Cover photo for Dennis Paul Ferrin's Obituary
1947 Dennis 2024

Dennis Paul Ferrin

March 12, 1947 — March 7, 2024

Legendary theatre educator Dennis P. Ferrin, age 76, took his final bow on Thursday, March 7, 2024, lovingly surrounded by his wife and children.

 Dennis was born on March 12, 1947 to Keith and Francis Ferrin in Salt Lake City, the eldest of three children. He grew up in Bountiful where he met his future wife, Barbara (Choate) Ferrin, while starring in a junior high school operetta. They dated throughout high school and went on to have five children, 20 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.

 With a career spanning more than 50 years across the Wasatch Front, Dennis had an enormous influence on the Arts and the lives of his students, collaborators, and grateful audiences.

 He appeared as an actor and musician in high school while developing skills in costuming and scenic and lighting design, making him a versatile jack-of-all trades who would go on to mentor others in each of these crafts. After earning his bachelors degree from Utah State University, he worked as an actor with the Old Lyric Repertory Theatre and began teaching at Evergreen and Sunset Junior High Schools before taking a position at Layton High where he would have his greatest impact. In his 42-year teaching career he directed nearly 200 productions and reached thousands of students, several of whom went on to careers in the Arts, including stints on Broadway, in national tours, in film, on television, and in education. After nearly 4 decades at LHS, the newly remodeled little theater was named in his honor.

 In addition to his impact as an educator, he worked continuously in the community theatres of Utah, cultivating small groups of players into city-sponsored organizations that eventually built the foundation for semi-professional theatres in Salt Lake, Davis and Weber Counties. As a director or designer, he worked with venues such as Promised Valley Playhouse, Desert Star Playhouse, Rodgers Memorial Theatre, Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse, the Lagoon Opera House, the Kenley Centennial Amphitheatre, the Ziegfeld Theatre, and CenterPoint Legacy Theatre.

 Throughout this time, he also lent his talents to major productions for the state of Utah and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, directing at the Salt Lake Tabernacle for the Utah State Centennial and massive spectaculars featuring more than twenty-five thousand youth for the Joseph Smith Day of Celebration and the Ogden Temple Re-dedication.

 His honors included a fellowship from Oxford and the National Endowment for the Arts to work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Show of Shows Award from the Davis County Clipper, Best High School Musical in the state of Utah from USA Today, recognition as the Davis Schools Educator of the Year and Utah Speech Educator of the Year, and inclusion in the Utah Teaching Hall of Fame.

 But no honor meant more to him than seeing others pick up where he left off, carrying his love of the Arts and community-building into the future. Along with his children and grandchildren, his former students who became teachers, actors, producers, and directors will continue his legacy for generations to come.

 Dennis is survived by his wife, Barbara, his children Blake (Linda) Ferrin, Shelby (Annie) Ferrin, and Emily (Chris) Checketts, and his sister, April Booher. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Gary, daughters Amy Ferrin and Heidi Kemp, and grandsons Thomas Ferrin and Chase Hall.

 A viewing will be held on March 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Russon Brothers Mortuary in Syracuse, 1585 W. 300 S. Funeral services take place on Monday, March 18 at 11 a.m. at the LDS chapel at 3024 S. 1200 W. in Syracuse, with a viewing from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Dennis will be interred at Lakeview Memorial Mortuary-Cemetery.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, March 17, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

Russon Mortuary & Crematory - Syracuse

1585 W. 300 S., Syracuse, UT 84075

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


Monday, March 18, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, March 18, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

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


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