Denise (Craig) Koonse, 67, passed away at her beautiful home in Overland Park, KS on November 1st, 2021 after battling her cancer journey with grace and strength.
Denise, lovingly known as “Denny”, considered herself a true Overland Park native with her family moving here in the early 60’s. She was introduced to the love for the Overland Park community through her family’s extensive involvement with local businesses and events where she developed many life-long friendships. Denise was an accomplished pianist and performed as both a soloist and as an accompanist with many choirs, including the K-State singers where many of her fondest memories were made. In later years, she continued to play for her own enjoyment and the enjoyment of her family to include her beloved dogs who loyally laid at her feet listening to every note.
After graduating from Shawnee Mission South, Denise learned to “bleed purple” while studying at Kansas State University. She proudly graduated with a degree in Radio and TV Journalism.
Denise had a notable career, including years at Ericsson Telecom, Fairbanks Morse, Johnson County and Black & Veatch where she eventually retired from. She invested considerable time throughout her life volunteering for multiple organizations.
She was a highly devoted mother to her only daughter. Denise never missed her daughter’s figure skating lessons (even at the crack of dawn), a skating test or competition and was always enthusiastic with support. To the end, Denise dedicated her life to being the most wonderful mother and grandmother, affectionately termed “Nina” by her grandson.
Those who knew Denise loved her for her genuine kindness, warm and caring heart, and her radiant smile which was seen until her final moments. She made lasting impressions on many and will never be forgotten by all those whose lives she touched.
Denise was preceded in death by her spunky mother, Evadean Talbot Craig, and her father, Benjamin Craig. Denise is survived by her steadfast husband of 42 years, Charles B. Koonse, faithful daughter, Kelsey Houchen, and darling grandson, Jackson Houchen. Denise’s life will be celebrated in a private ceremony with immediate family members.