Angela Dawson Denmark was fun to be with. She had a bright personality. She was knowledgeable about fashion and the latest hairstyles. And she baked great blueberry muffins.
But it was Denmark’s inclination to nurture people that endeared her to so many, says Elesia Moore, her sister-in-law. Denmark’s open heart caused her to meet more people in the nearly 25 years since she married Ronald Denmark and moved to Huger than people who’ve lived there all their lives.
Denmark, who was born in February 1959 and died Feb. 10, could bond with people while discussing produce at a market stand or in any other situation, Moore says. Afterward, she would always treat those people like family. It never mattered to her that they were not blood relatives.
“She wanted to guide and protect everybody,” Moore says.
Denmark would listen to people from all demographics talk about their problems and help them to deal with those problems. Her in-laws sometimes joked that she was like a psychiatrist because everyone who had trouble coping seemed to end up discussing it on Denmark’s couch.
She gave moral support, financial support, even the furniture from her home, Moore says.
But she’d also listen carefully and help them to craft solutions, especially when resolving a problem would help to keep a family together.
She also was passionate about helping children, Moore says.
“Her house was always where all the kids gathered,” Moore says. “She and her husband would host parties just so the kids would have something to do. She made sure to provide a safe haven for the teens.”
Brandon Ford, who grew up near Denmark, says any young person who entered her home became her child. She was a trusted adult, and many felt free to discuss anything with her.
They also knew they could ask her for favors, time and time again.
“In high school, I went to the prom three years,” Ford says. “Three years in a row, I wanted to drive her car and she let me drive it each time. It was a Cadillac Escalade, one of those cars that’s like three colors in one. They change shades depending on the light.”
People are going to miss her bright personality and deep desire to see that people felt loved and accepted, says Frank Bailey, Denmark’s brother.
“Over the years, when she came home to North Carolina, she and her husband brought other kids with them,” Bailey says. “Almost every trip she would bring at least one other child. All of these young kids looked at her as a mother figure.”
Early on, Denmark thought she would not be able to have children of her own and started tending to other people’s kids, Bailey says. But even after being blessed with her triplets, she continued to help others.
In at least one case, she took into her home a child whose family was having difficulties, Bailey says. She also provided assistance to the child’s parents in an effort to help them strengthen their family ties.
Bailey admired his sister’s strictness when it came to teaching her own children values to live by.
“She was relentless and unapologetic about it,” he says.
Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705.