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"Kitty Madelyn Dennis was born on October 9, 1925 in Baxter Springs, Kansas to Naomi and Vaud Dennis. She passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 5, 2021 in La Mirada, California. She was named Kitty after her grandmother, but she preferred to be called Madelyn. Madelyn was the eldest of two younger siblings, Charles and Jack.
Madelyn was a child when her family moved from Oklahoma to California, during the, "Dust Bowl" era. Her parents worked their way across the country for nine months to join other family members who previously relocated to Long Beach, California.
The family settled in the Bellflower of Southern California. Madelyn graduated from Excelsior High School in 1943. It was in Downey that she met Laurence DeTilla at a Masonic DeMolay dance; they were married on May 7, 1944 while he was a U.S. Navy pilot.
Madelyn and Laurence purchased their first home in Bellflower, where they attended the local Presbyterian church. Their first child, Cheryle Lynn was born in 1945 and their son, Gregory Paul, was born in December, 1948. Then they moved to their home in Downey in late 1950. Rev. Mervin Weidner, a new church planting pastor, called on Laurence and Madelyn and invited them to come and help build a new church in Downey. They accepted the offer and in 1950 they joined the Moravian Church of Downey. A few years later, their third child, Laurel Leigh was born in 1957.
Madelyn was very active at the Moravian Church in Downey. She served since first joining the church as a Sunday School Teacher, Vacation Bible School Director/ Teacher, Sacristan, Elder, District Representative, Women's in Fellowship, and the list seemingly never ends. Children however, were always her first priority. She thoroughly enjoyed leading Bible studies for her Circle group and was always counted on for decorating the sanctuary with beautiful flowers from her garden.
Madelyn's involvement, and passion, for women's Christian ministries led her to a life of service as an active member of the Forest Home Women's Auxiliary, Church Women United, and Bible Study Fellowship. Other activities included: Jr Women's Club, Women's Club, Parent Teacher's Association, and Girl Scout Leader. Laurence and Madelyn enjoyed square dancing with the, 'Dixie Dudes,' and traveling with the Gray Goose Trailer Club for many years. They were also members of the Downey United Methodist Church. Madelyn also found time to travel to the Orient, Greece and Alaska. She thoroughly loved to work in the yard and her garden.
Madelyn and Laurence were married for 68 wonderful years. Madelyn loved to spend time with her family. Her grandchildren called her, "the ice cream grandma!" After death of her husband, Madelyn moved to, 'The Palms,' a senior residence in La Mirada, where she continued to be active for over 7 years. Madelyn lived her life as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, enjoying every minute spent with her family and friends. She was a dedicated Christian woman who taught her children and her grandchildren, the love of Jesus through her everyday life.
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