Mary Denise Palmer Person passed away suddenly on June 20, 2020, having made a beautiful journey through this life en route to her eternal destination with her Lord and Savior.
Denise was born June 21, 1959, in Pittsburgh PA to the late Robert L. Palmer Sr. and Mary Rutledge Palmer. At an early age, Denise wanted to become a nurse and, following graduation from Greensburg Salem High School, achieved a Bachelor of Science Degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. Her illustrious career in nursing began at Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg, PA followed by a move to Maryland to work at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, and the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center.
Denise served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and the Army National Guard where she rose to the rank of Army Major and received several awards for her outstanding clinical expertise and insightful leadership. Denise went on to become a Nurse Practitioner and worked in several roles, most notably as Director of Nursing at California State University Sacramento Student Health Center and Nurse Manager of the University Birthing Suites, Women’s Pavilion/Newborn Nursery at the University of California Davis Medical Center until her retirement in 2012.
In 1996 Denise married the love of her life Michael K. Person and together they began a devoted partnership and journey which included raising Angela and Anthony Person. Wife, mother accomplished career woman notwithstanding, Denise would say that the most rewarding role of her life was that of grandmother to her beloved Genevieve. She delighted in the role and, as with everything else, approached it in great earnest—teaching her to read and write at a very early age, volunteering weekly in her classroom, challenging her with inventive games, and serving as a major guiding force and loving presence in her life.
Denise was an avid reader, loyal member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and a seriously passionate Pittsburgh Steelers fan. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by brothers Robert Palmer Jr, Melvin Doty Sr. and MacArthur Doty. She is survived by her adoring husband Michael Person of Rancho Cordova, CA; brother Ronald Palmer of Greensburg, PA; daughter Angela Person and son Anthony Person, both of Sacramento, CA; granddaughter Genevieve Aldana; aunts Brenda (William) Jackson of Greensburg, PA and JoAnn James of Bridgeport, WV; sisters-in-law Mary Palmer, JoAnn Doty, Karen Doty, Lisa Palmer; and numerous loving nieces, nephews, cousins and dedicated close friends.
Denise leaves behind an enduring legacy of unconditional love, family devotion, unwavering support, and kindness. She was a light that will forever shine bright in the hearts and minds of all who had the privilege of knowing her.
Arrangements are being made by Thompson Rose Chapel of Sacramento, CA. Please, in lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America.
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