In Memory

Dennis L. First

Dennis L. First

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Dennis First, 75, of Fort Wayne Indiana passed away on March 17, 2019, with his loving wife Sue of 55 years and only son Robb by his side at Parkview Hospice Randallia after a year and a half long illness. He was born June 25, 1943 in Lima, Ohio, the son of the late Harold and Ruby (Cisco) First. Dennis graduated from Lima Senior High School as their back bending drum major and president of their radio and television club. Immediately after graduation began his long career in television at WIMA-TV as a director and performer with his own children's program appearing as Bobo the Clown on Charlie's Cartoon Clubhouse even having a sandwich named in his honor at a local Lima Drive in restaurant. Later in 1966 he became Happy the Clown on Happys Place on WDHO-TV in Toledo Ohio, then to WKEF-TV in Dayton as director of the news before beginning a 39 year career at WKJG TV-33 as producer/director of news, sports and weather and even appearing as Ronald McDonald as well, along with being a master magician with his large collection of magical illusions. In 2005 when WKJG-TV33 consolidated-with WPTA. Dennis retired and worked on the television reality team at Snickerz Comedy Club for 10 years. He also was an assistant for his wife at all the AVON meetings for 43 years traveling from city to city. Dennis was always known for his special way of always bringing a smile to everyone's face he encountered using pranks and pratfalls and he was one of those individuals who entered a room and the room literally lit up. Dennis was an extraordinary person who will be greatly missed by all his family and friends Surviving are his wife of 55 years Sue, only son Robb of Sheffield, Ohio; grandchildren Lauren of New Albany, Ohio, Lexi of Cleveland, Ohio; sisters Marilyn (Doyt) Lehman of Lima and Linda (Neal) Riffle of Elida, Ohio; along with a host of nieces, great nieces, nephews and great nephews; and finally last but definitely not least his beloved cat who never left his side during the last few months of his illness, Baywatch. The family would like to thank the Doctors and Nurses at Parkview Hospice for their tender care of Dennis. Calling will be Saturday, March 23, 2019 at FairHaven Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 6557 N. Clinton Street, from 1 pm to 5 pm. Memorials may be made to the Allen County SPCA or Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control.


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03/21/19 07:48 AM #1    

Johanne M. Herr (Coleson)

  Dennis was a funny man, making a lot of people smile.  When he played   Bobo The Clown was the time I remember him the most.  He directed Pop Geiskin Booster Band as Bobo & my husband. Ernie  Coleson. his brother. Ray & many other friends played in the Clown Band.  They played many events in Ohio & Indiana.  It was a special group, great friends, & the band was later called Bobo’s  Booster Band.  We saw Dennis at our 50th Reunion & remember many fun playing gigs.  Rest In pease, Dennis & know that you were loved.  

03/22/19 09:33 AM #2    

Connie Rower (Guyton)

Truly he will be missed.  He touched the lives of young and old and we are honored to say he was one of us.


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