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Denise J. Lanning, age 68, of the Grand Rapids area passed away April 29, 2021 after a short illness.

She is survived by her husband of 34 years, Darrel; two daughters, Elizabeth (Tom) Stout and Kathryn Evans (Jason) Dlouhy; two step daughters, Jennifer Lanning and Jaclyn (Nick) Davidoski; sisters, Susan Hofmeyer and Anne (Brian) Williams; sister-in-law, Cathy Pope; father-in-law, Darrel Lanning; brother-in-law, Larry (Donna) Lanning; God child, Laura; as well as other beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins (Esp. Dawn); and her best friend, Ruth (Mark) Oldenberg.

She was preceded in death by parents, June and Leo Pope; brother, Richard; and mother-in-law, Bertha Lanning.

A Catholic graveside service is being planned and will be announced as soon as details come available.

In lieu of flowers or contributions, Denise requested that you always hug your loved ones and go and perform an act of kindness.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Denise’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, 616-452-3006.


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.


  1. Ruth Oldenburg on May 3, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    Denise was a kind soul with a sweet nature. We had been friends since ninth grade and called each other “sister” because her mom June, could not tell our voices apart on the phone. I will miss our calls, texts, and lunches we spent together. Praying for Darrel, her faithful husband, her daughters, Elizabeth and Kathryn, her sisters, Sue and Ann and the rest of Denise’s family during this sad time. The memory of my dear friend will always remain in my heart.
    Ruth Oldenburg

  2. Mary Kramer on May 4, 2021 at 10:58 am

    To Denise’s family:
    Denise, Ruth and I were good friends early on at Catholic Central. But we lost touch — except for high school reunions, which I treasured, especially after moving from GR in 1981. I remember Denise as such a kind, funny and generous person. She had the most beautiful eyes! And they were often “laughing” …. We had some great times! And I posted on Ruth’s Facebook post for the Catholic Central alumni who knew Denise that it always blew me away how much she loved Jimi Hendrix. It just didn’t seem to “fit” her profile, but love his music she did! And I have to admit, I never really listened to Hendrix until she got me to at least listen….I am so very sorry for your loss….at way too young an age.

  3. Amy Trubiroha on May 6, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    Denise was a very kind and loving and gentle soul. Her soft spoken nature always provided comfort. I loved her smile and she always made me feel like family. She loved everyone for who they were and I am truly blessed that I was fortunate to be her cousin and family member. I love you sweet Denise. May you Rest In Peace. You were very much adored and loved. Amy

  4. Charles & Lindsay Phelps on May 7, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lanning family. We loved the act of kindness and a hug words from the write-up.

  5. Mitch on May 9, 2021 at 9:00 am

    May the Lords shine his face on you and your family Amen.

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