6-4-1963 — 2-11-2013.
A vigil service with rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, at Ballard Chapel for Denise Renee Hanes, 49, who passed away on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in Roswell. Mass of Resurrection is scheduled for 12:10 p.m., Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, at Assumption Catholic Church with Father Andrew Miles officiating. Burial will follow at South Park Cemetery.
Denise was born June 4, 1963, to Harold and Roma Hanes in Carlsbad. Denise was born with Downs Syndrome in a time when many people with special needs were expected to grow up in institutions or in programs outside of their home. Instead, Denise was quickly taken in by her new parents and her three siblings. And from there she began her journey as an ambassador of goodwill and spreading her philosophy of loving with no boundaries. In her almost 50 years of life, she taught compassion, sympathy, happiness and patience to everyone who would allow. She rarely met a stranger and showed folks that special-needs people are like everyone else … just more special! Despite the burden of being different in a world bent on perfection, she was a shining example of what was most important in life — faith in God, family and loving one another.
She attended both private and public schools in Roswell and “graduated” from Tobosa’s Life School. She was very proud to tell you that she worked with the cleaning crew from Tobosa that cleaned several local businesses including Levis, TMC and SPS. She later worked at Working Mother’s Day Nursery and was a volunteer “greeter and visitor” at Mission Arch Nursing Home while her grandmother was being cared for there.
In her younger days she was active in Special Olympics and enjoyed going to her niece’s and nephews’ sporting events and after school activities. She was a fixture in the stands at the Noon Optimist baseball fields and along the sidelines at the Russ DeKay soccer fields. She was a great cheerleader and became very knowledgeable about each sport and activity. She was the first to congratulate, whether it was a win or loss.
Denise passed from this life with her family and friends close. Everyone spent her last day remembering her life and the fun that spilled over when she was around. She may be best known for her greeting card list. It was important to her that everyone receive a Christmas and birthday card in a timely fashion, simply signed, Love, Denise Hanes. She was greeted in heaven by her mom and dad; she will again get to sit with her favorite Aunt Mary Helen and be on her side for a rousing game of Scrabble, and meet up with one of her favorite people, Grace Romero, who sang just for her at Saturday evening Mass every week.
Denise leaves behind in this world her beloved brother Paul Hanes and wife Barbara; her loving sisters, Kaye Kiper and husband Danny, and Carol Cunningham and husband Matt; she leaves behind her niece and nephews, whom she had a hand in raising; Jennifer Tuttle and husband Dallas; Scott Hickson and wife and children Andrea, Andrew, Wyatt, Holden and Bryce; Jason Kuykendall and wife and children Erin, Haley, Justis and Logan; Eddie Kiper and his wife and children Leslie, Ainsley and James; Clark Cunningham and Kelsey Cunningham; Chris Kuykendall and wife and child, Dani and Gracen; her Aunt Cathy and Uncle Karl Zimmerman; and extended family members throughout Wisconsin, Texas and Utah.
It is with no doubt that the influence that Denise had on the young people in her life made them better people and in some way formed them into the wonderful adults that they have become.
Denise leaves us missing her and longing to see her beautiful blue eyes and smiling face again, eternally grateful for God bringing her to this family and the knowledge that we will meet again. The family would like to thank the incredible nursing staff at EDS for their care and devotion given to Denise; Christina, Jennifer, Rebecca and Carlos. She was cared for and loved by the amazing caregivers at the “College House;” Roman, Priscilla, Alicia, Patty, Sandra, Estella, Connie and so many more.
In memory of Denise and in lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to SENM Down Syndrome Foundation, PO Box 4365, Roswell, NM 88202, or to Dsfsenm.org or to your local Special Olympics. You may consider a contribution of your time to either of these groups and enjoy the love.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at Ballardfuneralhome.com.