Denise (Dee Dee) Gates Bossa, of Salt Lake City, Utah, born on April 1, 1955 in Provo, Utah, to Zada and Halvor Gates, passed away at age 63 on January 23, 2019 in Brooksville, Florida.
Denise went to High School in Rancho Cordova, California. Besides being a good student, Denise was popular and well liked by her peers and was elected Homecoming Queen for the Class of 73. After high school she attended Snow College in Ephraim, Utah where she developed many lifelong friendships and earned an associate degree. From Snow College Denise moved on to Utah State University in Logan, Utah where she majored in elementary education., Denise graduated from Utah State with honors, a Baccalaureate degree, and several specialized endorsements in June of 1977. Denise was offered and accepted her first teaching position at Lewiston Elementary in Lewiston, Idaho that very same year. In the fall of 1978 Denise moved from Lewiston to Salt Lake City where she was hired to teach in the Granite School District. On August 2nd 1980, Denise married her long-time sweet heart Michael Bossa. In July of 1982 the couple was blessed with a son they named Michael Gates. In May of 1986 they were blessed with a baby girl that the couple named Lauren Michelle. Denise always maintained that the days her children were born were the happiest days of her life and she would prove to be as outstanding a mother as she was a teacher as she performed both responsibilities
simultaneously. Denise always put her children first and loved them with all her heart. She always wore a smile, laughed easily and made others feel comfortable and was always pleasant to be around. Her students loved her as did her fellow teachers. In 1997 Denise and her husband Michael divorced and Michael left the state and moved to Florida to care for his aging Mother after his Father passed away. Denise doubled her efforts and maintained the household for the children while continuing her teaching career. Denise taught virtually every elementary grade level and was asked by her principle to teach accelerated (gifted) students in the 5th and 6th grades. This was a perfect fit for her as she enjoyed working with the older students and had earned endorsements through her graduate studies to teach those gifted students and would do so for the remainder of the 28 years she taught in the Granite District.
Denise retired from the Granite School District in 2007 and accepted a teaching position she had been offered while in Florida visiting her son Michael and Michael her ex-husband. She taught 6th grade gifted science and language arts in the Hillsborough County School District for another ten years until health issues forced her early retirement.
In August of 2016 Denise was diagnosed with colon cancer, had surgery to remove a tumor and then while in recovery she suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed on her right side and unable to speak as the stroke had severely injured her speech center. She spent months in hospitals due to complications that arose. None of this trial she had suffered could keep her down. She remained positive and upbeat in spite of her handicap. Her smile and laughter was unaffected. Throughout the chemo and radiation therapies she maintained a great attitude and all the care givers fell in love with her. She was truly a special and loving spirit. For two years testing indicated that she was cancer free, but in November of 2018 it reared its ugly head again and Denise was forced to undergo surgery again to remove a tumor in her small intestine. She spent a month recovering from this surgery before being released to go home. In spite of her hardship she did her best to appear positive and upbeat. She laughed and sang and enjoyed the company of 2 of her dearest friends that had come from Utah to visit her. They laughed and reminisced and the visit meant the world to Denise as only those two dear friends could have given her such joy. On January 23rd Denise succumbed to an apparent heart attack and her earthly struggle ended.
She was preceded in death by her son, Michael Gates Bossa. Denise is survived by her daughter, Lauren Michelle Bossa; sisters, Rebecca and Lisa Gates; aunts, Mary Pavich, Clara Coates and Carol Sorensen and her dearest friends, Cindy Carlow, Linda Snow and Connie Manrole. She had a passion for the classroom and loved working with children. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter -Day Saints, and she was a volunteer and guest speaker at NOPE (Narcotics Overdose Prevention Education) Taskforce.
Funeral services will be held Friday, February 1, 2019 at 12 Noon in the Olpin Family Mortuary Chapel, 494 S 300 E, Pleasant Grove, Utah. Friends and family are welcome to attend the viewing from 10:45 -11:45 a.m. prior to the services.. Interment will be in the Pleasant Grove City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com.
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