Obituary Details

Gwen Elaine Denton

(03/07/1942 - 04/02/2008)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 04/09/2008

Gwen Elaine Schaefer Briggs

Gwen Elaine Schaefer Briggs Denton died at her home in Albuquerque, N.M. on April 2, 2008. A memorial service was held at French Mortuary Westside Chapel on April 7, 2008.

She was born March 7, 1942 in Lusk to Blanche C. and Lloyd F. Schaefer. Growing up on the family dairy, she was active in 4-H and began a lifetime pursuit of music by performing in school band and chorus, and singing in the Lusk Congregational Church Choir during high school. Mrs. Denton received her education in the Lusk public schools and received her BAED in music education from the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Countless former students in Wyoming and New Mexico owe their musical talents to Gwen's passion for teaching music, especially to young people. While raising her family in Cheyenne, she began teaching piano lessons from her home. She was active in community musical and theater groups, such as the Cheyenne Little Theater Players and the Rock Springs Community Orchestra and taught music at Rock Springs High School.

In the 1980's she attended the University of Wyoming and Arizona State University in Tempe where she completed a Masters Degree in piano accompaniment. She relocated to Albuquerque and resumed teaching private piano lessons from her home. She retired from her thirty plus years teaching career only in the fall of 2007 due to poor health.

Gwen was a versatile soul who could switch effortlessly from the formal musical performance gown to a football jersey in support of her favorite pro, college, or children's football team to a bikini in the hot summer days mining gold with dear friends in the Medicine Bow Mountains. Gwen will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her and loving her and by all of the countless young people she helped to introduce to her wonderful world of music.

Gwen is survived by her husband, Emmett (Arnold) Denton; daughter, Julie Briggs and companion Suzie Silva of San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; son, Paul Briggs and wife Kristi and granddaughters Megan and Kayla Briggs all of Billings, Mont. She is survived by sisters, Marge Sanders-Blackmore and husband Gene, Evelyn Neil and husband Don, and one brother, Jay Schaefer and wife Claire. She is survived by nephews, Tracy Neil and wife Wendy, Brent Neil and wife Michelle, and Cameron Schaefer and wife, Marelize; and by a niece, Sharon Jalene. Gwen is also survived by several great-nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and infant son, David Fredrick Briggs.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the New Mexico School of Music Scholarship Fund 310 Washington St. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108 or to the University Of Wyoming Department Of Music Scholarship Fund, Dept. #3037, 1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071, 307-766-5242 email: musicdpt@uwyo.edu.

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