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Dorothy Denomme

Dorothy Denomme (Lane)

Wednesday, December 25th, 1912 - Monday, July 15th, 2019
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Pre-deceased by her parents, Bart and Minnie Lane, and by her sisters, Betty and Mary Ellon. Beloved wife of the late Gerald for 60 years. Cherished mother of Carolyn (Sander) Burstein, Tom (Barbara) Denomme, Bill (Patricia) Denomme, Jeanne (Clark) Miller, Mary-Kaye (the late Charlie) Newell, Jim (the late Martha) Denomme, John (Mary) Denomme and Larry (Wendy) Denomme. Adoring Grandmother of Susan, Mark, Amanda, William, Michael, Tom, James, Meighan, Sarah, Matt, Shannon and Melanie. 15 great grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild, and countless loving nieces and nephews.

Dorothy Sarah Lane Denomme was born in a farm house at the corner of Rose and Green Street in New Baltimore, Michigan, to Bart and Minnie Lane, on Christmas Day, 1912. She moved with her family to the east side of Detroit when she was just two years old, so it’s not a stretch to say that she was a life-long Detroiter. In her entire life, she never lived more than a mile from the waterways of the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair. She experienced life in what at the time was a rapidly growing, exciting and vibrant city: Belle Isle was her playground; she attended the Young People’s Concerts at Orchestra Hall which were hosted by the then world-famous conductor, Ossip Gabrilovich; she would board the Tashmoo Ferry off of Jefferson Ave. and take a day trip to the exotic shores of Harsen’s Island, which she often did with her father; she could walk straight into the future at the long-closed Electric Park, just blocks from where she lived; she took day trips on the Detroit Interurban Line to visit friends and family back in New Baltimore. Experiences like these helped shape her life-long interests in music, history, geography and the arts. And she loved baseball. She saw the great Ty Cobb play, although she was quick to point out that by that time, he was a player-manager and in her words, “he was pretty much washed up by then.” This provides an insight into her unique personality, and her penchant for speaking the unvarnished truth. She married Gerald Denomme, a French-Canadian, one of ten, during the height of the Great Depression in 1933, and by the mid-1930’s was producing one child roughly every 2.5 years until there were eight. Dorothy and Jerry then spent the next 60 years building a life that, though very hectic at times, was exemplary in its simplicity and balance. She once described a marriage as a “study in mutual tolerance.” But make no mistake, their love for each other was unconditional.

She was smart, attractive, stylish and funny. She was prompt, precise and articulate, with an impeccable sense of fashion. She was a stout Irish Catholic and she had a razor sharp wit. Once, in attempting to describe the appearance of a particular individual whom she observed in a restaurant, she said, “well, all ladies are women, but not all women are ladies.” Another time, she commented about a particularly verbose talking head on TV and said, “You know, there’s a difference between an expert and a know-it-all.” Conversation was pure oxygen for Dorothy, and what a great teacher she had in her father. And, oh, what you could learn by sitting and listening, and listening, and listening. Jerry was a quiet and humble man, and Dorothy more than compensated for his reticence.

She was fair to a fault, and one could not have had a better mom. She was a natural. If she believed you were right, she had your back. If she felt that you were the problem, then you had a problem. She was a great cook, learning traditional French Country style cooking firsthand from her mother. Planning a daily meal for 8-10 people was no easy challenge, especially with a family spoiled by 5-star home cooking every day. We were all well-fed. Her coveted recipe file is now safely in the hands of a certain family member.

After Jerry died in 1993, she pursued her interests in music and history by attending lectures and concerts. She read with abandon and made herself knowledgeable on a myriad of subjects. She was a member of the Grosse Pointe Historical Society and she joined Grosse Pointe Questers 147 to further pursue her interest in history. She eventually became president of her chapter. When Dorothy spoke, they listened. This was talking source material – living history. She remained dear friends with her fellow Questers, and they expressed their admiration for her with an annual tribute on her birthday. She was a member of the St. Paul Altar Society and was a lector at Sunday Mass for many years. Through her involvement with the church, she eventually became an Extraordinary Minister, bringing communion to the homebound. This was an extension of her deeply held Catholic faith, and she did this with unintended irony – she was older than most of her communicants. Her St. Paul family remained good friends with Dorothy as well, and they, too, honored her each year with a birthday breakfast.

At the age of 102 it was time for a new car, so she went to the dealership and picked out a nice shiny PT Cruiser. They weren’t making these anymore, so this was her very first used car. It was unusual for a person of this age to buy just about anything, let alone an automobile. The local news picked up on this through a family member and the purchase was covered by Channel 4 for all the world to see. She was astonished at all the fuss. Even after the age of 100, she continued to enjoy life, and was remarkably self-sufficient. She enjoyed occasional travel during this time to visit family and friends, and she continued to drive until she was nearly 103.

This is but a thimbleful in an ocean of stories, quips, quotes and anecdotes from the life of Dorothy Denomme. If one believes in the promise of heaven and everlasting life, then there’s no doubt that she is with Gerry, Bart and Minnie now. George W. Bush said this at his mother’s funeral: We can no longer touch you, but we can feel you. Dorothy, may you rest in peace.

Loving wife of 60 years to the late Gerald. Cherished mother of Carolyn (Sander) Burstein, Tom (Barbara) Denomme, Bill (Patricia) Denomme, Jeanne (Clark) Miller, Mary-Kaye (the late Charlie) Newell, Jim (the late Martha) Denomme, John (Mary) Denomme and Larry (Wendy) Denomme. Adoring Grandmother of Susan, Mark, Amanda, William, Michael, Tom, James, Meighan, Sarah, Matt, Shannon and Melanie. 15 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. Visitation Thursday, 2-8 pm at Chas. Verheyden Funeral Home, 16300 Mack, Grosse Pointe Park. Funeral Friday 9:30 Instate with 10:00 am Mass at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church, 157 Lake Shore Rd. Grosse Pointe Farms. Memorial contributions may be sent to The Capuchins, 1820 Mt. Elliott, Detroit, MI 48207. Share a memory at
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, July 18th, 2019 | 2:00pm - 8:00pm
    Thursday, July 18th, 2019 2:00pm - 8:00pm
    Chas. Verheyden, Inc.
    16300 Mack Avenue
    Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan 48230
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    In-Lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: The Capuchins 1820 Mt. Elliott Street Detroit, MI 48207-3485
  • Service

    Friday, July 19th, 2019 | 10:00am
    Friday, July 19th, 2019 10:00am
    St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church
    157 Lakeshore Rd.
    Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan 48236
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    In-State 9:30 am
    Monsignor Patrick Halfpenny
  • Interment

    White Chapel Cemetery
    621 West Long Lake Road
    Troy, Michigan 48098
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Charlie and Jessie Earl, Mark (Rick) Lewis, and others have sent flowers to the family of Dorothy Denomme (Lane).
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Bunny Homan

Posted at 05:28pm
Dear John,
I met your Mother at an event in St Clair Shores in a small club off Jefferson. We sat at the same table and I was absolutely entranced by her. She was very special. She had driven herself to the event and while I can not recall who the event was for. But I certainly do remember your Mom so very well. I do not show was in her nineties then. You were very lucky to have her for your Mom. Bunny Homan


Posted at 07:02am


Jo and Charlie Zangara

Posted at 09:05am
We are saddened to learn about Dorothy's passing and extend to her entire family our deepest sympathy. Although Dorothy is no longer among us, she will always be remembered for her love of family, independence and ageless view of life.

Jo and Charlie Zangara

Charlie and Jessie Earl

Posted at 10:24pm
To Sarah, Bryan, Mary and John We love your family dearly and are keeping you in our thoughts as you celebrate an amazing woman.
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Charlie and Jessie Earl purchased flowers for the family of Dorothy Denomme. Send Flowers


Sharon Rashid

Posted at 06:09pm
Bill, Pat, Michael & Amanda,
I'm very sorry for your loss. I enjoyed talking and seeing your Mom at your house when she would visit with her hot- rod, PT Cruiser!! What a very remarkable smart lady with the most outstanding demeanor that attributed to her longevity. May God shine the perpetual
light upon her blessed soul. My warmest
Condolences to your Entire Family, Your Neighbor, Sharon Rashid

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