Dena Visker Ennenga

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August 30, 1925 – October 14, 2017

“She saw Jesus and he took her breath away...”

Dena Visker Ennenga, 92, was born to Dutch immigrants Heiko Visker and Bowena DeYoung Fisker in Elgin Township, Lincoln County, Iowa. She was the 10th of 13 children (10 brothers and two sisters) Hank, Grace, Jans, Joe, Prim, Pete, Claus, Archie, Eltjo, Julie, George and Billy. She died Oct. 14 at Brookdale Hearthstone Retirement Home surrounded by loving family.

Dena was the only one in her family to graduate from high school, in Citrus Heights, Calif. in 1943. She joined the Navy in San Francisco on May 23, 1945 and received her training to become a Pharmacist’s Mate 3-C. She also completed a bookkeeping course at Hunter College while stationed in New York. She received an honorable discharge in San Francisco, Calif. on April 11, 1949 and was awarded the Victory Medal. Shortly after her discharge from the Navy, Dena was called home by her father to nurse and care for her terminally ill mother and after her mother’s passing, Dena was rehired to work as a civilian employee of the Federal Government at McClellan Field in Sacramento, Calif.

Dena married the love of her life Vernon Ennenga on Sept. 1, 1947 in Tijuana, Mexico. They were married for 60 years. Story has it that Vern was good friends with several of Dena’s brothers and visited their house on a regular basis. One day Dena’s father asked Vern “are you ever going to ask Dena to marry you?” and so it was. Dena and Vernon had no children of their own but were “surrogate parents” to numerous nieces and nephews over the years, all of whom they loved unconditionally.

As a World War II veteran, Vern was eligible for a farm unit when his name was drawn during the early days of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, so they moved from California to Warden, Wash. in 1957 and bought and developed two units of ground. Dena worked side by side with Vern on the farm and when she took a job at the Warden post office, she continued to be his “right hand man,” helping change water before and after her day’s work. Upon her retirement, Dena received a Service Award in appreciation for dedicated service during an honorable career of 29 years of service to the government of the United States. They moved to Moses Lake in 1989.

Until Vern’s death in 2007, Dena and Vern were “one and the same.” They were referred to as Dena and Vern, rarely Dena or Vern. They did everything together. They loved to travel within and outside the U.S. and winter in their condo in Laughlin, Nev. Dena was an avid bowler and Vern would take her to her league bowling and sit and watch. He would take her shopping so he could carry her packages. They truly were committed to each other and family were the most important people in their lives. Their door was always open and the coffee pot was on.

Dena is survived by two brothers George (Dianne) and Billy Visker and with this large family, many nieces and nephews all of whom loved her and will miss her beautiful smile and big blue eyes.

The family would like to thank the staff at Brookdale Hearthstone Retirement Inn and Assured Hospice for the dedication and loving care they showed to Dena during the last year of her life. Your services allowed her the comforts of home.

Services for Dena will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 24 beginning with interment at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Warden, Wash. at 12:30 p.m. followed by a celebration of Dena’s life at the Presbyterian Church 1142 W Ivy Ave, Moses Lake, Wash. at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in memory of Dena to the charity of your choice. Dena supported so many, it is difficult to choose just one.

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