Denise Donelin Obituary

Denise Ann Donelin
Denise Ann Donelin

December 3, 1963 - June 29, 2017
Born in Bronx, New York
Resided in Niantic, CT


Niantic- Denise Ann Donelin, after a short, but courageous battle with pancreatic cancer peacefully took her last breath on June 29, 2017 with her family by her side. She was predeceased by her mother Loretta Tardibuono and father John Donelin.
Denise was born on December 3, 1963. A native of the Bronx, NY, she attended Saint Raymonds Academy and distinguished herself as one of the first females to play in the Morgan Men's Baseball League. She moved to New London, CT where she pursued many endeavors with her characteristic spirit and passion, with a love for dancing, a life motto of "Peace and Love" and genuine care for others before herself. She was employed at General Dynamics Information Technology where she quickly made many wonderful friendships. She was a long-time advocate for girl's sports and tireless volunteer as a District 10 (SE CT area) Administrator, ASA softball umpire, and key team member of the Toby May softball complex renovation project. As a result, she was a role model to many young athletes of a strong and successful woman. She was a former Mitchell College Softball Coach and for the past 7 years was University of Bridgeport Assistant Softball Coach with her spouse Dawn. In these roles, she motivated and mentored each player, and took great pleasure building their self esteem and self-worth.

Denise is survived by her spouse Dawn Stearns, step-daughter Samantha, sister-in-law Noelle, husband Jon and their children Tyler and Caitlin, brother-in-law Mark and his children Korey and Mandi, father-in-law Elliot and mother-in-law Nancy; daughter Lindsey Donelin, a Special Education teacher in Norwich, CT; brother Anthony Tardibuono, wife Elena and their children Kayla and Anthony; brother Thomas Tardibuono, wife Sheila and their children TJ and Nicholas; sister Patti (Donelin) Varma, husband Sandeep who were also her best friends and confidents, their triplets Arya, Ajay and Anjali whom she adored and to whom she taught many life lessons (the next of which was to teach them to drive); niece Jennifer Satinsky, her husband Ted, and their newest addition to the family precious son Liam who she trained to give "high one's". She also leaves many extended family members including the Delaneys, Kenyons, Boyds and Smyths, as well as many cherished friends and colleagues.

The family is forever grateful of the very generous support provided by the Cactus Jack Foundation Inc, the exceptional and thoughtful care received at Yale-New Haven/Smilow Cancer Hospital and the graceful and compassionate care received from Center For Hospice Care, SE CT.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to any of these exceptional organizations.

The family will receive relatives and friends on Sunday from 4-7 pm at the Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home, 12 Ocean Avenue, New London. A celebration of life ceremony will be held at 6:30.

To view Denise's online memorial video or to send the family an online condolence, please visit





Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home
12 Ocean Avenue
New London, CT US 06320
Sunday, July 2, 2017
4:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home
12 Ocean Avenue
New London, CT US 06320
Sunday, July 2, 2017
6:30 PM

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