Cover photo for Carol Lee Denton's Obituary
Carol Lee Denton Profile Photo
1929 Carol 2024

Carol Lee Denton

September 17, 1929 — March 8, 2024

Carol Lee Denton was a sparkle of joy and positivity. Her playfulness of spirit brought laughter to those who knew her. Born on September 17, 1929 in Pueblo Colorado, Carol Lee shared her enthusiasm and joy with everyone she met in equal measure, without hesitation.  

As an only-child of Swedish heritage, Carol Lee bonded closely with her childhood friends.  She experienced a brief childhood illness at which time a nurse came and cared for her in the home. Marion Fox was more than a caregiver - she became dear friends with Carol Lee’s parents. They were so close in fact  that Carol Lee lived with Marion during her last year of high school while Carol Lee’s parents moved on to Denver.  There in Pueblo, Carol Lee finished high school, getting the “last little goodies” out of her senior year through singing, dancing, playing piano, and being with her friends.  Carol Lee was always the life of the party.

After graduating from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and following Marion’s footsteps, Carol Lee began a career in nursing.  Despite initial personal challenges including a brief marriage and raising her son David as a single mother, Carol Lee was resilient and strong.  

At the hospital where she worked, her path intersected with a young-looking, quiet medical student named Jim.  Although they were both in their early twenties,  Jim looked even younger than she did! They were quite a pair and soon married.  Later she  stopped nursing to focus on raising her growing family of three: David, Eric, and Cathleen. After Jim completed medical residency in the midwest, the family moved to Ventura, California.  Carol Lee quickly became fast friends with the neighbors, worked with the local AAUW chapter to serve her community, continued as a “den” mother to her boy’s scout troops, joined and volunteered at the Methodist church.  

Carol Lee loved Ventura but in 1972 the Denton family moved to San Diego. There they joined the San Carlos United Methodist Church where Carol Lee began again to make lasting friendships with her characteristic grace and enthusiasm. Jim and Carol Lee were both active members of the Girl Scouts, and enjoyed backpacking, hiking, biking, and many camping and travel adventures.  Carol Lee volunteered on many youth trips including trips to Washington DC, Virginia, and Mexico where she was a mom to many girls. 

In her later years, Carol Lee’s home became a welcomed sanctuary for her family to return on occasions like Christmas, holidays and birthdays that were celebrated with the same thoughtfulness and consideration she held for others, serving up whatever was that “special” person’s favorite dishes.  Carol Lee sang in the church’s Grace Notes choir, attended the Thursday Morning Prayer Group breakfast, and never missed a Sunday at church (unless her family was in town).  She loved the annual  retreats, famous for entertaining the crowd with her theatrics and silliness, bringing everyone to tears with laughter.

Carol Lee was genuinely self-less.  She was the rare soul who gets energy by giving it away.  There wasn’t a stranger out there that she couldn't strike up a lively conversation with, every bank teller and cashier remembered her.  She met new challenges with an unwavering positive frame of mind and adorable innocence.   Quotes of inspiration were taped to mirrors and pinned to the refrigerator, alongside photos of her family.  Her caregivers from Home Instead loved her. She was a good neighbor.  Her only wish was to remain in her home until the end.  We did our best to give her that and in return she left us the legacy of her brilliant charm.  In honoring her memory, let us be like Carol Lee and put a positive spin on whatever may vex us and change the narrative. Do it with a true heart and in that moment Carol Lee’s life will have made a difference.



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