Denise Chrisner
Denise Chrisner

ELGIN - Memorial service for Denise Chrisner, 63, of Elgin, was held Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, at the Elgin Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Larry Tidwell officiating.

Mrs. Chrisner passed away peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, at her home surrounded by her husband and friends near her side, in Elgin, at the age of 63.

She developed an aggressive form of dedifferentiated sarcoma (cancer) in later summer after being cancer free for about a year from kidney cancer.

Denise Grace (Elkins) Chrisner was born Sept. 18, 1955, at the Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington D.C. Her hometown was McLean, Va., and she attended Langley High School. She had a great love of her community, people, animals and books, and was always willing to help those in need.

She enjoyed traveling, reading, the theatre and her friends. Denise was educated at the University of Arizona, Virginia Commonwealth University, and received a B.A. in English at George Mason University in Northern Virginia, and a M.S. in Theatre at the University of Tulsa.

She was an accomplished actress and was a member of the Actors’ Equity Guild in New York City. She performed in many Off-Broadway plays and a few TV series. She enhanced her acting career by teaching special needs children in New Jersey and later in Oklahoma. She met her future husband, Larry Chrisner, in New Jersey, and moved to Elgin to help out her beloved uncle.

Larry and Denise were married at the Historic Mattie Beal House in Lawton in 2002.

Her last job was as a contractor to serve Oklahomans covered under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. She was a compassionate human being, interested in mental health awareness, and was active in the local Catholic Church.

She is survived by her loving husband and musician, Larry Chrisner, of Elgin; her brother, Dr. James W. Elkins II, a scientist; sister-in-law, Sally Diane (Garmer) Elkins; nephews: James III, Richard Drew, and Christopher; nephews’ wives: Jacky (Buttegen) Elkins and Amelia (Robinson) Elkins; grandnephew, William “Liam” Jack Elkins; and grandniece, Quinn Rose Elkins.

She was preceded in death by her father, Col. James W. Elkins, Sr. (US Army, retired); her mother, Dr. Daisybelle Elkins, D.E., an educator in Virginia; and her uncle, accomplished artist and art teacher and long time Elgin resident, Capt. Edwin L. Dunn, Jr. (US Army, retired) who served in both World War II and Korea.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in her name to the American Cancer Society.