Elaine Deneen

September 1928
May 2023


Elaine Marie Deneen, age 94, a Caledonia Senior Living resident in Riverside, IL, passed away peacefully on May 31, 2023. Elaine was born September 14, 1928, to parents Donald C. and Myrtle (Hillock) Hoyt of Jeddo, Michigan. Elaine fondly recalled making sandcastles on the 10 miles of Lake Huron beach owned by her grandfather, near Jeddo, MI. At a young age, she and her sisters helped on her parent’s turkey farm to teach newly hatched turkeys how to eat by putting curds of milk on their toes and letting them peck them off while they wiggled their toes, something she recalled as being lots of fun. Elaine was known for being feisty and always ready for fun. Apparently, both of these traits were something that were easy to detect. When she was attending the Blue Man Group with her family in Chicago some years ago, she was selected out of the huge audience to participate in a bit on stage. She threw herself into it and literally sparkled with charisma on stage. Elaine met her first husband, Paul Skitka when they were students at Michigan State University. After graduating, they moved to Gaylord, MI to teach high school. Although they planned to only stay in Gaylord for a couple of years (long enough to learn how to ski, they said), they spent their entire teaching careers and raised their three girls there. Elaine taught gym and coached cheerleading and volleyball at Gaylord High School. After Paul died in 1980, Elaine met and married William (Bill) Deneen. After they retired, Elaine and Bill moved to Florida where they enjoyed many years together playing golf and cruising. Bill passed away in 2010. Elaine is survived by three children, Diane Richardson (Gerald, deceased), Linda Skitka (William McCready), and Carolyn McCormick (Jim); a stepdaughter, Linda Deneen (Gary Shute); and four grandchildren, Joshua and Samantha Nussbaum, and Connor and Claire McCormick; and a sister, Suellen (Dave) McClane.

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