Denise M. (Duranso) Kendellen

May 20, 1953August 30, 2018

Age, 65 Passed away unexpectedly on August 30, 2018. She is survived by her husband, Patrick; her father, James Duranso; sisters, Debra Duranso and Jeannette Duranso; sons David Kendellen (Megan) and Brian Kendellen (Sonya Pliego). She is also survived by her grandchildren, Landon and Arcadia Kendellen. She was predeceased by her mother, Annette Aranguren Duranso. She is also survived by many brothers and sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews.

Denise was a passionate advocate for children. She was active in Northwest Adoptive Families Association in Portland, Oregon, serving as president and coordinator for conferences on adoption and adoption issues. She later joined Downey Side Adoption Services in St Paul and served as a placement counselor for children in foster care into adoption families.

Denise was also an advocate for people in recovery from addiction. She spent many years co-leading support groups for people working to maintain their sobriety for Fairview Hospitals.

She also worked as a branch banker for U.S. Bank in Oregon.

Denise was an avid fan of cooking shows with an impressive collection of cookbooks. She was an accomplished home chef whose culinary feats were enjoyed by family and friends.

She and her husband married in Madison, Wisconsin, at the University of Wisconsin. After the wedding, they moved to Seattle, Washington; then Spokane, Washington, and Portland, Oregon; before finally landing in Woodbury, Minnesota.

She enjoyed travelling to visit her sons in North Carolina and Oregon. She also travelled to Europe, especially Germany, France, Great Britain and Ireland. She had a memorable trip to Russia on a boat cruise from St Petersburg to Moscow. She also enjoyed a cruise around the tip of South America from Santiago, Chile, to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Farewell services for Denise will be held on Friday, Sept 7, at 10 am with visitation at 9 am. at Guardian Angels Church, 8260 4th St N, Oakdale, MN 55128.


  • Denise is survived by her Husband, Patrick; Father, James Duranso; Sisters, Debra Duranso and Jeannette Duranso; Sons, David Kendellen (Megan) and Brian Kendellen (Sonya Pliego); Grandchildren, Landon and Arcadia Kendellen; many Brothers and Sisters-In-Law; many Nieces and Nephews.

    She was predeceased by her Mother, Annette Aranguren Duranso.


  • Gathering of Family and Friends Friday, September 7, 2018
  • Mass of Christian Burial Friday, September 7, 2018

Denise M. (Duranso) Kendellen

have a memory or condolence to add?

Helga Braman

September 7, 2018

I met Denise in 1979 shortly after we moved from California to Northern Idaho.
We got to know Denise when I was hired at a Spokane company and Denise introduced me to the local shops including European items that helped a new immigrants like myself survive better. Job did not last, but my
friendship with Denise did.

I will always be grateful for her company, compassion and assistance and advice as well as her fun suggestions for travel and adventure and the laughs and tears we shared.

She was a true friend to our family - we trusted her so completely that while our children were minors she agreed to be their guardian just in case anything happened to us.

I will always treasure the memories of the all the times I shared with her.

My heart goes out to her family.


Brigid Riordan

September 4, 2018

My family and I were fortunate enough to be related to Denise through marriage. The way we all picture Denise is smiling, laughing, talking, understanding, and giver of magnificent hugs. She was a very smart and trustworthy confidant, a supportive listener, and generous in sharing her knowledge and experience. Denise shared her love in many ways including service, friendship, compassion, wisdom and phenomenal cooking and baking skills. Most of all she loved her family immensely and was understanding, supportive, and proud of every one of them. Although Denise's body has passed away, her legacy of love remains.

Linda Brown

September 3, 2018

My heart breaks to hear of Denise’s passing. Earth’s loss, but Heaven’s gain. A true angel 🙏I have known Denise since 1982, when she and Pat lived in Spokane, belonging to a support group for awaiting adoptive parents. We shared many memories and emotions as we finally were blessed with our children. God bless you my friends and I’ll see you in Heaven when it’s my turn. I will always love you 💔🙏Linda

Karla Britfeld

September 2, 2018

I met Denise at a friend's Christmas party in Portland Oregon many years ago. We met socially a few times a year until Denise and her family moved to Woodbury, mn. After that, it was correspondence and Christmas cards and Denise would always write something very personalized to us with her warm style. Denise and Pat traveled back to Oregon a few times to see family and friends and we made sure to get together. Denise always had a warm, genuine hug for everyone and a kind smile. She was a generous person, very open, a beautiful soul. We will miss her.

Nikki Froemming

September 1, 2018

My first job as a social worker, fresh out of college, was at an agency with Denise. She was an amazing co-worker and friend. She was a mentor to me and an all around wonderful and caring person. She lit up when she spoke of her family. She was truly one of the nicest most positive and supportive people I have ever met. I definitely think she she helped shape my career and touched everyone she ever met. My heart goes out to her husband, children and grandchildren whom she loved so much. I am glad to have known Denise and she will be greatly missed.