Denise Ann Anderson-Decina passed from this life on Saturday, 5 March 2022 after a short bout with a very aggressive cancer. She was born 25 January 1953, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Edward Loretto Decina and Iris (Beltrame) Decina; Edward preceded his daughter in death.
Denise graduated from Haverford Township High School in 1970, Saint Joseph University with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1974, and the University of Indianapolis in 1982 with a Master of Business Administration. She joined the American Society for Testing and Materials located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1974. In September 1978 she married Rick Jay Anderson and the Anderson-Decina’s moved to the Indianapolis area.
After leaving ASTM she worked for David R. Webb Co. in Edinburgh, Indiana, American Trans-Air in Indianapolis, Personnel Management, Inc. in Indianapolis, and the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library as the assistant project coordinator.
Denise was an active volunteer at the 1987 Pan American Games and later as a docent for the Eiteljorg Museum. A long-time member and officer of the Tecumseh Lodge, Denise was proud to celebrate Native American Heritage. After retiring Denise leaned into her passion for history by becoming an active genealogist and DNA consultant. She was one of the founding members of the Central Indiana DNA Interest Group and lectured frequently around central Indiana. The Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana State Library were both entities that Denise dedicated her time and research to, as well as having a profound impact on the Indiana African American Genealogy Group. Her presence in the Indiana Genealogy community will be dearly missed.
Survivors include her mother, Iris (Beltrame) Decina; her husband of 43 years, Rick Anderson-Decina; a daughter and son-in-law Erin and Adam Cookerly, a son and daughter-in-law Evan and Erica (Williams) Anderson-Decina, a step-son and daughter-in-law Randall and Traci (Wilhelm) Anderson; a brother, Lawrence Decina (Patricia), a sister, Carolyn Decina, a sister and brother-in-law Karen (Anderson) and Edward George; three nephews, Ronald George, Lawrence Decina, and Gregory Decina; two nieces, Emily George, and Elizabeth Decina; and five grandchildren Benjamin Cookerly, Giovanna Anderson-Decina, Guinevere Cookerly, Ariabella Anderson-Decina, and Luciana Anderson-Decina.
Denise’s Life Celebration® Visitation will be held Friday 11 March 2022, from 4:00 to 8:00 PM in the chapel at O’Riley-Branson Funeral Service & Crematory, 6107 South East Street, Indianapolis. A Native American Drum Ceremony will begin at 7:30 PM Friday evening by the Tecumseh Lodge. Morning prayers will be said at the funeral home prior to the celebration of Mass on Saturday morning at 10:30 AM, friends are welcome to arrive at 10:00 AM. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday 12 March 2022, at 11:00 AM by Father Guy Roberts in St. Barnabas Catholic Church, 8300 Rahke Road, Indianapolis. The Mass will be available via Livestream through the following link: https://vimeo.com/685657667
Following the celebration of Mass, Denise will be laid to rest in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Greenwood. Per Denise's family, masks can be worn at your own discretion. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Denise’s memory to the IU Simon Cancer Center; envelopes will be provided at the funeral home. Please visit www.ORileyBranson.com to share a favorite memory or sign the online guest registry.
Saturday, March 12, 2022
Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)
St. Barnabas Catholic Church