Passed away peacefully on February 9, 2018, in Washington, DC. A New Britain, Conn. native, she graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, New Britain and Boston University. She was an independent speaker coach for businesses, universities and individuals, traveling all over the U.S. and foreign countries. She was named "Washington Woman of the Year in Public Relations in 2002". Denise was a happy and humorous woman who loved a good laugh. She had many close friends. Denise also loved good theater, concerts and Big Band music. She leaves her parents, Robert and Monique Graveline of Rocky Hill, CT; her sister Michele Malkauskas and her husband Walter of Newington, CT; and her brother Joseph Graveline of St. Charles, MO. She also leaves several nieces and a nephew: Jennifer and Emily Malkauskas, Katie Dydyn, Jessica and Jacob Caswell and many cousins, aunts, and uncles. The family will hold a memorial for Denise at a future date. Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Published by The Washington Post on Feb. 13, 2018.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Please consider a donation as requested by the family.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

27 Entries
Thank you for making our lives more sparingly.
Father Bart
February 7, 2021
Denise was a wonderful colleague and a master of her craft who devoted her career to helping others achieve their goals and dreams. Most importantly, she was a dear friend, always ready to explore and try new experiences. She will be deeply missed and always remembered.
Ann Davison
March 8, 2018
Our family express their deepest condolences
Rest in peace Denise
Richard Robert
March 8, 2018
Bold and brilliant, warm and encouraging ... such a great spirit, gone too soon. Many condolences from an old BU friend to your parents and family.
Patricia (Patty) Daukantas
February 28, 2018
I'm so sad that Denise is no longer with us. What a loss. She was inspiring, warm and helpful. Her work reminding us of women's contributions throughout history provided an important counterbalance sometimes in the past years. My sympathies to her family and friends.
Kathleen O"Neil
February 27, 2018
Denise was a talented and out-going person. It comes as no surprise that she attracted a devoted following of friends and colleagues throughout her professional career. She will be sorely missed by those who dearly loved her.
Dennis Stout
February 21, 2018
It is so moving to read all the tributes from those whose lives were touched by Denise. We worked together at a magazine publishing company in East Tennessee soon after college. She was one of my closest friends, and we stayed in touch after I moved to South Florida, where she became my first out-of-town visitor more than 30 years ago. I had to smile when I read that one woman she mentored thought of her as a mom. Way back when, a friend and I pretended to "adopt" her, she was so adorable. I could not have been prouder had she been my real daughter. Love and light to her family and friends on this great loss.
Michael Mills
February 20, 2018
This makes me so sad. Denise and I were interns together, then colleagues fresh out of college at our first jobs, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Then later, after we'd both moved to D.C., she hired me to work with her at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. We had a blast. She was witty, wicked smart, generous with her time and talents and encouragement. ALL of which was still apparent in the weeks before her death. I fully expected her to recover. What a loss. She was a real dame. If there is to be a D.C. service of any kind, I would love to learn about it.
Cindy Lollar
February 19, 2018
I had the pleasure of having Denise as coach and worked very closely with her last summer. She was an amazing woman and I was inspired by her. She was so full of life and always had a warm, infectious smile that just made you feel good. She instilled courage and confidence in me and helped me to achieve what I thought was impossible. I am so sorry to hear the news that she has left us. I cannot begin to imagine the loss to her family and close friends. My deepest condolences.
Julie Robinson
February 16, 2018
I worked with Denise in publishing in Tennessee in the 1980s. She was witty, engaging, full of energy and immensely creative. My heartfelt condolences to the family for your loss.
Ron King
February 16, 2018
I had the pleasure of meeting Denise during several conferences of the European Speechwriters Network. She was an inspiring, kind professional. Such sad news. RIP, dear Denise
Marc Schweppe
February 16, 2018
I met Denise my first week of college, possibly the first day. She was a presence even then -- confident, gregarious, and had a tremendous way with words. No surprise that she became a writer and public speaker. Such a loss.
Christine Eubanks
February 15, 2018
Denise was one of the first people I met at Boston University. She was outgoing, warm-hearted, talented, and so willing to share what she knew about journalism and communications and what she loved about writing. Reading the comments from others, I realize how much living, traveling, and teaching she accomplished in her (too short) 58 years. My prayers and deepest condolences to her family.
Vicki-Ann Downing
February 15, 2018
Denise was my sophomore year roommate at Boston University and one of only two college friends to make the trek down to Florida for my 1982 wedding. She introduced me to the Daily Free Press at BU, which changed the direction of my interests and launched my professional career. I will be forever indebted to Denise, and her passing saddens me more then I can express. Deepest condolences.
Susan Oldenburg
February 15, 2018

I'm sorry to hear of your loss.

Tony Marques
February 14, 2018
I knew Denise for only a few years, but in that time she became a friend, a colleague and an inspiration. She shared her expertise with unfailing generosity. She worked ceaselessly to promote the voice of women in society and to help scientists communicate with the public. She was an invaluable mentor to young people. She was also huge fun. I shall miss her. And try my best to continue her great work.
Alan Barker
February 14, 2018
I first met Denise as a fellow speechwriter in London. Later, in Washington, we had lunch and talked for three straight hours. A year later she showed me Washington through the lens of a speechwriter. And just last year we met again in Scotland. After a speechwriters conference we went to the pub together. At the table next to us people played flutes and fiddles. We drank a wee whiskey together and talked an talked. What a warm, wise and joyful woman. We just met a handful of times, but to me she was a true friend. I miss her already.
Jan Sonneveld
February 14, 2018
We knew Denise over 30 years. She passed away too young. Condolences to the family.
Arlene and Dan Palmer
February 14, 2018
She was wonderfully kind and full of humour and fierce intelligence. She was a mentor and inspiration to me and many others.
Imogen Morley
February 13, 2018
My deepest condolences to the family. It is been a pleasure to get to know Denise and call her a friend.
February 13, 2018
Denise and I lovingly referred to each other as mom and daughter. I met her on a self-guided orientation prior to my freshman year at BU. Our school''s advisor had matched us up for her to show me the ropes. I had made arrangements to stay at the Travelodge near campus. When she learned this, she wouldn't hear of it and I stayed in her dorm room instead. That began a wonderful friendship.
Living in Florida during her recent illnesses, we talked by phone. I hoped against hope she'd kick this in the butt in the way I always felt her strength. I recently sent her a bracelet that had a charm on it that said MOM. Precious little for someone who figuratively held my hand through the first chapter of my adult life. I am heartbroken for her family who meant so much to her and her many colleagues and friends to whom she gave so much.
Rest well, Dee
Brooke Deb Mahler
February 13, 2018
I was fortunate to be a colleague of hers at ACS. She was a very talented and articulate communicator. My sympathies to her family.
Flint Lewis
February 13, 2018
I met Denise at the Houses of Parliament in London when she was giving a talk about her TED experience for Fabian Women. I am a fellow speaker and communications coach who had given an earlier talk. I found what Denise was saying insightful, honest and incredibly knowledgeable. I was about to reach out just today for her thoughts on a speaking matter and instead sadly I found this obituary. So gifted and so sad, my thoughts go out to all her family friends and clients. She had so much more still to give.
Rachel Coffey
February 13, 2018
Denise was an inspirational mentor and coach. I learned some of the most valuable lessons about my craft from Denise. She has left an extensive legacy of motivated, eloquent women speakers.
Vanessa Wasta
February 13, 2018
Denise and I met on one of our first days of college and became instant friends. We reconnected in DC and we had many great adventures there too. Denise was smart, funny, and a wonderful friend. My thoughts are with your family and friends.
joan Kornblith
February 13, 2018
I was lucky enough to take Denise's workshop with the European Speechwriter Network in April 2017, in Oxford. I also had some lovely conversations with her, and everything I learned has stayed with me. Her expertise was amazing, as was the way that she encouraged others. I'm so sorry to hear that she has gone.
Alison Reid
February 13, 2018
She was amazing. I only met her once, at a speechwriters' conference in March of last year, and she was so kind to me and such a warm and big personality.
Emma Anbeek
February 13, 2018
Showing 1 - 27 of 27 results