Dennis E. Reynolds, MD

May 29, 1940 – June 18, 2021 It is with sadness that we share the news of Dennis’ passing on June 18th as a result of cardiac issues. He died peacefully at home in Salem, Oregon. Dennis was a native Minnesotan who was born to George and Agnes Reynolds in Alexandria, Minnesota. His parents divorced when he was young, and he was raised by his blind mother, with the support of multiple relatives in the nearby area. Although the family did not have a lot of money, fortunately, Dennis had great scholastic and athletic prowess, resulting in numerous scholarships. He played basketball both in high school and college, continuing with intramural and informal teams long afterward. One of his proudest accomplishments remained that he set a basketball scoring record in high school which was unbroken for 37 years.

Dennis did his undergraduate work at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, receiving his BA in 1962. He attended the University of Minnesota Medical School, obtaining his MD in 1966.

He married his first wife Carol, with whom he had a son “James” in 1962. They divorced in 1964.

Dennis then moved to southern California where he did an internship at LA County General Hospital, followed by a residency in the 4-year LA County/USC Medical Center’s combined Child-Adolescent-Adult program, completed in 1971. In 1974 he became Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Professionally, he served as the Chief Psychiatrist for Inpatient Mental Health Service with the rank of Major at David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base from 1971-73.

After leaving the Air Force, he became the Chief Psychiatrist at Stambaugh House in San Mateo, California from 1973-77.

During this time, he met his future mate, Diane. After knowing each other for six months, they bought an old Dutch postal van in Amsterdam and drove for almost a year across Europe --- by far, one of the most meaningful experiences in both of their lives. They figured if they could travel ten months in such tight quarters without murdering each other, they could make it through anything --- they married in July 1980.

Following their return, he worked at Kaiser Permanente in South San Francisco until he had his arm twisted by Diane to give her beloved Oregon a try. They headed to Salem in 1981.

Dennis worked for six years at the Child and Adolescent Secure Treatment Program at Oregon State Hospital, simultaneously setting up a private practice and sharing an office with Leon Harrington, another local child psychiatrist.

For the remainder of his career, he did a significant amount of consulting with the Children’s Farm Home in Albany, the Child Center in Eugene and The Olalla Center in Toledo. He thoroughly enjoyed the work and staff at all these places before retiring in 2016.

Outside interests for Dennis included golf and swimming as a member of Illahe Hills Country Club; voracious reading and learning to experiment with gourmet cooking as a sous chef under Diane’s tutelage. They belonged to several convivial cooking groups over the years and were long-term members of the Corksniffers wine group.

Dennis took delight in driving his orange Datsun 240Z to attend all kinds of music events (especially the Grateful Dead, bluegrass and blues concerts). He had a beautiful singing voice and phenomenal ability to identify classical pieces.

In his thirties, he had taken up hiking and rock-climbing (unfortunately, at one point, getting stuck on a ledge in the Sierras) and maintained a long-term interest in professional sports. He inherited Diane’s parents’ Trail Blazer season tickets and rarely missed a home game. Football, tennis and track were also a source of tremendous (and loud!) pleasure.

Traveling abroad remained exceedingly important and consumed much of his time (and disposable income). Typically, he and Diane would spend 3-4 weeks each year on major trips. Travel to Africa, Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand, India, Thailand and Malaysia provided unforgettable memories.

Both Diane and Dennis shared a fondness for tropical islands --- they spent many happy weeks in December celebrating Christmas and Diane’s December birthday, swimming in the warm waters of the Seychelles, Bora Bora, Cook Islands/Rarotonga, Lamu, Fiji, New Caledonia and the Maldives.

Dennis’ son became a Buddhist monk and lived in Thailand for 15 years before establishing Vimutti Monastery outside Auckland, New Zealand in 2004. ( There he lives and teaches as the abbot, and is known by his ordained name, Ajahn Chandako.

Until health problems caught up with Dennis, he experienced a wonderful life full of mirth, adventure, long-time friends, good books, excellent food, wine, sports, music and travel.

He is survived by Diane, his wife of over four decades; son Ajahn Chandako (Auckland, New Zealand); sister Janice Fynskov (Mason City, Iowa); (nephews Tim and Todd Fynskov); sister-in-law Joyce Reynolds (Carlsbad, California); (nephew Dale Reynolds & niece Caroline Zimring);sister-in-law and brother-in-law Susan and Don Scribner (Sausalito, California) plus his three rescue kitties: Anya, Riley & Connor. Dennis also had numerous cousins in both the US and Canada with whom he maintained strong bonds throughout his lifetime.

He was predeceased by his parents, brother Glenn Reynolds and nephew Bruce Reynolds.

Dennis’ family wishes to extend special thanks to our dear friends Greg Zurbrugg and Janvier Slick for their particular love and care in Denny’s final months --- transporting him to medical appointments, bringing delicious food and providing all-round support. Over the decades, Dennis spent many enjoyable hours with Greg enthusiastically yelling at televised games and listening to music.

At his request, no formal service is planned. If you wish to remember Dennis with a donation --- his favorite charities were Salem Friends of Felines; Boys and Girls Club of Salem; Marion Polk Food Share; and public radio station KRVM. Otherwise, please raise a glass of red wine or imported beer and remember his marvelous sense of humor and love of exceptionally bad puns.

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