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Denise Anne McKinney, age 61, began her eternal rest on December 18, 2023 and is now reunited in heaven with her father, Denis Luz and sister Michelle Bergan.
Denise leaves behind her loving husband, Mark McKinney, mother Sarafina Luz, son Geoffrey Garman Jr., daughter Alexandra Garman (De’Angelo Parris), brother Denis Luz Jr., brother-in-law David Bergan, stepchildren Michael McKinney (Ashley Hinojosa), Kelsey McKinney (Oliver Shahbazian), grandchildren Audrey Hinojosa, Aiden McKinney and Baby Boy McKinney (March 2024), and Charlie and Caito (beloved family pets), among many other family members throughout the US and abroad.
After many years together, Denise and Mark were married in October 2022 in a beautiful beach ceremony among close family on the shores of Lake Michigan in Grand Haven. The perfect spot for Denise and Mark to join in wedlock as they immensely enjoyed their years of destination boating experiences together on the Great Lakes including Pentwater, Saugatuck and their Grand River “Amazon” cruises. Denise often said that her and Mark’s extended port-to-port Mackinaw Island boating excursion was the most amazing vacation she had ever taken. Denise loved to travel especially to sunny destinations and earlier this year, Denise and Mark celebrated their belated honeymoon with an amazing trip to the gorgeous blue-water, pink-sand beaches of Bermuda.
Denise was born in 1962 and grew up in Gross Pointe, Michigan. Denise graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing Science from Nazareth College in Kalamazoo. After several years, Denise moved into successful leadership roles including Executive Director of Trinity Home Health and Hospice Services for many years. Always focused on her children first, she later took off several years to be a stay-at-home mom. Upon later resuming her career, she refocused on new leadership roles pioneering initiatives based on the principles of servant leadership that she so highly valued and fostered throughout her career. Her true career passion was to create important cultural differences within the organizations that served the needs of home healthcare and hospice patients.
Denise had many interests with a special place in her heart for helping others. She also immensely enjoyed music, dancing, reading, creating amazing floral arrangements and landscapes, home interior design and décor, entertaining, and cooking. And was she ever a phenomenal cook!
Denise was one of a kind, a beautiful soul and always Geoffrey’s and Alex’s number one fan. A text every night and every morning, and a welcoming greeting and beautiful smile that would light up the room every time they walked in… And she had a laugh that was so cheerful and contagious, and that we will all miss so much. Denise was one of those people with an almost indescribable, magnetic energy. She lit up the room and was beautiful, chic (so chic), elegant, smart, funny and kind. But she never wanted it to be about her. She was genuinely caring of others, and always there any time for help, support or conversation. She asked questions and listened, and considered everyone’s opinion. When you were talking to Denise, you knew that she listened in a way many people don’t. Denise treated everyone like they were good and valuable.
Denise had such an amazing network of family, friends, coworkers and business associates, and was beloved by so many. She developed a lifelong bond of friendship and love early on and enjoyed many adventures with her childhood girlfriends Toni, Marsha, Sheila and Eydie – the “Five Finest Friends” – and they loved her back every day. And throughout the many years, those bonds only grew stronger and stronger. Denise also developed lifelong friendships when her family moved to Rockford, Michigan many years ago, including special friends Angie, Kristie and Pat, their families and so many others. Denise also so appreciated building new friendships in recent years including special friends Christine and Rich, their mutual friends, and so many others that she loved every day.
Denise will be deeply missed but never forgotten. Denise and Mark knew and cherished every day that they had each found their perfect life partner. And now their love will be for eternity…
Visitation will be held to celebrate Denise’s life from 4-7pm on Thursday, January 4 and from 10–11am followed by the service at 11am on Friday, January 5 at the Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home, 4291 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546. Burial will follow at Georgetown Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to the American Cancer Society.
American Cancer Society
PO Box 6704, Hagerstown MD 21741