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In a garden full of flowers (and a few weeds!), he was the oak tree...
Robert B. Denison (Bob) considered himself a Westerner at heart, even though he was born and brought up in the East. He was unsuited to urban confines and the hustle and bustle of big city life. So, after college and a stint in the U.S. Army as a counter-intelligence agent, he moved his family to a small town in Ohio and embarked on a career in Human Resources.
Mr. Denison died May 16, 2018 in Tucson, AZ.
The cause of death was congestive heart failure.
Seven years of working in the bustling East reinforced Bob’s desire to work and live in a less congested environment so he followed the rocket scientists to the mountains of Northern Utah and accepted employment at the Thiokol Chemical Corporation in the Employment and Training Department. He spent the next five years in the Beehive State, enjoying all the state had to offer. He learned to ski, went hunting and camping, bought a horse, and participated in other outdoor activities with his family, which now consisted of two sons and one daughter.
Mr. Denison was born in Bangor, Maine on March 9, 1928, the eldest son of Warren Harold and Cornelia Donahoe Rhulman Denison. He was reared in Ohio, Indiana, and Connecticut. His father was a lifelong executive with the YMCA and Bob spent summers during his youth working as a lifeguard at Y camps run by his father.
Deciding on a career in Human Resources, he attended Springfield College in Massachusetts, graduating with a B.S. Degree. He later did MBA Graduate work at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. He received a Graduate School of Business Certificate, Office of Executive Programs, University of Southern California, and was a graduate of Lockheed’s Management Program.
He married Patricia Nash in 1951; they had three children and were later divorced.
In 1966 he accepted a position as Manager, Employment, Training, and Compensation at Lockheed Propulsion Company in Redlands, California.
On March 4, 1967, he married his soulmate and best friend, Carla Iverson Denison in Las Vegas, Nevada. They were together for the next 51 years.
In 1972 he and his wife, Carla, relocated to the Bay Area of California where he was employed by the Ampex Corporation and later Tab Products, retiring in 1993 as the Director, Personnel and Facilities.
While in Utah he was a member of the U.S. Air Force Association, serving as the secretary of the local branch. In California he was a member of the Industrial Relations Committee-California; State Chamber of Commerce; Northern California Industrial Relations Council; Employment Management Association; College Placement Council; the Western and Rocky Mountain College Placement; Employee Relocation Council; and served as President, California Co-operative Education Association. He was also active for many years in the Redwood City, California Rotary.
In 1995 the Denison’s purchased a home in the oceanside community of Ocean Park, ME where they had vacationed with family for many years. They spent the next 23 summers there joined by their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, other family and many friends each summer.
In 1996 they also relocated from California to Arizona and wintered there, driving across the United States to Maine each spring and back to Arizona each fall. After the family Boston Terriers went to “doggy heaven,” they flew back and forth accompanied by their 10 lb. Chihuahua, Rosebud.
The Denison’s were dog lovers and every day they walked the family pets. Most were Boston Terriers but other breeds joined the household, including a sweet Maltese, a beautiful Siberian Husky, two rambunctious Boxers, and Rosebud.
In his 70’s his wife convinced him to learn to run a computer and he developed some computer skills, e-mailing messages to friends and family throughout the country.
After nine years of retirement which included extensive world travel, Bob decided to go back to work part-time and took a position in sales and services at Target. He enjoyed meeting new people and worked at this part-time position both in Arizona and Maine, much to the amusement of his family and friends. He also volunteered at Sunstone Cancer Center and at Tucson Medical Center.
Mr. Denison was a lifetime member of The Denison Society, a family association dedicated to the genealogy of the family. The Society keeps records from the first Denison to emigrate from England to the United States in 1630 on the ship “Lion” to its latest, newest members. He was always proud of the fact that he is an 11th generation American.
Adventurous travelers, the Denison’s took an extensive trip around the world and over the years they visited all seven continents, all 50 states and over 60 countries, many several times.
Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Carla Iverson Denison, son Craig Scott/Stella of Hemet, CA, daughter Carol Burnham/Ben James of Livermore, CA; and son Blair Nash/Lorraine of Cascade, CO; three granddaughters, PollyAnna/John Ogle, Deborah Bunker, and Virginia Rebecca (Jenna) James/Garrett Miller; one grandson, Robert Denison James and four great grandsons: Joshua, Mavrik, and Zander Bunker and Grayson James Miller; sister-in-law Marsha Denison; brother David/Marcia; three nieces; one nephew; and many in-laws. He was preceded in death by his parents, his younger brother, James Philip, and his first wife, Patricia Nash Denison.
He ashes will be inurned in Bear River City, Utah. A celebration of life is scheduled when the family gathers in Utah on June 25th and again at Two Lights State Park, Maine, a favorite summer place of the Denison Family.