|Dennis Sharing Some of His Deep Knowledge About
the War and Michigan's Role in It
By David Hamon
Originally Presented at the Doughboy Foundation Website
“Fueled by Boundless Enthusiasm”
Many of us who have worked with the World War One Centennial Commission and the Doughboy Foundation were saddened with the news that Dennis Skupinski (1956–2023), the Michigan State Commission Chair WWI amateur historian, passed away suddenly in his home last December.
Dennis Skupinski frequently appeared in podcasts and YouTube videos about Michigan in World War I. Click the HERE to watch one of his podcasts.
Among State Commission Chairs, Dennis was among the most active and engaged executives, ceaselessly promoting the Michigan and Michiganders contributions to the Great War. His service to Michigan and the National Commemoration effort began with a lobbying effort to the State Legislature and Governor Rick Snyder to create a Michigan State Commission. As a reward for his advocacy, he was appointed Michigan State Chair.
Fueled by boundless enthusiasm, Dennis crisscrossed the state, promoting the commemoration and speaking to veterans, communities, and civic groups to energize efforts to observe the 100-year anniversary.
|The Michigan Military Heritage Museum's "Over Here! Michigan World War I Centennial" Event
Dennis was instrumental in organizing and promoting a centenary exhibition at the Michigan Military Heritage Museum in Grass Lake to showcase the many contributions of Michiganders, both in uniform and at the home front. Dennis, an avid collector of WWI uniforms, donated the collection to the museum for the special exhibition. Dennis also donated hundreds of hours to the museum.
As chair, he took to the internet producing over a hundred YouTube videos about Michigan and WWI. He arranged for the National WWI Memorial “maquette” to come to Grass Lake so the citizens of the Great Lakes State could see a replica of the 58-foot bronze wall (“A Soldier’s Journey”) to be commemorated in Washington DC later in 2024. He planted dozens of “Liberty Gardens” with his own funds and donated the harvest to local food banks.
The staff of Roads to the Great War join the Centennial Commission and the Doughboy Foundation to salute and honor Dennis’s selfless service to his beloved Michigan and the cause he loved so much. May he rest in peace.
Dennis was able to make time in his busy schedule to contribute to Roads to the Great War. Here are two of his contributions.