Anne S. Denman
1938 - 2020
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Anne S. Denman
Anne Denman, CWU Professor of Anthropology, former Dean of The College of the Sciences, and loving mother and grandmother ("Mimi") died peacefully on Sept 7, 2020 at her nursing home in Bellevue WA. She was 82.
Anne was born on June 9, 1938 in Waterbury, Connecticut to historian Alice Kimball Smith and metallurgical scientist Cyril Stanley Smith. In 1942 the family moved to Los Alamos, where Anne and her brother Stuart (1936-2016) played together while their father worked in secret on the first atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project, which led to US victory in WWII.
They moved to Chicago after the war and Anne attended the University of Chicago Lab School ('55). Anne earned a B.A. cum laude in History and French at Mount Holyoke College ('59) and later her Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley ('69).
While at Berkeley, Anne met her husband, Clayton Charlton Denman (1930-2010). Clay was hired by CWU in 1964, as the first Anthropologist. Anne spent time in France for her Ph.D. fieldwork and it was too much for Clay to bear. He proposed to her in a letter and they were married on August 20th, 1965. Ellensburg became her home.
Anne was hired full-time at CWU in 1969 as a Professor of Anthropology. The same year, she and Clay founded The Small Towns Institute, a non-profit dedicated to promoting small community information-sharing. She served as Editorial Director until 1983.
Anne's distinguished career at CWU lasted 36 years. She served several terms as Chairman of the Department of Anthropology, beginning in 1979. She once joked that she enjoyed being her husband's boss both at work and at home.
With her family, she returned to France for study ('70, '74, '77), and later taught American Culture and English at Anhui University in China ('93, '96, '00), CWU's sister University.
She was named Phi Kappa Phi Scholar of the Year in 1988. Starting in 1995, she served as Dean of the newly created College of the Sciences and retired from CWU in 2003.
Anne was a dedicated mother and wife, local small business owner (The Hub Antiques), an amazing cook, fearless traveller, objective leader, and believer in equality for all women (especially at CWU).
Around 2012, Anne became aware of a decline in her memory and gradually her extraordinary intelligence, breadth of knowledge and experiences began to fade. With the help and love of family and numerous caregivers, she faced this disease with incredible dignity, strength, and humor that was uniquely her own. She was a wonderfully kind and gracious lady who strived to make everyone feel welcome and included. She will be greatly missed. Anne is survived by her son Stuart, daughter-in-law Paulette and grandsons Jack (12) and Charlie (9).
A gathering to remember Anne will be announced in 2021, as conditions permit. Memorial gifts can be made to the American Indian College Fund, the CWU Anthropology Scholarship Fund ( and the Alzheimer's Association.

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Published in Daily Record on Oct. 10, 2020.
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