Cover photo for Dr. Dennis F. Fancsali's Obituary
Dr. Dennis F. Fancsali Profile Photo
1935 Dr. Dennis 2023

Dr. Dennis F. Fancsali

April 7, 1935 — April 4, 2023

Dennis Fancsali died peacefully on April 4, 2023, just shy of his 88th birthday. Born on April 7, 1935 in Aurora, Illinois to Vera and Dazo Fancsali, he later moved with his family to Janesville, Wisconsin. After graduating from Janesville High School, where he excelled in track, he was awarded a scholarship for college. With support from the GI bill, he earned both his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Wisconsin, becoming the first in his family to attend college. Following medical school, he served as a physician in the Air Force at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, NY, during a turbulent period in history. Days after his eldest son, Jeff, was born, Dennis’ wife Judith and baby Jeff were evacuated from the base during the Cuban Missile Crisis. After completing his service, the family settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Dennis completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. Later, they moved to Rockford, Illinois, where Dennis made history by performing the first ceramic hip replacement in the state. Dennis became well known for specializing in hip replacements and later went on to establish his own practice at Orthopedic Associates of Northern Illinois.


Beyond his medical career, Dennis had a passion for farming and working with horses. With his wife and children, he started Dry Run Ranch and Bellmara Stables, where they raised Angus cattle, grew a variety of crops, and trained and showed Morgan horses. Later, he formed FanAgra Corporation, a farming, trucking, grain warehousing and merchandising operation with his son Jeff. In both his medical practice and his farming, Dennis was a true innovator. He was not afraid of being the first to try new ideas and technology.


Dennis had many hobbies and interests. He loved fancy cars, Harley Davidson motorcycles, and antique trains. He enjoyed traveling, skiing, hunting, photography, watching football, going out to dinner, and telling bad jokes. His love for animals was evident to anyone who met his many dogs and cats over the years, to whom he gave playful names like “Bones,” “Harley,” and “Kitty.” He worked exceptionally hard and loved to laugh. He was devoted to caring for his mother Vera and sister Julie, and quick to offer help to his family and friends when he was able to do so. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.


Dennis is survived by his four children, Jeff (Anita), Beth, Cheri (Eric Tuchmann) and Greg; Judith Wright; his sister, Jeanne Steinmetz (Orv); sister-in-law Pat McKinley; nephews Rob and Rick McKinley and Dan Steinmetz; niece Amy Steinmetz; six grandchildren, Sean Fancsali (Elizabeth), Rachel Fancsali Benedict (Evan), Bradley Fancsali (Katie), Michael Fancsali, Isabel and Amelia Tuchmann; and great grandson Buckley Fancsali.


Dennis’s family would like to thank the staff at Maple Crest Care Center and St. Croix Hospice for the kindness and care they gave to him.


Friends and family are invited to celebrate Dennis’ life on April 22, 2023, at the Fitzgerald Funeral home, 1860 S. Mulford Rd., Rockford, Illinois. Visitation will be held from 1-3pm, followed by a service. Fulfilling Dennis’ wishes, his ashes will be spread on Jeff’s farm in Mazomanie Wisconsin at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to make donations to your favorite charity in Dennis’ honor.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Dennis F. Fancsali, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, April 22, 2023

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Mulford Chapel

1860 South Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61108

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, April 22, 2023

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Mulford Chapel

1860 South Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61108

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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