Denise passed away on the morning of January 2 with loved ones by her side. Born in Canada and raised in California, Denise loved life with a fierce spirit and open heart. She attended Thousand Oaks High School and Cal State-Northridge. After spending several years raising her young children, Denise held several positions within the Palmdale School District, her favorite of which was as the Librarian Clerk at The Learning Plaza, where she fell in love with children’s books and watching the magic of reading transform young minds.
Denise and her family moved to Idaho in 1999. She had many friends in the Post Falls, Coeur d’ Alene, and Rathdrum communities. To her friends and those who met her, she was a kind and generous, fun-loving soul who always put others above herself. To her family, she was their rock, their constant source of unconditional love, their teacher and best friend. Always up for an adventure or fun road trip, some of her favorite places included Solvang, California, Pismo Beach (the Oregon Coast was a decent stand-in for the sunny sands of California), Las Vegas (although any casino would do), and recently, O’Malleys in Rathdrum, where she would frequent with her mother Marie and granddaughter Harlee.
After being diagnosed with colon cancer in 2013, Denise fought with grace through surgery, radiation, and repeated rounds of chemotherapy. Her fighting spirit and enduring love for her family helped her battle the disease for over four and a half years. Denise was welcomed by the Hospice House of North Idaho several weeks before Christmas and had the pleasure of visiting with close friends, family, and her favorite customers from US Bank in the final weeks of her life. Known for her infectious laugh, intrepid spirit, and kind heart, Denise leaves behind countless memories and lovely encounters with all who had the pleasure of knowing or meeting her (she had a knack for making friends anywhere!).
She is survived by her children John Ferrie, of Rathdrum, Idaho, and Sarah Nipper of Portland, Oregon; her mother, Marie Larocque, of Post Falls, Idaho and two granddaughters, Harlee Marie and Kate Eliot. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 13 at 11 am at St. Pius Church, 625 E. Haycraft Ave, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. A brief reception will be held following the Church service. In lieu of flowers, her family requests that donations be made to the Hospice House of North Idaho or Colorectal Cancer Alliance.