James Marion Denney

February 21, 1935 - December 29, 2019




James Marion Denney entered through Heaven’s gates at 3:39 p.m. December 29, 2019 to be hugged by his loved ones waiting for him.  He probably already has a four-foot catfish on the line, a bucket of crappie by his side or another hole-in-one on the card.  

Jim or Marion, better known as “Poppy” later in life by his grandchildren/great-grandchildren was born at home on February 21, 1935, in Woodstock, Kentucky to his parents’ James Alexander and Sallie Jane (Abbott).  He had fond memories and shared many stories of family times growing up in the “hills and hollers” in that area.  Fishing in Buck Creek, right in front of the Denney homestead was one of his favorite pastimes, (and chores to put food on the table.)

He was one of those people who had to walk two miles uphill, in the snow to get to the main road, and miles more to attend school; for that matter, anywhere else he wanted to travel.

Dad came to Bloomington at the request of his older sister, to help at their company business Robinson Block, Ellettsville, Indiana.  While attending a church service a short time later, he met and married Irma Louise Gray, and had one daughter Cheryl Darlene (McKamey).

He continued his work in the masonry industry: carrying many concrete blocks, mixing and pouring cement, finishing floors, patios, and bridges.  In his life as a Laborer/Laborer Foreman he helped construct many major structures in Bloomington, and surrounding communities.  His trowels, floats and mortar joints leave a mark at the Bloomington Hospital, Mooresville High School, Monrovia High School, the Howard Johnson’s in Columbus, Indiana, his family home, his daughter’s family home, and on bridges/other cement bodies in the area.

Retiring early to pursue his hobbies of fishing and golf, you could see his bright blue boat on the waters of Lake Monroe or Lake Lemon, and his flat bottom boat on Griffy Lake.  When Lakes or ponds froze solid, you would see him standing over a six-inch hole ice fishing.  His four hole-in-ones at Cascades might indicate his time spent there hitting those white balls with a left-handed club and a twirl of a golf swing.

His daughter presented him with three loving grandchildren, Brandon Bollhorst, Chad Bollhorst and Erin McKamey.  Later came, his joy of great-grandchildren:  Peyton, Isaac, Amaya, Makiyah, Calleigh, and Finley.  Poppy played a big role in shaping all these little hands to hold, throw, bounce and hit round objects.  He enjoyed attending many basketball, baseball, softball, golf and volleyball events.   Remarkably, in his later years, he was always available to sit with the littles ones for a short time when needed.

In passing, he goes before his immediate family, including his beloved sisters, Dorothy (Dot), Rose Mary (Rosie); several dear cousins, as well as adored nieces/nephews, Linda Hobbs, Debbie Dix, Rodney Robinson, Jennifer Ringo, Jana Cooksey, Gary, DeWayne, Helen Fayerene, and Peggy Richards, Angela, Alex, Anthony Denney and all of his great-nieces/nephews across the country.  He was sorry to have lost touch. Being more sensitive than one might think, it deeply affected Poppy to lose any of his family members, friends, fishing and golfing buddies; most recently his sisters, Essie Robinson, Nancy Richards; along with his, brother John Catchem, all within the past three years.

Dad’s faith was grounded in Christianity while growing up in Woodstock as his maternal grandfather, John Baptist Abbott, founded the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in the area.  He was baptized of water and received the Holy Spirit, staying loyal to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The family has chosen cremation and share his body back to the ground overlooking his favorite fishing holes, golf course, and with his parents in the family’s cemetery in Kentucky.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made and appreciated to any of the following:        

  • Victory Christian Church, Youth Ministry, 1720 N. Graham Road, Franklin, IN 46131
  • Seven Oaks Classical School, 200, E. Association Street, Ellettsville, IN 47429  
  • WildCare, 198 N. Hartstrait Road, Bloomington, IN 47404

Send Condolence

So sorry for your loss.  I know that he was treasured and loved by all of you.  While we did not have the privilege of knowing him, we know the people who loved him and are sure that he was equally wonderful.  

Jim & Susie Butler

Cheryl and Irma and family, so sorry to hear of your husband and father's passing. We have many memories from the past both with your husband and father. Camping with the kids was a great time, and now our great granddaughter is friends with Cheryl's grandson. Prayers for all of you, during this sad time.

Marshall & Kay Smith

Cheryl & Family

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. May you find peace knowing that he is free of pain and in God's Hands.

Sharon & Matt Halverson