Daphne Hillburg Denby was born July 31, 1939, in Chicago to John and Lillian Hillburg. She was raised in Springfield, Ill. Daphne passed away peacefully in her sleep on July 6, 2020, at age 80.
A proud graduate of Springfield High School class of 1957, Daphne studied at Northwestern University in Evanston and Washington University in St. Louis. She married David Denby on Sept. 10, 1960. They had three boys: David Jr., Robert, and Thomas, who died in infancy. Daphne was a creature of habit. The day was not complete without the New York Times crossword puzzle. She read voraciously, and would clip out noteworthy articles from the newspapers, stick them in envelopes, and mail them to children and grandchildren she thought might be intrigued. Among other things, Daphne was a big fan of snarky obituaries, and would invariably circulate those around the family. She loved poodles, smoked Marlboros, and drank bourbon, and if she had a strong opinion on something, you were likely to hear about it no matter how much you might try to avoid that. Daphne was active in a variety of organizations during her life — often through her church or the Junior League organization. In Naples, Fla., in 1986, she and a couple of friends founded The League Club, a charitable organization that now has 600 members and has given $5 million in donations to local charities. Daphne spent her last years as a guest of The Harbors, in Menominee, Mich., and her family would like to express their deep gratitude to the staff for the hospitality and care they showed her. Although her mobility was limited in her final few years, she remained ever sharp.
Daphne is survived by a team that includes her sons: David Jr. (and his, wife Kathy) and Robert (and his former wife, Stephanie); her grandchildren: Emery (and his wife, Jessica), Jessica Wilson (and her husband, Chris), Sean, Natalie, Alison, and Anna Souphea; and bonus honorary grandchild, Stuart Anderson (and his wife, Laura). She was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years: David Sr., and her youngest son, Thomas. She will be missed.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at noon on Monday, July 13, 2020, at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Marinette. The Rev. Celestine Byekwaso will preside.
Daphne will be inurned at a later date next to her late husband in Illinois.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in her memory to the American Lung Association, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy or The League Club in Naples, Fla.
Thielen Funeral Home is assisting the family.