Denise Marie LaRoche, 47, of Bozeman passed away on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010, from complications after battling breast cancer.
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Denise was born on Jan. 3, 1963, in Lake Preston, S.D., to Jerome and Shirley (Jepson) Sweeney. She graduated from Arlington High School before attending the University of South Dakota.
In 1987, Denise moved to Montana where she attended Montana State University, earning a double major in education for science and English, and speech communication.
In 1997, she married Jim LaRoche in her hometown of Arlington, S.D. She and Jim raised six children, Jess, Chris, Ben, Megan, Gabriel and Lucas. She was a full-time mother and enjoyed homeschooling her three youngest children. She also worked at Reach, Inc. as an intensive services specialist.
She was a voracious reader, an amazing artist, and a fiercely loyal friend. She loved throwing clay pots, whipping up a mouth-watering meal, and watching her kids grow up. Above all else, she loved her family, and her singular passion was teaching her kids how to be responsible, compassionate and creative people.
Denise was preceded in death by her father, Jerome; her father-in-law, Earle LaRoche; her maternal and paternal grandparents; and Shirley's husband, Merle Knutson.
Survivors include her husband, Jim; children, Jess, Chris, Ben, Megan, Gabriel and Lucas; mother, Shirley Sweeney Knutson of Brookings, S.D.; siblings, Jim Sweeney of Brookings, S.D., Lisa (Bruce) Homann of San Antonio, Texas, Mike (Melissa) Sweeney of Albuquerque, N.M., and Jeff (Priscilla) Sweeney of San Antonio, Texas; mother-in-law, Virginia LaRoche of Billings; uncle, Martin (Nancy) Jepson of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and many brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Memorials in Denise's name may be made to Chris Trotter, P.O. Box 10984, Bozeman, MT 59719.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Oct. 7, 2010