Joann Elizabeth Denison

April 4, 1938 - July 17, 2020
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Geib Funeral Home & Crematory
Leslie Kendle
Janice Ludwig Light a candle


Joann Elizabeth Murphy Denison, 82, of Dover, entered her eternal home on July 17, 2020 following numerous years navigating Alzheimer’s Disease.

Born in Cleveland on April 4, 1938, she was a daughter of the late William S. and Jane K. (Marsh) Shields. Joann had many fond memories of summers spent on her grandparen…

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Joann Elizabeth Murphy Denison, 82, of Dover, entered her eternal home on July 17, 2020 following numerous years navigating Alzheimer’s Disease.

Born in Cleveland on April 4, 1938, she was a daughter of the late William S. and Jane K. (Marsh) Shields. Joann had many fond memories of summers spent on her grandparents’ farm, the late Joseph and Jessie Marsh. She learned from a young age the importance of faith, family, and service to others.

Joann earned her BA in Education at Malone College and then her MA at Walsh College.

Her studies equipped her with the knowledge to serve as a beloved elementary teacher at Claymont Schools and then with Starlight School and Workshop where she taught and doted over her pre-school students until her retirement.

Joann was a kindred spirit, always bringing joy, love, and a genuine smile as gifts to those she was with. She nurtured friendships through large gatherings at her home where she loved to spoil her guests with delicious food and baked goods. She delighted in being a hostess and growing the relationships in her life.

She also taught the love of music to her family and students alike. Whether leading the church choir, listening to her eclectic mix of music, playing the piano or accordion, or directing handbells, music was a second language that spoke to Joann’s soul.

She met and fell in love with Howard “Bud” C. Denison and on July 7, 1988, they blended their families together in marriage. Bud and Joann both had servant hearts, and they shared their time and talent with many organizations including Meals on Wheels and Dress-A-Child for more than 15 years. They are a beautiful example of love, devotion, and service.

Additionally, Joann was an excellent cross stitch artist, and was known for leaving messages of encouragement and love on her needle-work or on paper throughout her home. Her home was always adorned with beautiful flowers since Joann had a green thumb and enjoyed gardening.

Howard and Joann were blessed with a blended family of five children, Deborah Murphy of Canton, Karen (Terry Taddeucci) Denison of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Joseph (Jacqueline) Murphy of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, Heidi (Brett) Huett of Ellicott City, Maryland, and Catherine (Keith) Schuster of Fairview Park, Ohio. She will also be deeply treasured by her grandchildren, Scott Murphy, Nathan Murphy, Ryan and Preston Huett; her siblings, Marcia Osmers of Fairport, New York, and William Shields, Jr. of Clearwater, Florida; and Mandy Wilson of New Philadelphia, a friend of the family, who they have loved like a daughter.

A private memorial service celebrating Joann’s life will be held in the Geib Funeral Center in the coming weeks. Her cremated remains will be buried with her family on the Marsh plot in Evergreen Burial Park and with Bud’s family in Parsons, West Virginia.

Please consider sharing your condolences and stories of Joann through an email message at [email protected] or upload a short video to that will be shared during the memorial service.

Joann received wonderful care by The Inn at Northwood Village and the Community Hospice staffs. The Denison family was truly blessed to have such loving and caring people take care of Joann.

Memorial contributions in Joann’s memory may be directed to either Dress-A-Child, 1210 Winkler Dr., Dover, OH 44622 or Community Hospice of Tuscarawas County, 716 Commercial Ave SW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663.


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Service Information

Service Information

Geib Funeral Center at Dover


5600 N Wooster Avenue, Dover, OH, 44622

A private memorial service will be held in the Geib Funeral Center at Dover.

Memorial Information

Donation Information

Community Hospice

716 Commercial Ave. SW
New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663
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1210 Winkler Dr.
Dover , Ohio 44622

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Timeline for Joann E. Denison

Born: April 4, 1938
Died: July 17, 2020

Condolences for Joann E. Denison

Geib Funeral Home & Crematory

On behalf of the Geib Family and Staff, we offer our most sincere sympathy for your loss. We are honored to have been called upon to serve your family.


Marta Farbizo Vassiles posted on 8/16/20

Joann was a very sweet and thoughtful lady. She always had such a big smile. My daughter, Chrysanthe Vassiles, was in handbell choir at First UCC with Joann. This is the church that I grew up in, and I knew Joann’s grandparents, Joe and Jessie Marsh, as a result. May God bless her and grant her eternal peace. Marta Farbizo Vassiles Chrysanthe E. Vassiles


Heidi Denison Huett posted on 8/4/20

Joann brought smiles and support into many individuals’ lives. She and my Dad shared many happy years together and shared their lives helping those in need.


Holly and Al Flowers posted on 8/3/20

My head goes out to the family. I am a friend of Deb, and have heard about you all over the years. I pray that you all can have a sense of peace during this time. Find strength with each other.


Myrna Hugh posted on 7/25/20

Our sympathy to the family of Joann Murphy Denison. We never saw this lovely lady that she didn't have a smile. Joann was always sharing her positive attitude and generous spirit. We were so glad that she and Bud found each other and were able to enjoy life together. Richard and Myrna Hugh


Matt Edwards posted on 7/24/20

So sorry for your families loss, I hope you find peace that she is in a better place.


Judy Osmers Rogers posted on 7/24/20

Aunt Joann and I had a special relationship. She took time out of her busy life to come to New York when my dad got cancer and was there for me and my family. My fondest memories of her was when we built my mom and dad some flower beds, her oversized chocolate chip cookies and of course the bowl of M & M’s were always out for a quick bite. Lots of laughter, trips to the Larch, Easter egg fights, music, and love. Thank you for loving me, teaching me, and being my aunt and friend! I will miss you and love you lots!


Leslie Kendle posted on 7/24/20

RIP my sweet friend ?? I will forever treasure my memories of you and Howard.


Larry W McBride posted on 7/23/20

Deb, Joe, Cathy & families, so sorry to hear of your mom's passing. She always offered a warm smile that accompanied an aura of contentment. Her many friends and accomplishments have created memories that you will cherish for many years. May the Lord give strength and comfort in these difficult days. Larry & Jan McBride


Paula Yarnell posted on 7/22/20

My deepest sympathy & prayers are with your family! She sure was a sweet, kindhearted lady! She helped my mom,Doris Dunlap, fit many band uniforms on plenty of band kids! Great memories! Sincerely, Paula Dunlap Yarnell


Patricia Spitzer posted on 7/22/20

The world has lost a creative, inspirational, loving woman. Our family of six children always looked forward to her fantastic, huge chocolate chip cookies! We will think of her kindness every time we make them. Sending you all our love and support. Love the Pat and Alan Spitzer, Alison and Jeremy, Vera, Archie, Gus, Ashley, Steve, Annaliese, Hunter, Alana, Joseph, Eleanor, Vivienne, Joey, Andrew, Veronica, AJ, Skylar and Amelia.


Anne Tarulli Ambrose posted on 7/22/20

Cathy & family, I have such fond memories of being at your house, your mom so warm and welcoming. And those cookies! Her picture is just how I remember her. Love to you and your family.


Janice Ludwig posted on 7/22/20

Joann, our dear neighbor and "cookie lady," welcomed us to the neighborhood with chocolate chip cookies the size of a saucer. If there are cookies in heaven, she will be handing them out. I am sure my departed husband will greet her there and so will I--someday. The loss of her for friends and family is surely heaven's gain.


Michelle Miller Harper posted on 7/21/20

There is no one in this world like Joann. I always admired her caring and selfless nature. She will always have a special place in my heart ... as well as anyone she ever met! My fondest memories include spending most of my adolescent/young adult years at the North Broadway house with Cathy and Joann. She always made you feel like part of the family. She was a special lady and her memory will live on in the hearts of all she touched! Love and prayers to the entire family. Michelle Miller Harper


Bonnie posted on 7/21/20

Mr. Denison and family...You have our deepest sympathy. Joann was a very kind and gentle lady. Her sweet smile has been and always will be missed! You are in our thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Kim & Bonnie Signs To Go


Rose Peach posted on 7/21/20

My sincerest sympathy on your loss.


Jim Mizer posted on 7/21/20

Howard and Family: So sorry to read of Joann's passing. Please accept my sincere condolences. I'm sure you will all miss her..


Jessica Potter posted on 7/21/20

Love and prayers to Uncle Bud and the family. I will always remember Aunt Joanne's smile, her loving heart, and her amazing sense of humor.


Kraig McCutcheon posted on 7/21/20

I'm so sorry to hear this Cathy. Your mother was such a kind soul who treated your best friends as children of her own! Fond memories of her and you in years past. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers young lady! The Kingdom of Heaven is brighter now! Much Love


Memory Wilson posted on 7/20/20

My deepest sympathy to Bud and all Joann’s family and friends. Joann was a lovely person and was a good neighbor to my parents on James St. Prayers and God’s peace.


Mark Osmers posted on 7/20/20

Aunt Joanne was always smiling and loved having children and teens over for fun at her house on North Broadway. We enjoyed visiting her house from New York in the summer. Hot fudge sundaes flowed freely with plenty of whipped cream.


Lisa Schilling posted on 7/20/20

I am so sorry for your loss! She was a wonderful woman who I will miss, along with her chocolate chip cookies, dearly!


Hren family posted on 7/20/20

I will always remember her loving spirit and her infectious smile.Our prayers are with her family.


Tammie Kendle posted on 7/20/20

Prayers to the family of this wonderful lady . My son had Joann at starlight school May years ago, he will be 35 this year and for most of them years Travis got a Christmas Card from her and Bud. I will always remember Joann went with my daughter and I to the ice capades One year after she retired !! I think she still lived on North Broadway at the time ! She was one of the Best teachers Ever !! Love from Travis Kendle and his Mom Tammie Kendle