In memory of

Dennis B. Carlson, age 58 of Helena, Formerly of Bozeman

November 22, 1960 – March 15, 2019

Dennis B. Carlson was born on November 22, 1960 at San Francisco Children’s hospital to Patricia (Hancock) Carlson and Kenneth Carlson. His sister Pamela joined the family a few years later.

Dennis grew up in Northern and Central California, where his father bought an independent insurance office in the small town of Oakdale. Dennis was active with Oakdale High’s yearbook, school musicals, drama and the library audio visual department.

His family enjoyed many happy days of vacation at a cabin in Bolinas on 40 acres of land owned by the Middleton family.

Through the ministry of Youth for Christ Campus Life, Dennis accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in 1977. In all the time since Dennis has always said, “The Lord has never let me down.”

In 1983 Dennis moved to Bozeman, Montana to attend a small Bible school in Churchill. Dennis immediately fell in love with the Valley of the Flowers and spent most of the rest of his life there.

With a career mainly in broadcasting, Dennis worked for KBOZ AM&FM as a DJ and reporter. He was then hired as an anchor and reporter for the Montana Television Network at Newswatch 26, FOX 7 and KBZK-TV.

Dennis also worked, for a time, for Gallatin County, the U.S. Senate and the Gallatin Association of REALTORS®.

He returned to the Montana Television Network in 2011 to work at KBZK. He transferred to Helena in 2014 to report at KXLH and anchor at KTVH.

Dennis loved telling stories with words, pictures, and sound. He also loved getting the big story first and worked hard to be a fierce competitor.

Later in life, in order to fight type 2 Diabetes Dennis trained for and took part in more than 10 sprint triathlons and various other races over seven years.

Dennis is survived by his beloved fiancée Laura Boltz (Connor, Jenna), his sister Pamela (North Greenbrae, California), his son Matthew (Sara Thompson Great Falls, MT), his daughter Renee (husband Reginald Lease Bozeman, MT), his half-brother Don Carlson, (wife Louraine, children Michelle and Michael; Sydney, Australia), as well as the Galliani Clan, the Middletons and Hyams families.

The family will receive friends from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, March 21st at Retz Funeral Home, 315 E. 6th Avenue, Helena. A memorial service celebrating Dennis’s life will be 1:00 p.m., Saturday, March 23rd at Grace Bible Church, 3625 S. 19th Avenue, Bozeman. The reception will follow in the social hall of the church. If you wish, memorials can be made to the Bozeman Health Foundation, 931 Highland Blvd Suite 3200, Bozeman, MT 59715, the Cancer Support community, 102 S 11th Ave, Bozeman, MT 59715 or to Haven of Bozeman, P.O. Box 752, Bozeman, MT 59771, in the honor of Erin Schattauer. Please visit below to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Dennis.

May God richly bless you all.


Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. Mike Swingley says

    Dennis was one of the finest people I know. I enjoyed getting to know him over the last few years and am going to miss his sense of humor, good nature and err of decency. We have lost a great person. I wish his family my deepest consolations.
    Mike Swingley

  2. Lexana Flink says

    We loved to watch him on the 5:00 news with Curtis loved his sense of humor we sure will miss him RIP Dennis

  3. Pat McKelvey says

    Dennis was a true professional. I was always thankful to have Dennis on an incident because I knew he would get the story right. He helped me in so many ways to get the right message out to the public. Rest in peace Dennis.

  4. Jesse Eric Whitehead says

    Dennis has been my friend since 1975, when we were freshmen at Oakdale High School in Oakdale California. His love and friendship impacted many of us over the years and has left a lasting legacy that will not be forgotten. We will miss you Dennis, but never forget you, and you will always be in our hearts. Rest in peace my friend.

  5. Deborah McAtee says

    When Gallatin County had a LODD funeral to arrange, Dennis came down from Helena for 3-4 days and helped me, a PIO still in training, handle the media and briefings. I could never have done it without his help and I am grateful for his generosity with his expertise and time.

  6. Dan OMalley says

    One of kindest men I have ever meant. Never have I seen him without a cantagious smile. Dennis always quoted me in his news story as a city Detective instead of a county Detective. It became a joke between us. I could only hope to be the man Dennis was. Rest In Peace my friend

  7. Nancy Steward says

    I only met Dennis a couple of times. But my favorite memory is a Facebook memory….there was a picture of him and Laura and he said “Isn’t she dreamy”. It still makes me smile to see a man so head over heals in love with someone. A love like that is a perfect lifelong treasure.

  8. Lin Galliani-Baker says

    In our family we called him “Denny”. He and his sister were our youngest cousins making them special to us. My siblings and I nick named him “Charlie Brown” because as a toddler Denny had a big head like the Peanuts character. He was always sweet, funny and a joy to be around. Once he moved to Montana, we didn’t see Denny as often, but when he visited us in the SF Bay Area we easily picked up from where we left off. We were all proud of his radio and television success, and the good father he became. God bless you Denny.

  9. Diane Galliani says

    Denny’s mom, Patti, was diligent about the care of Denny and his sister, Pam’s teeth. Sweets were not really a part of their home life. I remember my siblings and I going to their house and eventually asking if we could look into their mouths. Complete whiteness…no cavities !
    Years later Patti was not too happy when Denny was in an accident and damaged some teeth. I think she’d prefer he broke a leg. 🙂
    Just a fun, silly, cousin memory. I will miss him.

  10. Carrie Zeidman says

    I also knew him as Denny. We met way back in high school, and I loved hanging out with him. We were together on the A/V crew, the OHS radio station, Campus Life events, and choir, but my favorite memories were those quiet times just sitting with him on the table behind the music building at lunch or after school and talking about life. I haven’t seen Denny since high school, but thanks to the modern miracle of social media, we were able to reconnect online and pick up our friendship where we left off. I was glad to see how happy he was in his life. He was doing what he loved and had great love in his life. Rest In Peace Denny. You made the world a better place for everyone who’s life you touched.

  11. Alana Cunningham says

    I worked with Dennis at KTVH/KXLH for a couple of years. I worked as the Online Content Producer and because we were short staff at the time he taught me how to be a reporter for breaking news and court. We spent many hours and days going back and forth to different assignments, and I will never forget the advice he shared to me on how to be authentic in my stories and the secret tricks to getting the perfect white balance in a video (I had trouble with that!). Dennis was an amazing person, friend, and colleague and he will be deeply missed! He was a mentor to me and to many others! We will miss you deeply. Sending my condolences to his family.

  12. Kathi Lytle Bare says

    I meet Dennis while he was working in broadcasting in Bozeman. Our paths crossed many times through out the years due to the community events we were both involved in. It was alway a joy to see him. His kind, gentle nature always shone through. Moving to Helena & being able to see him on TV again always made me smile. My deepest symapthies to his family. Kathi Lytle Bare, former owner, Bare’s Stove & Spa.

  13. Kim Johnson says

    I first met Dennis when I worked at the First Judicial District Court in Helena as a stenographer, and Dennis covered the felony news in court. I always looked forward to his gracious smile and happy demeanor. When I left my career to return to college and become a nurse, it so intrigued Dennis that he taped a few stories of me and aired them on the evening news. I also gave Dennis my first-ever *real* patient “shot,” his annual flu vaccine. He was so sweet to allow me to step up from my mannequin skills to him! Dennis was one-of-a-kind, and he is missed.

  14. Andrea Eckerson says

    I am very sorry for the loss of Dennis. Even though I didn’t know him well, through Laura’s love for Dennis, it was easy to tell he was one of the great ones. My condolences to Dennis’ family and friends.

  15. Loren Olsen says

    Dennis made many significant contributions here in Bozeman over the many years that he lived here. His warm smile made him very approachable and conversations with him were very informative. Thanks Dennis for being such a great public figure!

  16. I will cherish my memories of Dennis. When we worked together in the early 90’s at FOX 7 in Bozeman, he was a true friend and confidant as we trudged through several lean and difficult years. During those days, I could always count on Dennis to bring me an encouraging word. He would always say, ” The Lord knows what we are going through and He will be faithful to help us on the journey.” His laughter could be heard throughout the building. Always the consummate professional, his dedication to our TV station and especially the newsroom, was unmatched. In more recent years, working together in Helena, he remained a good friend and someone I could always trust. Enjoy your heavenly home my friend. Until we meet again.

  17. Cindy Younkin says

    Having met Dennis many times over the years, and lots of short discussions, his story I loved the most was him telling me about his ride in an F14, with a Thunderbird(or what ever it was, I may have that wrong). He seemed to be thrilled and terrified at the same time during that event of a lifetime.

    He was a great guy and respected by all in his reporting. Truly a credit to his profession. Condolences to his family.

    Cindy Younkin

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