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Paul Dennis Barks, 68, of Hermann, MO, died September 21, 2019 in Columbia, MO.
Dennis was born September 23, 1950, in Cape Girardeau, MO, to Paul and Inez (Felker) Barks.
He is survived by his longtime partner, Jean Held of Hermann, MO, his sister, Phyllis Barks (Greg Hoff) of Rocheport, MO, his two children, Sarah Barks (Lauren Myers) of Grinnell, IA, and Daniel Barks (Sebastian Lourido) of Cambridge, MA, and Sarah and Daniel's mother, Sandy Watts of Columbia, MO.
Raised in Messler, MO, Dennis attended Bell City High School where he cultivated a deep commitment to basketball, both as athlete and spectator. He got his competitive streak from his mother who once broke his nose in a game of one-on-one. Dennis pursued higher education at University of Missouri-Columbia. There, he briefly dabbled in chemical engineering before finding his true home in the humanities studying political science, English literature and education. Dennis served on Law Review and earned his law degree from the University of Missouri in 1975.
After settling in Hermann, MO, to begin his legal practice, Dennis raised a family and established lifelong friendships. There he became an active member of the community, serving as city attorney and on the local school board. He loved to travel with friends and family. Favorite destinations included sailing in the Caribbean, hiking in the Rockies, and drinking wine in France.
Dennis read voraciously about science, religion, and history, and was a devoted music lover. Keeping with family tradition, he always had the next meal planned before the current meal was finished. He would take his martinis dry, with Bombay Sapphire, Noilly Prat, and two olives.
An informal gathering to celebrate Dennis's life will be held at the Rotunda in the Hermann City Park on Thursday, October 10th from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The family encourages donations to the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Washington University's Advanced Center for Parkinson's Research.