ACADEMY GRADUATION – Governor Mike Dunleavy shakes hands with graduates at the Alaska Department of Public Safety Law Enforcement Training Session 1902 graduation ceremony this afternoon at the Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi. Twenty-six law enforcement officers from across the state received their badges in the ceremony and will be taking jobs as Alaska State Troopers, a Wildlife Trooper, and city and borough police department officers.  (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Dena Marie Williams

Dena Marie Williams
Dies in Denver at 39

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, Colo., the second of four children of Dennis and Judy Williams. 

Dena Marie 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, Colo.; grandparents Almira and Ray LeClair of New Jersey; parents Dennis and Judy of Grand Junction, Colo.; sister Vanessa (Jeff) of Littleton, Colo.; 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,” her family said. “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 a local Humane Society.

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