Dennis DeFrank

dennis defrank

August 31, 1954 ~ May 28, 2022

Born in: Houston, Texas
Resided in: Arlington, Texas

Dennis DeFrank, 67, passed away on May 28, 2022, in Arlington, TX.

Dennis was born on August 31, 1954, in Houston, TX, to Pete and Lillian DeFrank. He moved to Arlington, TX, in 1955. He married Lisa Grimsley DeFrank on July 30, 1983. The second happiest day of his life was on July 9, 1990, when he was blessed with the birth of his son, Benjamin.

Dennis graduated from Arlington High School in 1972. He began a lifelong career in the airline industry with Braniff International in 1974 and worked in various stations including Kansas City, Miami, and Dallas. His father, Pete, taught Dennis to custom picture-frame, and in 1984 he opened Courtyard Gallery, an art gallery and frame shop, with his wife, Lisa. He continued to frame for friends and family until his passing. All the while he remained in the airline industry and on February 14, 1993, joined Southwest Airlines as a member of the LUV class. He was a member of the Charter Team within the Source of Support (SOS) department. In 2014 he was awarded the President’s Award for his volunteer work with Honor Flight Columbus (HFC), and in August 2020 he retired after 27 years with SWA.

Dennis was best known for his service as a guardian with HFC. He loved getting to know the Veterans and traveled to Washington DC countless times to show “his Veteran” the Memorials. Dennis never met a stranger and would win the heart of anyone he met with a gentle, sensitive, calming effect. He loved his best friend, Mike Champion, like a brother, remained in contact with his first-grade buddy, Mike Kolanko (Jody), and loved to visit Ohio to see his HFC extended family and especially Disney buddy, Lori Cronin. Even after retirement he maintained friendships with many of his SWA “co-hearts”. He loved to travel all over the world and, along with Lisa, visited all 50 states in one year. He’d travel with anyone who was ready to get on a plane.

Dennis is survived by his wife Lisa and son Benjamin (Laura). He is survived by brothers, Tom (Melanie), Michael (Brenda), and David (Leslie) as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Dennis is preceded in death by his parents Pete and Lillian DeFrank, brother Daniel DeFrank, and brother-in-law Tim DeFrank.

The service for Dennis DeFrank will be held on Friday, June 3, 2022, at 2 PM at Wade Funeral Home in Arlington, TX, with a visitation at 1 PM.

The family would like to thank the nurses and doctors in the MICU unit of Medical City Arlington. A special thank you to Sarah, Mckaela, Christian, and Jesse for their compassion and gentleness in the last few hours. You are angels who walk among us.

In lieu of flowers the family would like donations in Dennis’s name to go to Honor Flight Columbus, Inc. PO Box 20133, Columbus, OH 43220 – or Donate ‘ HonorFlightColumbus (

Broadcast Date:

Wade Family Funeral Home Broadcast


Memorial Service: June 3, 2022 2:00 pm

Room: Chapel

Wade Funeral Home and Crematory
4140 West Pioneer Parkway
Arlington, Texas 76013


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Memories Timeline


  1. Dennis was well known to many of us BWI Ground Crew, and always a welcome sight on HF Columbus flight days. Thoughts and prayers to Lisa and family.

  2. Dear sweet Lisa, I have never had the pleasure of meeting your husband but he seemed like a wonderful young man according to his obituary.
    Please accept my condolences for the loss of a good man.

  3. Lisa and Benjamin, we are so sorry for the loss of dear Dennis. We loved spending time with you all at conferences. He was such a kind and gentle man. May Jesus Christ wrap his loving arms around you and your family during this most difficult time.

  4. Sending you, Ben & your mom & family all of my thoughts, prayers & love today & always. I’m so very sorry for your loss & hope you know that I am here for you all, if you need anything at all!

  5. I am so sorry to hear of his passing! Dennis was my supervisor and we were on the SOS team together. I finished my BA (late in life) while working on his team and framed my graduation invitations as a keepsake. I will always cherish this kind and thoughtful gift! I retired several years ago and haven’t seen much of Dennis in a few years, but I try to keep up with SWA friends. He was a terrific guy! One of a kind in my books! See you on the other shore, Dennis!

  6. CandleImageLisa and Benjamin, I am so sorry for your loss. Dennis was such a kind gentle soul and he will be missed. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the Defrank family. He will be missed by many.

  8. I’m so shocked to hear of this loss. Dennis was such a sweet soul. We were Supervisors together at SWA (SOS) and worked the morning shift. We shared so many wonderful stories with each other sitting up in that little Dallas Room Sup Office. Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories. Wishing the DeFrank family strength and comfort through this difficult time.

  9. CandleImageI’m at a loss for words. Dennis and I worked at Braniff and Southwest together, he was such a special man and had a kind heart. Sending my prayers to his family.

  10. So sad to hear this news. Dennis and I spent many nights together on the overnight shift at SOS. When the phones were slow, we would talk all night. Thank you, Dennis, for the fond memories. Godspeed, sweet friend.

  11. CandleImageI was part of the SOS Team like many others have commented and his sweet and caring personality was always displayed. I truly enjoyed working with him as an SOS Agent and as a Supervisor.
    My prayers and thoughts goes out to the entire DeFrank family.

  12. CandleImageLisa, Ben, and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. Dennis was a good man and a good friend. We had some good talks when we were practically the only ones left at the office during Covid. HFC and RMH will not be the same without him. Rest in peace, Dennis. You will be greatly missed.

  13. CandleImageI met Dennis on the first day of kindergarten at St Maria Goretti Catholic school in Arlington. I was crying on the steps because I didn’t want to go in and Dennis came and sat down next to me. Even at five years old he had great empathy and a gentleness of concern. We became great friends throughout our school years and beyond, experiencing many adventures and life changes. As with so many of our relationships we lost the tight bonds of our youth but we never lost contact. So many happy memories, such a wonderful and unique individual. My sympathies to his wife and son and all of the DeFrank family. May God bless you all.

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