2013-08-29 / Obituaries

Denise Southerland

Denise Southerland made the journey to be with the Lord and her family on Aug. 21.

Denise was born to Jack and Bernice Bryant in Salinas on April 19, 1956. She was a resident of the Atwater/Merced area for 41 years and moved to Mariposa in 2000—a place she loved. She embraced the people of Mariposa. Those who were lucky enough to know her know what that means.

Denise worked in the banking industry for 35 years with her last position at MERCO Credit Union’s Mariposa branch as its bank manager. This was a perfect setting for her. She loved her work dealing with and meeting new people every day. She served as the president of the Mariposa Rotary Club and was very active in all aspects of her community. To some she was “cheerleading Nana” and identified herself on her license plate as “Mt. Nana.”

The most important thing in life for Denise was her family, which always came first. Her idea of a perfect day was a family day. In addition to her family, Denise loved to ride her Harley, which she did a lot.

She is survived by her loving husband of 37 years, Reggie; her daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer and David; and son and daughter-in-law, Nathan and Sarah; her grandchildren, Taylor, Haley, Austin, Kiley and Ethan. She is also survived by her mother, Bernice Bryant, 84, of Merced; her sisters and their husbands, Stephanie and Jerry Nordby of Oregon; Pam and Bill Leonard of Mariposa; and Barbara and David Bustos of Atwater; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Denise never saw anything but the good in people. She was the perfect wife, mother, nana, daughter and sister. And a friend to many. Denise was truly loved and respected by those who had the good fortune to know her. She will be greatly missed.

The Rosary will be on Friday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m., at Wilson’s Funeral Home, 1240 Winton Way in Atwater. Mass and burial will be on Saturday, Aug. 31, at 10 a.m., at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 4985 Bullion Street in Mariposa, with a reception immediately following at the parish hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Msgr. Francis E. Walsh Scholarship Fund at St. Joseph’s Church. This fund is used for Mariposa County High School Students to further their education beyond high school. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 215, Mariposa, CA 95338. Memorial contributions may also be made to the charity of the donor’s choice in her memory.

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