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Denise Willson

Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 11:46 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:30 p.m. CST

Denise Willson, 88, passed away on April 27, 2013, at Newton Healthcare in Newton, Iowa.

A visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at Highland Park Funeral  Home,  3500 Sixth Ave. in Des Moines. The memorial service will be the following day, Friday, May 3, at Epworth United Methodist Church, 412 Euclid Ave., Des Moines at 10:30 a.m.

Denise was born in Prairie City, Iowa on April 15, 1925, to Samuel and Irma (Vander Linden) McFadden. After graduating from Iowa Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing in 1946, she began working as a nurse and nursing instructor for Iowa Lutheran Hospital until 1987. She married Keith Willson on July 24, 1948, and they were married for nearly 66 years. She was an active member of Epworth United Methodist Church, enjoyed square dancing, antiquing, traveling, and visiting with family and friends with her husband, Keith. After retirement, she volunteered with Hospice of Central Iowa, Iowa Lutheran Hospital, and for food banks and meals for the homeless — “We can’t quit just because we stop working.”

Those left to honor her memory include her husband, Keith Willson of Newton, a daughter Barbara (Mike) Kaldenberg of Newton, and a son Bill (Diana) Willson of Durango, Colorado. She also has two grandchildren, Scott and Christine Kaldenberg, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Her surviving siblings include Helen (the late Tex) Kassen of Georgetown, Texas, Edith (the late Raymond) Hutchison of Newton, and Margaret (Leslie) Stokely of Richmond, Virginia. Denise’s parents preceded her in death, along with her sister Jean (Dan) Bartelma, brother Lawrence (Ruth) McFadden, and sister Marilyn (Harlan) Roorda.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Epworth United Methodist Church in Des Moines or the Alzheimer’s Association. Online condolences can be made towww.petersonfuneralservice.com.

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