The Norman Transcript


April 6, 2014

Claudine ‘Dena’ J. Willis

NORMAN — Claudine “Dena” J. Willis was born Jan. 18, 1929, in Perry, to Claude Herbert and Laura Etta (Nida) Kennedy and was raised in the small town of Lucien. In 1969, she moved to Norman. She went home to be with the Lord Saturday, April 5, 2014, in Norman.

Dena attended grade school in a two room school house in Lucien and later graduated from Perry High School in 1947, where she was PHS Band Queen. After graduation, she attended Oklahoma State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education in 1951. She continued her education at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, and received a Master of Science in education. Dena was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and the Kappa Delta Pi honorary education fraternity at OSU. In 1950, she was an attendant for the OSU football homecoming royalty.

Dena was a public school teacher for 20 years, teaching two years at Snyder Public Schools and 18 years at Noble Public Schools. She was a member of National Education Association and the Oklahoma Education Association. In March 1992, Dena was named one of the 29th “Oklahoma Best Teachers” in the state of Oklahoma and was honored by channel 5 news television station.

Dena was baptized in Lucien at the First Methodist Church as an infant. On Oct. 20, 1950, she was united in marriage to Fay M. Willis at the First United Methodist Church in Perry, and to this union, three children were born, Ronald, Karen and Kathryn. At the time of her passing, she was a member of the McFarlin Methodist Church in Norman.

Dena was a former member of “Registry” Dinner-Dance Club and “Women of the Moose.” She enjoyed playing the piano and big band music. Dena also loved to dance, play bridge, bird watch and travel.

Dena is survived by two children, Ronald Wayne Willis and his wife Stephanie of Enid and Kathryn Ann Cochran of College Station, Texas; eight grandchildren, Kristin Lind (Josh), Kerri Brackin, Wade Willis (Heather), Allison Pennington (Michael), Kent Cochran (Nicki), Julie Durham (Jason), Carter Cochran (Elyse) and Alexander Kroll; and six great-grandchildren.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • James K. West

    James K. West, 70, of Tulsa, passed away Sunday, July 20, 2014. Jim was born Aug, 17, 1943, in Sentinel. He was a former resident and businessman in Norman....

    July 23, 2014

  • Dr. Tibor József Herczeg

    “The ancient order opens to readmit me. I lean out on the windy stars.” — János Pilinszky. Apocrypha Dr. Tibor József Herczeg, 87, emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Oklahoma, died Monday, July 7, 2014....

    July 22, 2014

  • Elbert Don Idlett

    Elbert Don Idlett died Sunday, July 20, 2014, in Noble at the age of 60 years, 4 months and 14 days....

    July 22, 2014

  • Johnny Allen Cossey

    Johnny Allen Cossey, 55, of Noble, passed away Monday, July 14, 2014, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. A memorial service to honor Johnny’s life will be 1 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Noble Assembly of God Church, 100 W. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Steven Matthew Sparks

    Steven Matthew ‘Matt’ Sparks, 34, beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend, passed away Sunday, July 13, 2014. Matt was born Feb. 7, 1980, in Elk City. After living abroad in several countries during his childhood due to his ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Donald Leon Conn

    Donald Leon Conn was born March 12, 1937, in Lexington to Harvey and Wilma (May) Conn. He passed away peacefully Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at his home in Noble....

    July 18, 2014

  • Thomas Joseph ‘T.J.’ Cotrone

    Thomas Joseph “T.J.” Cotrone, 36, of Norman, passed away Tuesday, July 15, 2014. He was born Nov. 21, 1977, in Queens, N.Y., to Thomas Joseph Cotrone Sr. and Deborah Lynn Carlisle....

    July 18, 2014

  • Pamela ‘Pam’ Ruth Deen

    Funeral services for Pamela “Pam” Ruth Deen will be 11 a.m. Friday at the Midway Hill Baptist Church, with Pastor Willard McCartney Jr. officiating....

    July 17, 2014

  • T.J. Cotrone

    T.J. Cotrone, 36, of Norman, passed away Tuesday, July 15, 2014. He was born Nov. 21, 1977, in Queens, N.Y., to Thomas Joseph Cotrone Sr. and Deborah Lynn Carlisle....

    July 17, 2014

  • Karen Kealy Peak

    Karen Kealy Peak, 63, of Fort Clark Springs, Texas, formerly of Norman and Tampa, Fla., was born Nov. 23, 1950, in Dallas and died Monday, July 7, 2014....

    July 17, 2014