obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00

Denise Joy

Denise Joy Gerou

August 5, 1966

November 5, 2012

Denise was taken from us prematurely by a hidden brain aneurism. She is the beloved mother of Christopher Lawrence Gerou, Ezekiel Alfonzo Gerou, and Breanna Lace Franklin; doting grandmother of Travaya Cherish Franklin Bullock; cherished sister of Lenore Jean Ceizyk, Nannette Marie Gerou, and Steven Jon Gerou; beloved aunt of Billie Daniel Gerou; missed friend to almost all who got to know her.

Denise was born in Carlisle, Ohio to Emilie B. Sauvoy and Alfred Lawrence Gerou. She grew up and attended school in nearby Franklin, Blue Ball, and Dayton before moving to Kenosha, Wisconsin after high school with her first child. There she had two more children while taking nursing classes at Gateway in Kenosha along with Massage Therapist training, volunteering here and there, caring for the elderly at a nursing home, and filling in gaps with jobs in food service. For the last few years, she has been working as a personal care worker.

Due to Denise’s youth and the suddenness of her death, she was a perfect organ donor, which was her wish. Up to seven people will be helped by her precious gifts. Her lovely long hair will also be donated to Locks of Love before her cremation.

A memorial service and celebration of Denise’s life will be held at the Common Room at Bay View Manor, 740 E. Linus Street in Bay View (1 1/2 blocks east of Kinnickinnic Avenue ), from 2:00 until 8:00 on Saturday the 24th of November. Please join us.

Suminski Family Life Story Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Past Comments

Larry Wess



I am grateful to have loved & been loved by Neece. There will not be a day that goes by that I will not miss her dearly. Her friendship touched my heart deeply. I will cherish the spark she was.

Lenore Ceizyk

I want to let everyone know that Denise’s kidneys and liver went to brighten someone else’s lives through the organ donor process. Under the circumstances, I’m sure she is glad for that.

Rip and everlasting love Neecee.

LeAnn Mlodik

It was a privilege to know Denise and I will cherish the memories I have with her!


In my memories, Neecee will always be a bubbly little girl, full of mischief and a quick smile. She loved to laugh and had such a gusto for life! The world is missing a wonderful sister and friend who left us much too soon. Her “gift of life” as a donor will be her legacy forever. RIP my baby sister/friend. You will be missed.

Breanna Gerou Franklin

Just a mom? I can’t stand it when people say, “Your just a mom.” Yes, I am a mom–and a damn good one!” That makes me an alarm clock, cook, maid, waitress, teacher, nurse, referee, handyman, security officer, photographer, counsellor, chaufferur, event planner, hairdresser, personal assistant, ATM AND I scare away the boogieman. I don’t get paid holidays, sick pay or days off. I work day and night and am on call 24/7 for the rest of my life. That’s just being a mom! I may not be anything to you, but I am everything to someone!

–an internet repost


Although I didn’t know Denise very well, I know how much she was loved by her sister, Nan.

Nan would always talk about Denise and how proud she was of her, and her love showed through everything she said. I know Nan will miss her terribly.

Lenore Ceizyk

Wild, bold, crazy.

Little sister and confidant.

Inventor of words like wiggle-wam, hacken-schpit and myths like that the monsters scaring Travaya were turned into the squirrels in the yard by a benevolent witch.

Denise was a real original–dresser, dancer, rapper, story-teller, reader of stories, memorizer of nursery rhymes, creator of Halloween horror, singer of songs.

She knew lots of children’s songs from singing to her kids when they were young. Sometimes when she was singing along with the band, she got the words wrong, but she didn’t care. Denise was bold. She did everything hard and loud: party, dance, drink, love, talk, drum, play, hug… She sang and danced and felt joy with no inhibitions.

Denise was generous–with her heart, hugs, wallet, and love. If she only had two crumbs, she’d give you one of them. She adopted Maryanne without a second thought and gave her a second lease on life with training, medical attention, and grooming appointments. She managed to teach that old dog some new tricks.

She was giving and thoughtful, looking out for the interests of others and thinking of ways to make them happy–or at least not as sad. Even as a baby and child she was an entertainer, trying to make people smile and play.

She was my “Number 1” on the Potter Avenue post of this spaceship earth for years. She’d suggest an idea, and I’d work out the details for things like camping trips and taking Billy Murphy to see the horses. If I was working around the house I could call her down to “grab the other end of this thing.” We could work together in a small space yet stay out of each other’s way and have conversations that were heated, convoluted, psychic, or silent and still look forward to the next time we were together.

I will miss her terribly, as I know you all will.

I leave you with her middle name and life’s mission: Joy.

Lenore Ceizyk

I have just posted under “poetry” one of Neecee’s poems called “Flow.” It ends with the question “What’s YOUR story to tell?” We would like to invite people to write another verse and add it with your name. Let’s keep Neecee’s site alive! Much love to her beloved friends.

Hugh "Lee" Back

I know when I met Denise in 1986 she had the most free spirit about her. And in the short time we was together she was always very giving and loveing to the people around. And she would talk to you about anything, Just like her mom Emilie. I know that with her gone the world is a little more empty, but at the same time her spirit will sail threw the stars and in the hearts of all the people that knew her.


  1. Nanna💜 January 8, 2022 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Its been almost 10 long years with out you,and i still cant even put into words how much i miss you

    • Ezekiel Gerou August 13, 2022 at 3:09 am - Reply

      I’m having the hardest time without you momma!!!!

Leave a condolence or share a memory

Go to Top