In Amarillo, Texas on July 2, 1952, Dennis Jackson Trook was welcomed into the world by Dale and Irene Trook as the son they “didn’t expect”. He was the younger brother of Bob and Gary. At the age of twelve Dennis began apprenticing, by sweeping the floors, at Trook Cabinet Shop under his father who had the philosophy that cabinetry was to be done “Dale’s way or no way”. Here Dennis learned the importance of detail, of following the steps to complete a process, of effective teaching, and pride in a job well done. These lessons shaped his work ethic for the rest of his life.
Though Dennis was a great craftsman and enjoyed working with wood, his passion was music, especially the complexity of choral music. He loved mixing proper pronunciation with the feeling and phrasing of the music as well as harmony and the pattern and rhythm of the notes. His own tenor voice was so gifted that he was selected for the Texas All State Choir in his senior year of high school.
He graduated from West Texas State University with a BA in Music Education and began his career as a choir director for the McAllen School District in 1980. After moving back to Amarillo, he was the choir director at Palo Duro High School, Horace Mann Middle School, River Road High School and completed his career after many years at Boys Ranch Independent School District where he taught music to students K through 12.
Though a talented vocalist, writer, guitarist and director, Dennis had one major fault…..he couldn’t play the piano to save his life; thus he became a great advocate of a cappella music. His efforts and those of his students were validated with many awards yet the response from his students was his greatest reward. He was described by his students as, “Tough but fair.” It was not unusual for his former students to come back to visit him, even years after his retirement. One former student described ham as a “great teacher, but we didn’t have choir every day. Sometimes he would just talk to us about God.”
Love for his students was surpassed only by the love for his bride of 36 years, Diana, their 4 boys, Nicholas, Benjamin and wife Shelley, Aaron, and Jason and wife Brittany, 6 grandchildren (and one on the way), and 4 great grandchildren.
He was a great example of how to love a woman. He paid attention to details about her and reminded her of her beauty, her intelligence, her talents and her importance to him. He knew her dreams and helped her achieve them. He never just learned where she wanted to travel, he planned the trip. He researched the restaurants, hotels, local attractions, and scenery and made the reservations. And always, she was greeted on arrival by her favorite flowers, yellow roses.
The gift of gab and his incredible sense of humor will be missed by all who knew him. He could talk to anybody and always leave them wanting more and often still had them laughing days later. He had a knack of singing a tune that got stuck in your head all day. Sometimes he sang love songs, sometimes ridiculous saga’s, sometimes it was gospel or opera, but THAT VOICE!!! THAT LOVE!!! THAT MAN!!! He will be missed.
Funeral services are provided by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home in Amarillo. Visitation with the family will be Sunday, June 6, 2021, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Private burial will be at Llano Cemetery the morning of Monday, June 7, 2021. The family invites all to attend the memorial service at 11:00 a.m. On Monday, June 7, 2021, at Washington Avenue Christian Church, 3800 S. Washington St., Amarillo, TX.