoyed ballroom dancing cruises. His family often referred to him as the “energizer bunny” since he was always on the go.
Denis experienced several medical problems beginning in 2001. He endured his medical issues with his usual strength and humor. He was a fighter and never let his illnesses stop him from living life to the fullest. His philosophy was that there was no sense in worrying about it since he couldn’t change it. He died on July 11, 2019, after battling prostate cancer for over 15 years. Denis will be remembered and greatly missed by his family and friends. He was a successful business man and a devoted and loving Father and Papa.
We shall miss him greatly.