Dennis Lee “Boog” Pieper, 73, of Waterloo, died Nov. 18, 2020, in Waterloo. He was born Dec. 11, 1946, in East St. Louis.
He is survived by his mother Dorothy Pieper (nee Luhr); grandchildren, Jacob Hill, Hannah Walters, Sophia Walters and Noah Rose; step-daughter Marla (nee Gummersheimer) (Scott) Rose; cousins and friends.
Dennis is preceded in death by his wife Joan E. Pieper (nee Kremmel); father Harold W. “Mick” Pieper; and brother Gary G. Pieper.
Denny had a heart for baseball. Starting in 1962, he played for Fults, Maeystown, Waterloo and Valmeyer with the Mon-Clair League. In 1965, he played on the Waterloo High School team that made it to the state playoffs, and from 1967-1968 he played at SIUE until his almost fatal car accident that left him unable to continue to play. This is when he began his career as a coach.
In 1970, he became the assistant baseball coach at SIUE and from 1988-1997 he was the head baseball coach at McKendree College. From 1971 to present, Denny has been the head baseball coach for the Valmeyer Lakers. In 1973, he started the infamous Valmeyer Mid-Summer Classic Tournament. His team won five Valmeyer Tournament championships, had 13 Mon-Clair League Championship appearances, won seven Mon-Clair League Championships and one Mon-Clair League Division Championship. Denny was head coach of the Pan American Games. He was inducted into the Mon-Clair League Hall of Fame in 1993, earned the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 – the highest honor bestowed upon an individual from the Mon-Clair Baseball Association – and in 2020, Borsch Field was dedicated to him and is now called “Dennis Pieper Field.”
He made an opportunity for boys to become men on the baseball fields. An opportunity to play, learn, progress skills, succeed and even fail, but most importantly how to depend on each other and always get back up. The Lakers are a family because that’s what he created.
Visitation is noon to 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22 at Dennis Pieper Field at Borsch Park in Valmeyer. Funeral services are 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22 at the park, Pastor R.J. Morgan officiating.
A graveside service takes place 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 23, at St. Paul Evangelical Cemetery in Columbia.
As an expression of sympathy, the family prefers memorial contributions to:
Dennis Pieper Baseball Scholarship Fund
c/o Bob Hill 311 S. Main St. Columbia, IL