Anna Marie Denham died peacefully at her home in Oak Ridge on Friday, March 10, 2017. She was 94 years old.
Born July 20, 1922, Anna was the third of four children born to Hess and Nellie Webb; both now deceased, in Somerset, KY. The family spent her formative years in Hillsboro, OR, where she discovered and grew her talent for playing the piano. Her delight in the instrument and the energy she put into it moved all who heard her, and thousands will remember the sound as an expression of her personality and love. Her family will recall it as a soundtrack to their lives.
Mrs. Denham had served in Christian ministry alongside her husband, the late Rev. Ed Denham, for all of their 61year marriage. However she was recognized for her own talents, publishing articles and plays, and winning awards for her music. Even into her own advancing years, Mrs. Denham continued the ministry to residents of the Glenwood and Briarcliff Nursing Homes, where for the last 33 years residents and staff alike have found her music, smiles, prayers, and special services an event to look forward to every week.
Mrs. Denham recalled fondly her time on the West Coast, and grew her lifelong faith through attending the Foursquare Church, which remained important to her throughout her life. As a young woman her journey took her back east to Kentucky, where she met and married the young Rev. Ed Denham. Together they served the rural poor, working with coal mining communities and supporting families during the struggles of WWII. As his career advanced to State Youth Director in the Church of God denomination, her roles also evolved, and the couple served in Louisiana as well as in several cities across Kentucky. Like her mother before her, Mrs. Denham had attended Heritage Fellowship Church since the family's return to Oak Ridge in 1981.
Anna Denham is survived by her sister Mable Stringer of Oak Ridge; son, the Rev. Dr. Dale Denham and his wife Melody Denham of Largo, Florida; and two daughters, Judy Benz and her husband the Rev. Dr. Norman Benz of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, as well as LeeAnn and Tom Hohn of Powell, TN.
She is also survived by nine grandchildren and their nine spouses: Kim Pasch of Tampa, FL, Syndee Daugherty of Albany, GA, Dale Denham of Largo, FL; Jonathan Benz of New York City and Erik Benz of Jupiter, FL; and Tracy Marie Kenny of Norwich, England, Jennifer Corder of Lebanon, TN, Jeremy Hohn of Pierce, CO, and Rachel Sleigh of Newnan, Georgia. In addition, she was delighted by the births of 21 great-grandchildren. In February her legacy was extended with a first great-great-grandchild named in her honor, Annabelle Faith Ashmore.
Anna Denham is preceded in death by her husband and parents, as well as siblings Earl Webb and Arthur Webb, and great-granddaughter Brooke Kelly Pasch.
The family will be receiving friends at Heritage Fellowship Church in Oak Ridge on Sunday, March 12 at 5:00 p.m. Pastor Jason Prater will lead the funeral service at 7:00 pm. A private family internment will be held on Monday at noon at Oak Ridge Memorial Park.
Anyone wishing to make a donation in her memory should make it to Heritage Fellowship, in memory of Anna Denham.
The Oak Ridge Floral Company (865-482-9251) will be providing floral services.
Martin Oak Ridge Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.