Denise Kay Yauger, 61

Published 4:44 pm Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Denise Kay Yauger, 61

Denise K. Yauger, 61 of Austin, Minnesota, died Monday, July 19, 2021 at St. Mary’s Health Systems – Rochester MN.

Denise was born on December 28, 1959, in Springfield, Massachusetts to Robert (Bud) and Kayoko (Mitchie) Yauger. Springfield, known as the “City of Firsts”, blessed Bud and Mitchie with their first daughter. A child who was the fine “Irish Twin” to her big brother, Lawrence (Larry) Yauger. The two of them were inseparable and spent their early years influenced by their family in Japan, as they were stationed there with their father, who married their mom there, who served proudly in the United States Air Force. Denise would often reflect with a smile, stating her time growing up in Japan were some of her fondest memories.

As a child into her younger years, Denise flourished in horseback riding following in her grandfather Roy’s footsteps, and had what is known as the “Yauger Competitive Spirit”. Rather it was learning how to ride a horse, fishing, snowmobiling, water skiing, downhill skiing, board/card games or cribbage with family, she was a humble winner. Denise would take the time to end the competition telling you “nice job” with a hug while laughing of course. Raised in a family of four children, she was protected by her brother as she was the protector of her two younger sisters, often referred to growing up as the “Yauger Sisters”.

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She attended Austin High School and went on to receiver her Associate’s Degree in Computer Operations from Mankato Vocational Technical College, graduating in 1983. She believed the only limitations you’ll experience are the ones you place on yourself. As a mother at the age of 18 to her daughter, Tashma Teepell, she wanted to always be an admirable example to her in strength and determination, while also ensuring she pushed the limits to live life to the fullest with no regrets and always continuing to experience “firsts” in life as she knew every day was a blessed gift from God.

Denise had big dreams and a lively spirit which delivered an infectious smile that made everyone around her feel loved. Known to have a heart of gold, she often would give gifts to others as she would never want to buy something only for herself, but for all she loved and adored.

Her lively spirit carried her life journey to California periodically throughout her life, blessing her with her son Michael (Mike) Roy Yauger in 1988. She believed Mike completed her in so many ways. He is a mirror image of her “lively spirit”, also a humble winner that gives hugs and an entrepreneurial mindset with no limits, he strives as she did, to make the family proud.

As a mom, she taught her children to never judge but to listen and learn the life stories and situations of others then helping when and where you can. She had a compassion for others which she embedded into her children to carry on giving with her heart of gold. May her loving heart shine through the golden spirit of her children.

As her family processes her loss, what pulls them through is how they want to honor her by living life with her adventurous spirit, as the mirror image of the person with the most caring heart we all wish we could have, and an example of the definition of unconditional love.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert (Bud) Yauger and Kayoko (Mitchie) Yauger; brother in law, Mark Austin; Denise is beloved by her family including her daughter Tashma Teepell, Tucson, AZ; son Michael Yauger, Tucson, AZ; brother Lawrence (Larry) Yauger, Shiatook, OK; sister Janet Austin, Austin, MN; sister Reen Alves, Alden, MN; and several nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

A visitation will be held 4:00-7:00 PM on the evening of Friday, July 23rd at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary.

The memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 24th at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary. The family has chosen to have her ashes spread in a chosen location she felt most at peace, there will not be an intermittent session. Visitation will be at the mortuary one hour before the service.

Clasen-Jordan Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.