Doug Denisen, 79

Published 5:49 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Doug Denisen, 79

Douglas G. Denisen, 79, passed away on the early morning of Saturday, March 2, 2024 in the Geisinger Medical Center located in Danville, PA after a short time with cancer. He was born on August 20, 1944 in Austin, MN.

At a young age and mirroring the rest of his family, Doug developed a fascination and love for music that lasted his entire life. He graduated from Austin High School, Austin, MN, in 1962 where he was an active participant in both high school choir and marching band. At this time he was also a member of the church choir and the Austin Lancers Drum and Bugle Corps. He then attended Mankato State University in Mankato, MN where he played the lead male role in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte opera. After graduating in 1966 with his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education, Doug worked toward his Masters Degree as a graduate assistant by teaching music theory courses. His first position after graduating was a band/music director at Danube High School in Danube, MN. He was heavily involved with arranging and directing music for drum and bugle corps throughout the US and Canada. The highlight of Doug’s drum and bugle corps career was when the Argonne Rebels won the 1971 VFW Nationals playing his arrangement of the Jesus Christ Superstar medley.

Doug moved to Naples, FL and worked in various roles in construction until finally co-owning his own company. While there he also served as the choir director at both Shepherd of the Glades and Emmanuel Lutheran churches. Doug looked after and considered his choir members as his family, and formed many lifelong friendships among them. He was a proud baritone horn player and bass drummer for the Naples New Horizons Band, and often assisted with arranging scores for their performances in the greater Naples area. He also actively enjoyed playing with and arranging for the FL/PA instrumental quartet with his dear friends Ken and Carol Carper and wife, Sharon. He was a published composer/arranger for several choral and flute compositions by Neil A. Kjos Music Company, Abingdon Press, and GIA.

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Doug was preceded in death by his parents Glenn and Dorothy Denisen, and his sister Susan Moxter. He is survived by his wife Sharon (Sampsell) Denisen, children from a previous marriage Tera, Matthew, and Michael, sister Lynne Miller (Terry Brown) and brother Don Denisen (Terrie), grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his musical pursuits and in his leisure time, he enjoyed fishing at the family cabin, working in his garden and yard, grilling and cooking for his friends and family, attending jazz and classical music concerts, and spending time with his beloved Golden Retrievers, first being Herbie Hancock, and then later in life, his special girl Ambrosky. Doug’s easy going, gentle, and affable nature will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

A memorial service to celebrate Doug’s life will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to: Canine Companions,, PO Box 446, Santa Rosa, CA. 95402 or Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz,, 5721 Jonestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17112.

To share in Doug’s online memorial, please visit

Arrangements are by Dominick T. Adamo Funerals · Cremations · Monuments, 16 Walnut Street, Mifflinburg.