Cover photo for Dena E. Lanning's Obituary
Dena E. Lanning Profile Photo
1952 Dena E. Lanning 2023

Dena E. Lanning

October 22, 1952 — June 16, 2023

Pine Bluffs


Dena Lanning was born Dena Ellen Thurlow in Cherokee, Ok on October 22, 1952. Her parents Joe Thurlow and JoEllen Thurlow (aka Bockie) had four children. Dena was the oldest and the only girl. Growing up, Dena was a tom boy, loved to dance and was very social. After graduating from high school, her father took a job as the music teacher in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming. Dena said one time she never understood the need for lotion until she moved to Pine Bluffs. She may have added lotion, but it was difficult to dampen that southern drawl. Dena married Mark Lanning at the age of 23 on March 19, 1976. They have three sons: Adam, Blake & Grant (aka Booga). Dena was an incredibly passionate mother. When Mark saw her hold their first born, he said he saw that she was going to be a mom first and a wife second. Dena was also an incredibly loving wife. Dena was a cheerful, social person who had strong conservative values. Dena would go on to be very active in the Pine Bluffs community. She was the director for the Melodrama during Trail Days for many years. As her children progressed through school she coached little league, created the choreograph for the color guard, coordinated and directed the first ever Senior Review and was always heard by the whole town at every sporting event her children participated. Dena loved to bowl and was on a league for years. Dena's creativity shined her whole life. She had an amazing green thumb, as her country gardens were able to thrive in the harsh Wyoming climate. She made award winning quilts alongside her mother. She followed her Father's foot steps and pursued piano tuning. As the birds flew the nest, Dena turned her attention to tending sheep, working in the green house and continuing to masterfully build beautiful, unconventional quilts. Additions to the family in the form of wives and grandchildren began to grace her presence. Dena was always kind and loving to her family and friends. Dena's last day with us was June 16, 2023. She is survived by her husband Mark after 47 years of marriage. Her oldest son, Adam and his wife Kelly. Her second son, Blake, his partner Sarah and his daughter KiyEllen. Her youngest son, Grant, his wife Nikki and their two sons George and Noah. Her brothers Phil and Jon. Services to be announced at a later date.

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