Denise Mayoff died peacefully on December 21. 2021, surrounded by her family, from MDS and complications of COVID. Denise grew up in Morton Grove, Illinois and graduated with a degree in journalism from Northwestern University. In her senior year Denise met Bernie, her husband, lover, travel companion and best friend. They married following graduation and had 56 wonderful years together. Denise’s greatest pride and joy were her four children and their spouses and especially her six grandchildren.
Denise enjoyed aerobic dance and water aerobics. She was a speed reader. After college Denise was a researcher for Encyclopedia Britannica. She helped form a synagogue in Hoffman Estates, Illinois and was a member of Mensa. She was a manager at Miller’s Outpost, Clothestime, The Disney Store and Great Harvest Bread Company. For many years Denise had a cake decorating business, creating wedding cakes and amazing birthday, shower, holiday and special occasion cakes. Her grandchildren never had a simple round birthday cake. Denise loved to travel and toured Europe, Israel, Australia and New Zealand, the Caribbean, and more. Her favorite places though were on safari in Africa.
Denise survived bladder cancer in 2000. In 2020 Denise was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) which curtailed travel but not her spirit. In 2021 Denise overcame non-Hodgkins lymphoma. In October she contracted COVID despite being fully vaccinated. Despite her will to fight, Denise’s compromised immune system could not overcome the combined challenges of MDS and COVID.
Denise received blood transfusions a few times during the course of her MDS and a few more times during her final weeks. We know how important blood donors are. If you’re able, please be a blood donor at your local blood donation center.