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Edgar Martell Denny (1925 – 2011)

Photo of Edgar Martell Denny taken by my future nephew-in-law Nick Gilson
My wonderfully loving, compassionate, and intelligent father Edgar Martell Denny died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, January 13.  All who knew him were touched by his deep wisdom and gracious example of unconditional love.  I am grateful to him for many lessons learned, traits passed on, and happy memories.

In recent years dad never really liked his photos, but I thought this picture taken at his 85th birthday party a few months ago did capture his fun personality. (Photo by my future nephew-in-law Nick Gilson; my apologies to Nick because I was also taking pictures that night and originally thought it was my photo.)

When I was in junior high school, dad graduated from the University of Utah Law School, being awarded the Order of the Coif for academic merit.  He finished law school in four years despite working 40 hours a week and having a house full of children. (Any guesses which one is future blogger Kalyn?)

Here’s the Denny family a few years later.  This photo has gotten really faded through the years, but it’s one of my favorites.  Thanks to a thoughtful reader named Meg who restored the photo for me and sent it in an e-mail! (Our adopted sister Vida isn’t in either of these photos, so this must be before she came to live with us.)

My parents were happily married for over 50 years, and were loving companions through many years of raising children, church service, and lots of family evenings at home eating popcorn.

When my mother died in 1998 my father married Vera Holman, a lovely woman who was a great companion for dad, and they had three happy years together.

After Vera died he married Norma Noel, who lovingly cared for him for many years.  This photo shows them on the occasion of my dad’s 80th birthday party in 2005.

There have been a lot of four-generation photos through the years, but this is one of the more recent ones with my brother Dave, his son Nate, and Nate’s son Coleman.  Dad is survived by 10 children, 39 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren, 8 stepchildren, 29 stepgrandchildren and 32 step great-grandchildren.

The last few years of his life dad lived in an assisted living center, and I went there several times a week and cooked lunch for him.  Those meals with my dad will always be precious memories for me.  While I’m spending the upcoming week with my family, I’m going to feature a few recipes I’ve posted that were my dad’s favorites. 
I love you dad and feel deeply blessed to be your daughter.
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161 comments on “Edgar Martell Denny (1925 – 2011)”

  1. What an amazing man!

  2. Kalyn, my sincerest condolences for your loss. You wrote a beautiful tribute and are so lucky to have him for so long. Be well.

  3. My condolences for you and your family, it is always painful to lose a parent, even if it's the "natural" movement of life.

    I send you a warm hug, you did a wonderful tribute to him…

  4. What a wonderful tribute to your father. And what a legacy he leaves behind.

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  6. This is a beautiful tribute and so are his favorite recipes. I'm so sorry again. My Dad's just gone into a nursing home (6 hours away sadly) and boy is it tough. You're in my thoughts.

  7. Kalyn, I am so sorry for your loss. This was a wonderful tribute to your father. It looks like he had a full life and was loved by many.

  8. I'm so sorry for your loss Kalyn. What a lovely post. Sending you comforting thoughts…

  9. Kayln,

    Just saw this. So sorry for your loss..your father sounds like an amazing man!..
    Shawn K

  10. I was the mission secretary in Albuquerque when your father served as mission president. I loved my mission but especially the 6 months I spent in the office working with him every day. That was the highlight of my service.

    One day I asked him what his middle initial stood for. He told me, thought for a moment and said, "I never really like the name Edgar. Martell wasn't much better." This was said with a huge smile on his face.

    I've been digitizing my mission slides which is what got me thinking about your father. I'm sad that he's passed, but have many happy memories of him and Sister Denny.

    Alan Wareham
    New Mexico Albuquerque Mission
    1981 – 1982

  11. Alan, thanks so much for sharing that. I feel very blessed to have had the parents I did; miss them both so much.

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