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Dena Marie Williams

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Dena Marie Williams Obituary
With great sadness, we share that Dena Marie Williams, 39, passed away August 15, 2017 at St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver following a massive stroke. Dena was born in Rangely, CO, the second of four children, to Dennis and Judy Williams.

Early in life Dena joined the ranks of the adventurous and the curious. Her free spirit led her to live many places, meet many people, and experience life through many lenses. Dena ultimately found a kindred connection to wild and beautiful southeast Alaska, where she became a commercial fisherwoman, and a loving, giving friend to that community.

The greatest moment in Dena's full, yet far too short life, was certainly the birth of her sweet son Wesley Dale Burkhart in 2013. Dena channeled her passion, her spirit, and her wisdom into being an extraordinary mother. She shared her love of the great outdoors, gardening, camping, hard work, and family values with her son. She showed him daily how to love without restraint, trust without fear, and how to take risks. By example, she imparted the value of rescuing animals, giving to the poor, and sacrificing for those less fortunate. Wes in turn, every day of his 4 years, gave Dena the priceless joys of laughter, wonder, and love beyond all measure.

Dena is survived by her son Wesley and his loving father Allen Burkhart of Durango; grandparents Almira and Ray LeClair of NJ; parents Dennis and Judy of Grand Junction; sister Vanessa (Jeff) of Littleton; sister Adriann (Billy) of Phoenix; brother Casey (Lynette) of Memphis; and numerous loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Dena will be deeply missed by her family, and the countless people whose lives she has touched and enriched in her lifetime. You know Dena would wish that you not grieve, but rather invest those emotions into something positive and meaningful. Accept others without prejudice, speak to strangers and neighbors, share a meal with the hungry, revere your elders, and protect our innocent animals from abuse or neglect.

Services for Dena will be held privately in cities and towns in Colorado and Alaska. Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made in Dena's name to your local Humane Society.
Published in The Durango Herald on Aug. 31, 2017
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