Delia 'Dee' Denton
Delia "Dee" (Mogica) Denton died peacefully in her home on March 10, 2021.
Dee was born March 13, 1926, to Raymond and Josephine Mojica, both originally from Puerto Rico. The oldest of six children, Dee grew up in Manhattan and the Bronx. Shortly after marrying Michael Denton, Jr., Dee gave birth to two sons, Michael and Dennis, 18 months apart. She delighted in dressing them alike. The family moved to Vallejo, California in 1948 and later welcomed her baby girl, Patrice.
Shortly after moving to Lake Oswego, and with the support of a woman businessowner, Dee became the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, after almost not getting an interview because she was a woman. Through Dee's visionary leadership from 1963 to 1996, the Chamber grew from 60 to over 600 members and demonstrated a devotion to supporting the community at large. In 1997, the Chamber established the Dee Denton Small Business Award, given annually to businesses for outstanding community involvement.
The list of Dee's volunteer positions and awards is too long to list here, but it paints the picture of a woman who led by example, worked tirelessly, and was driven to do more than was expected of her. Perhaps her crowning achievement was the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts. The Festival reflects Dee herself: its core job was to be an economic driver for local businesses, but it far exceeded its initial mission; it brings people together, both visitors and a stunning number of incredibly dedicated volunteer staff; it supports and elevates the arts community, particularly the Lakewood Center, creating new opportunities for artists and art lovers alike; and it is hard to imagine Lake Oswego without it.
As her unparalleled career slowed, Dee had the wonderful fortune of being able to spend time with people she loved. Dee loved playing games, especially Bridge, Pitch, and Scrabble. She enjoyed lunches with her Chamber friends, and often spoke of the trips she took around the world with her Rotary friends. She was a voracious reader, and loved few things more than sitting in the sun, wearing bold sunglasses, with a book.
She was her family's matriarch in every sense of the word. She hosted countless family parties and then presided over them later in life. She led by example and embraced family, friends, and the things that brought her joy. She was uproariously funny, gave insightful and honest advice, and was universally beloved.
Dee is survived by her children, Michael (Jeanne), Dennis (Cheryl), and Tris (Jerry); brothers Harold (Eunice) and George (Rosemary); seven grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her incredible legacy and the wonderful memories she has left us during her life well-lived.
The family would like to thank the people of Legacy Hospice and ComForCare Home Care for the wonderful care they provided to her. In memory of Dee, the Dee Denton Gallery will be established at the Lakewood Center for the Arts. The family is encouraging donations to the gallery fund at the Lakewood Center in lieu of flowers.