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Memories of Denise   General Discussion

Started Aug-11 by Suze (casuzenn); 2137 views.
Suze (casuzenn)

From: Suze (casuzenn)


I thought it might be nice to remember some of the good times we had with Denise...

Denise and I used to drive from California to the Retreat - we would leave a day early  to allow for travel time, arriving on Wednesday. One year I got a pair of flannel jammies from my Mom for Christmas - cute flannel jammies - light green with roses. Since Retreat was just a few weeks away I thought I would save them to wear at Retreat and threw them into my travel bag - note I did NOT try them on first!. We got ready for bed and when I came out of the bathroom, Denise started laughing and said, 'You are missing some of your pants!'  Indeed, they were capris length! Now.. who the heck would make flannel jammies in capris length??  We both had our computers with us - she needed to check on her work stuff and I needed to check on we both got onto the forum and posted back and forth to each other about my shorty pants! We wondered if anyone on the forum knew we were both in the same room...Later I found some flannel with roses in the stuff on the donation table and lengthened the legs, but we laughed and laughed about those pants.

Suze I do remember that back and forth on the forum some years back. I am not sure when I realized you were in the same room...........pretty funny.

Wow where does one start on memories............she was just an amazing person and would make you just laugh and then laugh even more. Loved her sense of humor.

She used to call when she had problems with her longarm and I would try to help her troubleshoot things over the phone, usually with good results. I remember after one retreat going over to her house for some days and we figured out a way for her to sit in her wheelchair and use her longarm. She always had great colorful novelty fabrics and just loved bright and fun quilts.

One of the best ones was the retreat that Mishi went over to her house, where I was also a guest and did a remake of her sewing space..............what an awesome transformation Mishi made. I just remember how that new space worked so well for her. 

Then there were the cats! Gema was the one that was kinda friendly. I caught and occasional glimse of the siamese cats. The black and white cat was sooo old and frail. She actually dug a hole in the back yard for the person that was taking care of her cats when she went on a trip so that if the black and white cat did not make it the person could bury him. I think that cat lived another year.

The first time I talked to Denise was when she called me just before the 2004 retreat that I decided I was not going to (my first retreat) because some ladies on the forum did not like a post about quilt store vs Walmart fabric and just made post after post about me.............pretty bad. I decided if the forum members were that mean I did not need to go to some retreat to spend time with them. Denise called me and told me they were not gonna be there and agreed that they were first class jerks. I finally agreed to go. I had so much fun I have only missed two retreats since due to my high stress job I got in 2009-2011. Such a great group of ladies at the retreats over the years. 

Hard to think that she is really gone! Gonna miss her so much at future retreats and occasional phone conversations over the years.

Cathy (cacnurse1)

From: Cathy (cacnurse1)


I remember the first Retreats at Denise's condo.  She was so welcoming.  I will miss seeing her have so much fun at the retreat.  And her gravelly voice saying "Yeah".  I was very glad when she moved back here and saw a new vascular surgeon who was able to really help her and encouraged her to get a prosthesis and get out of her wheelchair. And that prosthesis!  Just like her to give them a wild piece of fabric to put on it.  She was always game for lunch at Lin's which is a Chinese buffet.  I would call her to see if she was up for lunch.  There are so many other things.  She will leave a big hole in the Valley of the Sun quilting group and the retreat.


From: bornblesse2


Suze I remember that year when you too were having a conversation in your room via the forum!  It was fun!

I was remembering some of our sew days at Denise’s condo.  Her one cat was a biter and she would always warn us to pet her at our own risk!  That cat would come over begging for attention, and the after 1 or 2 pets, maybe more, she would turn around a bite!  Always made me laugh!

and she had teddy bears everywhere!  
oh, and she FORCED me to use her gamill when she first got it!  She laugh and tell me to smile and relax!  I was so young and inexperienced!

I sat near Denise (& Nyla) at my 1st retreat.  They both made me feel so welcome.  And I laughed and laughed.  Those two always cracking me up.  She was amazing about her leg, never seemed to give up.  We were all so proud of her sticking through all the problems to walk again.  Gosh.  The retreat definitely won't be the same without  her.

In reply toRe: msg 1

From: Judy (DJZMOM)


Ohhh...  Denise...  that feisty, loving, opinionated, stern, big hearted gal!!  She will never be forgotten for her caring and silly way about her.  She was the driving force behind getting us all together in person.  She loved meeting forum friends when she traveled and she knew she'd have a quilting friend to do a shop hop trip an lunch in nearly every city she found herself in.  

Gosh I remember one of the early retreats.  I found myself sleeping on the floor of her quilting room beneath her Gammill.  She had air mattresses or each of us but I don't remember who was next to me looking up at the underside of Gammie!  If anyone needed a particular fabric and didn't have it they were instructed to go upstairs to her fabric closet and help themselves.  AND they were to take the whole thing and NOT pay her.  Just to use it!

One of the more recent retreats I rented a car and offered to Misha I'd take her to meet an online vintage Pyrex collector friend to make a trade.  I think Patty was going with us and we started to leave the hotel out of the front entrance and nearly to the car Denise came flying out the double door of the entry and whizzed in her wheelchair down the sidewalk and across to where I was walking.  All the while (in her famous deep, grovelly voice), "Where are you all going in this afternoon in commute traffic?"  "Do you even know where in Phoenix you are going?"  "Phoenix is huge!"  "Are you going to get back in time?"  Oh my!!!  She was like a yappy little doggie who just wouldn't let go!"  I'm not sure what happened or how we got going but Denise was sure making sure we knew what she thought of our plan!  I'll never forget her voice and her insistence about the situation!!

We have all been blessed by her friendship, love and at times...  her opinion!  I'll surely miss this dear online stranger turned dear friend.


Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


Gosh, I have such great memories from those early Retreats at Denise's condo!   One of them was actually at her own condo; we filled every conceivable space with sleeping bodies.   The next year, she was able to rent a condo next door?  across the street?  but it was a 2nd condo .. same sleeping arrangements.   THEN we got the community center when the Condo Assn's president, Jack A$$, was convinced we were a coven of witches.

Denise was always forthright about what she thought.  You always knew where she stood and what her opinions were.  Yet, I sure don't remember her browbeating anyone to change their opinion, if they differed from hers.

She was incredibly generous; she was always telling people that if they needed some piece of fabric to check her stash first.

One retreat at the hotel, she learned that I had never seen a saguaro cactus.  She was floored.  Well, she STOPPED whatever she was doing and drug me out to the car.   Nothing else was gonna happen until I got to see a saguaro cactus up close and personal.  She drove around and around, looking for the PERFECT specimen to show me and didn't sop until she found some that passed muster.  :-)

viola (sissly4)

From: viola (sissly4)


My first time was in 04 when I move to Tucson. Denise was on the forum telling me all about the retreat before I move from MO. She wanted me to be insure that I would come with Nana Brand that live in Tuscon.By the way Nana has past away also.One week after my husband died.Jan 2020. We can up to Denise house in a hug big old red pick up truck muffle vary loud. Everybody could hear us come.I and Nana got got to sleep in the guest bedroom twice.I cleaned her bathroom and kitchen floor on my hands and knee.And couple years ago when Denise was in the hospital  I got to come over and clean her house again on my hand and knee.Denise was so surprise that her house was cleaned when she came home from the hospital.She gave me so much material and did not want any money. She would not take a gift card.She was such a giving lovely person.She will be miss.

Viola that was my first retreat too and I do remember you two showing up in the red pickup truck. Denise sure knew how to throw a three day party for a bunch of quilters..............aka retreat! All the friends we have made over the years of retreats such good memories.


From: MelRN


Memories...Denise was one of the most welcoming, straightforward people ever. You knew she was telling you what she thought, with no untoward intentions ever. I loved sitting with her and chatting, giving her extra hugs (she loves them!), and cheering as she walked with her walker one year. I met her first in 2004, and her car came to pick me up. I was a bit nervous to get together with these people (even tho JA said we were a cult...) but in about 5 min I was totally comfortable! Those first few years we did retreat at her condo, and we slept all over the floor, etc. I was up early and down late back in that day! <3 She will definitely 100% be missed.