Denton Haskins

05/25/1933 – 01/05/2022 Denton Ray Haskins went home to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday, January 5, 2022. He was born to Roy and Nora Haskins on May 25, 1933 in Hunter, Oklahoma. Denton was the fifth of six children. He has been preceded in death by both parents and all five of his siblings, his eldest brother Roy, Lake San Marcos, California, sister Evelyn, Redlands, California, his brother Fred of Overton, Nevada, his sister Arlene of Redlands, California, and his younger sister Beverly of Escondido, California. Denton, commonly known as “Denny”, was married to Nancy Haskins for fifty two years until her death in 2006. Together, they had four children, his daughter Denise of Muskegon, Michigan, David and his wife Faye of Muskegon, Michigan, Dan and his wife Carol of Beaumont, California and youngest son Don and his wife Lynnette of Sarasota, Florida. This was followed by the addition of seven grandchildren, Heather, Matthew, Stacy, Tara, Abigail, Emma and Nathan and then blessed with the addition of seven great-grandchildren, Judah, Eden, Titus, Addabelle, Hunter, Everleigh and Sawyer. He would later find love and a second marriage with Cheryl Leyde, at which time he was blessed to add to his family another son, Dana, a daughter-in-love, Amanda, and two more beautiful grandchildren, Gwen and Jax. Denny would be the first person to say he was a blessed man. His family returns that sentiment. Denny joined the Army at 17 years of age immediately following the invasion of North Korean forces into South Korea. Shortly after joining, Denny had the opportunity to transfer into the Air Force which he gladly accepted in hopes of being able to fulfill his dreams to fly and follow in many of his family members’ footsteps. Unfortunately this dream was hindered due to visual acuity issues and he ended up fulfilling other various jobs throughout his time during the war. After these other jobs like being a gate guard and driving a truck he built delivering radios back and forth to the front lines, Denny found his way into an aviation unit working on aircraft and thus started his lifelong love of aviation. Upon exiting the service, Denny worked for Boeing Aircraft Corporation and helped build the jigs that were used to make the pilot escape hatches on B-52 bombers which are still in use today. After accepting an invitation from his older brother Roy, Denny and Nancy arrived in Redlands, California to assist in the family affair of turning an abandoned turkey farm into a fully functioning airport. Denny soon opened an aircraft maintenance shop called Redlands Aviation with another gentleman. Thereafter, Denny went solo and established Red Aero where he spent the majority of his working years, during which he gained a stellar reputation for good work, good service, and a knowledge of the Piper Comanche that was so extensive that he was sometimes contacted by technicians from Piper Aircraft Corporation to get his opinion. Denny gained a reputation that exceeded American shores to the extent that even an Australian plane owner once sent his plane from “Down Under” to have Denny work on it. Even above his technical expertise in aviation Denny’s kindness and trustworthiness were character traits that attracted countless friends over the years including some interesting and illustrious ones. One of his earliest friends and supporters was a retired Air Force general, Gen. John Sessums. When doing a Google search on Gen. Sessums a few years ago, Denny’s daughter found a photograph of the General having lunch with one of the Wright brothers. If the “6 Degrees of Separation” game had been invented before, it can rightly be said that Denny was well connected. Having said that, Denny would be the very first to tell you that the best connection he ever made was in deciding to follow Christ. Denny spent many years fellowshipping at Yucaipa First Baptist Church. Later, after remarrying and relocating to Apple Valley, he became involved with the Calvary Chapel of Apple Valley, where he was very happy and spiritually nourished for the rest of his life. Anyone who knew Denny would attest to his enormous spiritual growth during that time. Denny was a friendly, happy man who had an engaging sense of humor. Lunch at Arthur’s Restaurant in Mentone would often become a little loud, but no one seemed to mind. If you’ve ever met Denny, you know he had a natural sense of humor that was at times, hilarious. His kids would sometimes make a crack about his coming from Oklahoma, usually after he’d use one of his Okie lines. Something like, “busier than a one armed paper hanger!”, or “more nervous than a long tail cat in a room filled with rocking chairs.” Denny would often “give voice” to someone or something that couldn’t speak for themselves. Like puppies or babies. It was at once touching and funny. It was but one of his gifts. Through years of hard, dirty work with greasy parts, his hands grew strong, but even after a good cleaning, they’d looked a little rough. To see him holding one of his grandchildren or great grandchildren in those rough and powerful hands was heart rending. Denny’s greatest wish upon leaving us would be that everyone he knows would come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As time went on and his former vitality left him, he became even more keenly aware that without Jesus, life has little meaning. It is his love for all of those he knew that he’d encourage this.

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