Charles “Chuck” M. Denny, Jr., Trustee Emeritus, passed away on October 4, 2019. He was 88 years old.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Denny attended Edina Wooddale Public School, St. Thomas Academy, Canterbury School, and Stanford University. After graduating he served in the army and in 1955 married his wife, Carol Easley Denny. His prolific career spanned tenures at Home Gas Company, Honeywell, and concluded with a position as CEO of ADC Telecommunications.
Denny’s ties to St. Kate’s marked him as a lifelong friend to the University. His grandmother, Mary Rahilly McCahill, was the first St. Kate’s lay trustee in 1919, and his mother, Mary Eleanor McCahill Denny, graduated from St. Kate’s in 1926. Denny himself served on the Board of Trustees beginning in 1984 and chairing it from 1988 to 1991, and was named a Trustee Emeritus in 1994.
“The Board of Trustees is where I met him,” said Becky Roloff ‘76 MBA, president of St. Catherine University. “Chuck remained a dear, dear advisor and friend all the years since then. Chuck can only be described as a class act, a visionary leader, and a gentleman. He was ‘a true Katie,’ and will be deeply and truly missed.”
Denny’s passion for St. Kate’s and its mission lives on through many funds he established with his family, including the Eleanor McCahill Denny Prize for Distinction in Writing, the Carol Easley Denny Development Fund, the Carol Easley Denny Award Fund, and the Mary E. McCahill Memorial Prize. Denny was also recognized as a Friend of the Library, McHugh Society member, and a President’s Forum member. When St. Catherine University celebrated its centennial in 2005, Chuck Denny was named one of the "Centennial 100" as one of the most influential people in the first 100 years of St. Kate's history.
Denny’s commitment to his community is one of his greatest legacies, as he devoted considerable time to volunteering and local causes.
Denny is preceded in death by his wife, his adult son Michael who passed away in 2017, and three children who died in infancy. He is survived by his two children, Kevin and Anne, his grandchildren, and his brother James Denny.
President Roloff with the late Charles Denny at the 2018 Denny Prize reception. Photo by Mara Landon ’20.