Although Dennis died while Ruth was pregnant with James, he is a palpable force in the lives of both James and Ruth. A strong, kind man from North Carolina, Dennis provided the stability and faith Ruth needed after a difficult early life with her parents and harsh beginnings in New York City. He was a violinist with an incredible passion about music, a passion that James's musical tendencies would later echo. He gently guided Ruth toward an acceptance of the Christian faith. Ruth describes Dennis glowingly, and we sense that theirs was a true love.