The angels came down for Denise “Dee” on September 3, 2023 at the age of 67, following a hard fought 7 year battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and Corticobasal Syndrome (CBS), both rare neurological disorders. She was born in 1956 in Chester, PA, to the late Robert J. and Evelyn M. Deveney. She grew up in Meadowood and graduated from Dickinson High School in 1974.
Dee had many interests and loves in her life, like vacationing in Chincoteague, VA., the Rockies, family road trips, camping, salt water fishing, dachshunds, gardening, monarch butterflies, hummingbirds, painting and creating art in her studio, grandkids sleepovers, eating crabs, the Phillies, laughing and chasing Neil Young concerts around the country with her Rustie friends. Dee worked a lot of different types of jobs throughout her early life, such as with race horses, veterinarians, oral surgeons, newspaper delivery, cleaned houses, Main Street programs, marketing, and sales. She graduated from the 2nd Master Gardener's program at the University of Delaware and became the Groundskeeper at the 3-acre Historic Read House and Gardens in Old New Castle. She also went on to work there as a Docent and finally the Site Administrator.
Dee designed and landscaped her 1-acre yard with flowerbeds, plants, trees and vegetable gardens. She planted beds of milkweed for the monarch butterflies. The grandkids got a kick out of watching the monarchs go from egg to butterfly in grandma’s aquariums.
As her own kids left the nest, Dee wanted to be a schoolteacher. She was 50 years old when she began her college education to become a teacher. She graduated from Wilmington University in 3 years, then spent the next 8 years as the Art Teacher at A.I. DuPont Middle School. She always wanted to teach 3rd grade because that was her favorite grade in school. In 2018, she got her dream job teaching 3rd grade at Richardson Park Elementary School. She loved her students, and the staff was great. She was even able to have a garden where students learned how to plant then pick the food when ready. Unfortunately, her symptoms worsened, and she had to leave on disability after completing only one year.
Dee adored her 5 grandchildren, Clementine, Beatrice and Harrison August, and Aubrey and Penelope August. She loved her sons, Dave and Dan “so bad it hurts” and was proud of how her two boys became the men that they are, for having a great work ethic and being so responsible for their families. She loved and thought of her daughters-in-law, Kearstin (Dave) and Zoe (Dan) as the daughters she never had. Finally, her devoted husband of 43 years Tim, who was her sole caregiver and the love of her life. Also surviving Dee is sister, Donna Subach; and brother, Jim Deveney (Lisa); as well as several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Doctors Mathew Epply, Adam Weinstein, Jeffery Ratliff, Joseph Tropea, Patrick Kerns and all the Medical Professionals (especially PT Gabby Adams) for their help in diagnosing, confirming and treating Dee. Also a special “thank you” to Delaware Hospice for their support and direction in dealing with these horrible and debilitating diseases.
Family and friends are invited to celebrate her life by gathering on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at the Doherty Funeral Home, 3200 Limestone Road, Wilmington, DE 19808.
Denise loved all things nature, especially flowers, and animals, especially dogs. But in lieu of flowers, please consider donating in her name to:
CurePSP, 1216 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001; Delaware Hospice Newark Office 16 Polly Drummond Center, 2nd Floor, Newark, DE 19711; Your Favorite Animal Shelter; or just plant something in the ground.