Dena Toten Gamble


Dena Toten Gamble, 44, of China Spring, loving wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend, passed away surrounded by her family on Monday, September 15, 2014.

Funeral Service: 10AM Friday, September 19th at Lake Shore Funeral Home Chapel

Burial: Patrick Cemetery

Visitation: 6 to 8PM Thursday, September 18th at Lake Shore Funeral Home.

Dena was born November 13, 1969, in Waco to Wesley and Ginger (Cannon) Toten. She graduated from China Spring High School in 1988 and later completed her associate degree at MCC as a physical therapy assistant. She met Darrell Gamble in 1990 and they were married on Feb. 27, 1993. Dena worked several years for Goodall-Witcher Home Health Agency before joining Providence Home Health Care in 1997, where she worked for 17 years until March of this year. To all of her patients over the years she was known for her kindness and compassion.

Dena had a zestful love of life with a contagious laugh and smile. She loved to entertain and her home was always opened to her daughters’ friends and other loved ones in the community. Dena taught her family to always live each day to the fullest and keep a positive and joyful outlook on life. To Dena, her family was her strength, but they knew she was their rock.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, E.G. and Fay Cannon, and Jess and Sudie Toten; father-in-law, James Gamble; and brother-in-law, Lance Willenborg.

Survivors include her husband of 21 years, Darrell Gamble; daughters, Denae Gamble and Dara Gamble of China Spring; parents, Wesley and Ginger Toten of China Spring; sister, Denise Toten Coleman and husband, Bryan of China Spring; nephew, Wesley Coleman and wife, Hannah, along with Cade Coleman of China Spring; niece, Falon Coleman of China Spring; mothers-in-law, Jan Lowe of Ross and Regina Gamble of West; brothers-in-law, Jack Rowell and family of Ross, Troy Willenborg and family of Bosqueville; brother-in-law’s family of West;  sister-in-law, Denise Dawson and family of Robinson; and numerous other relatives.

Pallbearers will be Ashley Orr, Troy Willenborg, Bret Hodges, Duane Kerr, Colt Gaulden and Shane Keeton. Honorary pallbearers will be Jeff Bray, Walter Frenzell, Buck Alambar, Ricky White and Brant Smith.

A special thanks is offered to all family, friends and the community for their support. The family would also like to thank the staff of Providence Hospice Place, as well as Dr. Nick Schwedock.

In lieu of flowers, memorials should be made to a special account: “Dena Gamble Benefit Account” c/o Central National Bank, 8320 W. Highway 84, Waco, TX 76712, for the benefit of her daughters, or to Providence Hospice Place.

Although Dena will be truly missed, everyone was blessed by her presence and the time they were able to share with her.

Place of Service: Lake Shore Funeral Home Chapel , 5201 Steinbeck Bend; Waco, TX 76708

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Condolence Messages

  1. Nancy Mitchiner Wood

    Dena was a lovely person…I got to know her long ago when she worked at Goodall Witcher Hospital. She always had a smile on her face and so caring.
    GOD Bless her Family.
    Nancy Mitchiner Wood

  2. Kari Springer and Lee Jobe

    We are so sorry for your loss. All of you are in our prayers.

  3. My childhood best friend , would always meet at her basketball court , that’s when trouble would always start. After so many years , the memories are still fresh in my mind . Never will forget you. My families love and prayers are with you and your loving family .
    Love, Jesse McNeely

  4. We are so sorry to hear of Dena passing away. She was a sweet & beautiful person. Our thoughts & prayers are with you all. Love, Tommy & Debbie Baird

  5. Ginger and Wesley – I am so sorry for your loss as well as for the rest of the family. It just breaks my heart to know you have lost your daughter. I did not know Dena personally, but after attending her benefit recently and meeting her, it confirmed for me what a sweet, loving lady she was. I would not have expected anything else being the daughter of you two. Again, my heart aches for you as parents, and while you have all been in my prayers, I will continue to pray for your strength to get through the trying times. Hold strong to your faith and find comfort in knowing Dena’s struggle is now over.

  6. I am so sorry to hear of Dena passing away. She was a beautiful inside and out. She will be missed by all that knew her. The lord called a sweet angel home. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of her family and friends.

  7. Becky and Carly Guerrero

    Gamble Family,
    We are so saddened to hear about Dena. Carly and I talked about the New Mexico spring break trip and many other memories we have camping and other times with everyone. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this time. We love you all dearly.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss,Dena will be missed dearly.God Bless her family,She is now your Guardian Angel.

  9. Micha Croford Hibbs

    Gamble, Toten and Coleman Family

    I am sorry for your loss. Dena was a kind and loving woman. She will be truly missed. If yall need anything please let me know. Love you all.

  10. Dear beloved friends–Ginger, Wes, Denise and all of your families: There are no words at the time of passing of one of the sweetest persons ever among us! I send my special prayers to Dena’s husband and daughters. To the rest of you, please know that you are in my heart as I ask God to bless you with His love. Deepest sympathy to you.

  11. The Wiggins Family

    Heaven gained an angel with a beautiful smile! Rest in peace dear Dena. Praying for you all.

  12. I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all

  13. Christie Gibson Fisher

    May The Lord bring you comfort during this difficult time.

  14. My heart breaks for this beautiful family!!! My prayers for strength and guidance and peace are with each of you

  15. To the family of Dena—I am so very sorry for your loss of this precious lady. I am so fortunate to have known her and all the ladies of this dear family. May God keep you all in his loving arms during this most difficult time. Prayers and deepest sympathy to the family.

  16. Michelle Chinn, RN Providence Hospice

    Thank you for allowing Providence Hospice to care for your sweet and beloved Dena – it was our honor and privilege. On a personal note, I join countless others in mourning Dena’s passing. She was always fun to be around in high school and had a smile that rivaled the sun. Wishing you all God’s strength and peace, now and always.

  17. Nancy and Jr. Hall and family

    I know not what to say to comfort this grieving family but I do know that there is peace that surrounds her in death. She came from a loving family and made a loving family and has returned to love.

  18. Sandra Umberger Tague

    “A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam and for a brief moment its glory and beauty belong to the world. But then it flys on again and though we wished it could have stayed, we feel so lucky to have seen it.”
    In loving memory of Dena. For those of us who were lucky enough to have her as a friend, co-worker, neighbor and more, she will never be forgotten. She touched us deeply. To her family who were lucky enough to have her as a Mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, and even more, you are so very lucky to have had her be a part of the unity that is called family.
    I’m so deeply sorry for your familys loss. I pray that God wraps you all in his arms and brings you comfort in knowing she is whole again. God Bless You All.

  19. Peggy Markwardt Wilkerson

    My sister Barbara and I knew Dena from school at China Spring. She was on the he school bus with us at times and she was family to my neighbors as well. She was in the class between my sister and me. Dena was always nice and sweet to everyone. It didn’t seem to matter if you ran in her circle or not, you would be considered a friend or even family. Heaven gained a real angel and we lost one on earth. We are praying for all family and friends of Dena and her family. Dena will be greatly missed by all China Spring alum that knew her as much as her family will miss her. We are here if needed.

  20. I’m so sorry for your loss. Dena was a wonderful person. Praying for peace and comfort for your family.

  21. Ginger, Wesley and all of your family…Gary and I want to send our deepest sympathy to all of you. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time and the days to come….Our love, Debbie and Gary Lynd

  22. Johnny & Karen Jackson

    Praying for the family. Praying that you find comfort and strength in knowing she has no more pain. Comfort in knowing you will be with her again someday. We are so sorry for your loss.

  23. Cristy Springer Mitchell

    Saddened to hear of Dena’s passing. My condolences and prayers for her family.

  24. Linda Mynarcik Maddox

    My prayers go out to you all. May God wrap his loving arms around you and bring comfort and peace to you at this time. May you feel his love and may he grant you strength these next days to come. God bless you all. RIP Dena.

  25. Dena’s life was cut so short. Such a sweet person, wonderful loving mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. God gained a new beautiful angel –
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Prayers being said for strength and healing.

  26. Bridget Montgomery

    My words are not enough to express what are wonderful person you were..My deepest sympathy to the family, friends, and classmates of China Spring High School
    Bridget Montgomery

  27. Cindy and Doug Parker

    Ginger, Wesley, Denise- Doug and I would like to send our condolences on the loss of your beautiful daughter/sister, Dena.
    Our hearts go out to you and all of Dena’s family. Although none of us can bring her back, please know that her life on this earth though brie,f leaves a lasting impression on us all. We pray that God sends you strength and peace during this difficult time.

  28. Dean & Bobbie Cox

    You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  29. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish there was something I could say to make the pain go away but there isn’t. Praying that memories of the good times will help bring you through this very difficult time. My prayers go out to all the family and friends. I remember Dena as the cute little blond with a big smile. God Bless.

  30. Carrie, RN Providence Hospice

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to your sweet family. Thank you for allowing us to care for Dena. Seeing her light up when her daughters were in the room is something I will never forget. She was surrounded by so much love and we all feel honored to have cared for her.

  31. I remember Dena as a little cotton headed girl always laughing. My prayers are with the entire family. May God put his arms around you in comfort.

  32. May you all be blessed with wonderful memories and surrounded by the love of God, family and friends of this precious lady. She was one in a million. You are in my prayers.

  33. There are no words to express how sad I am for all of you. I will keep all of you in my prayers. I will miss Dena’s cheerful nature. She was always so bright the same as her wonderful sister Denise and her mom! I hope in the coming days you all will find comfort in knowing Dena is at peace now and will always be with us. Bless you all.

  34. Butch & Robin Mogavero

    Words can not express how sorry we are for your loss. Dena was always so much fun to be around and she will be missed forever. Your family has always been special to Butch & I. You will continue to be in our prayers and if you ever need anything please let us know.

  35. My thoughts and prayers for Dena’s family. Though I haven’t seen Dena in many years, I was blessed to know Dena growing up in school. I know she will be greatly missed. The Lord has called her home. May we all cherish the great memories that Dena left with us.

  36. Tammie Mann-Chrisman

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Dena was my first friend as a child. I remember many afternoons going to the creek and catching “Mr. Moss”, sweet times of bare feet and lots of laughter. Prayers to her family and many, many friends.

  37. Raymond & Jennifer Hromadka

    Many thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this time of loss. May God bless you and keep you comforted in this time of need.

  38. Jackie and Beverly Balch

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all of Dena’s family, Ginger and Wesley. I will always remember Dena in junior high and high school with that cute blonde curly hair, that very sweet personality and her adorable smile. I feel blessed to have known Dena. God has now brought this beautiful angel home to glorify Him in heaven. My God wrap his loving arms around each of you and bring you strength, peach and comfort.

  39. Debbie and Bill Spivey

    Oh my, we are so sorry for your loss of your precious Dena. You will all be in our thoughts and prayers. May you find comfort in your memories of her. She is in Heaven smiling down upon all of you.

    Debbie (Rager) and Bill Spivey
    and Marie Rager

  40. Diana McNeely Motloch

    My first memory of Dena was when Wes and Ginger brought her home from the hospital. She was so cute then I became their baby sitter lol. I found out quickly how much trouble Dena and my brother Jesse could get into! Living in Patrick was a blessing for all us kids going from each others houses playing til way into the dark. We will miss you Dena, but in my heart we will see you again! God bless your family.

  41. Lorrie (Rager) Metcalf

    Ginger and Wesley, so sorry to hear about your loss. May you find comfort and peace in the

  42. To the entire Toten Family,

    Dena was a wonderful person and has the most amazing parents. Thanks for blessing everyone with your kindness and love. Dena had those qualities and I know her daughter s will pass that on.

  43. I’ve only known Dena for 3 yrs through working with her, and I know I have been truely blessed with her friendship. Dena’s smile, laughter and personality was so very contagious, she brighten up a room just by entering it. She will be missed by everyone who’s path she crossed. God bless her daughters, husband and mother and family, you will be in my prayers.

  44. Larry and Pam Garrett

    To all of Dena’s family:
    We are so very sorry for your loss and will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.

  45. Neil & Gaila Lessman

    We are so very sorry for your loss. Dena was such a fun loving person. Heaven has been blessed.

    Neil & Gaila Lessman

  46. Lance & Lanette Sullins

    Darrell & Family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during your loss of Dena. Find comfort that Dena is no longer in pain. Cherish your memories with her and know that she is now watching over you all.

  47. So sorry for your loss! I remember many nights spent at the Toten house growing up, definately one of my favorite places to be! What a wonderful family!!!

  48. Mike & Debbie Kroll

    God called a beautiful Angel home,
    After a long and courageous fight.
    Our days will be a little darker now,
    For we’ve lost a special light.
    Her life touched many souls,
    With love, empathy and grace.
    Just by Dena being with us,
    Made the world a better place.
    A smile that lit up every room,
    Each time that she walked in.
    She was so much more than just a cousin,
    Also a special, loving friend.
    Many different roles she held,
    Like daughter, sister, mother and wife.
    But one that was always a constant part to play,
    She was a blessing to every life.
    So every time I look at the stars,
    And peace and beauty is what I see
    I know there’s a special lady there,
    Watching over you and me.
    There’s a new Angel in Heaven now,
    Walking along Gods golden shores.
    In a place of love and perfect peace,
    Where you can rest forever more.

  49. Deanna Williams Bracciale

    Ginger,Wesley,Denise and family:
    I am so very sorry and heartbroken over the loss of sweet Dena.
    I remember her as a sweet blond haired girl with the biggest sweetest smile and the sweetest personality.
    Although she was about 5 years younger and I went to high school with Denise ,everyone still knew everyone and we were all one big family that always looked out for each other. I was fortunate to run into Dena a few years after I left China Spring and she had blossomed into such a beautiful young lady and still had that beautiful smile and sweet disposition. There are not enough words to comfort you at this time . Just please know that we are all praying for strength and comfort for all of you in the days and weeks ahead. I know that it will not be easy, but please always remember what a special gift that Dena was and that she will always live on in your hearts and her daughters. Please remember most of all that Dena is resting in the loving arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that this is not the end. We will all see each other again on that great and glorious day. God Bless you all!!!!!

    Deanna Williams Bracciale

  50. So sorry to hear about the loss, she will now be looking down and protecting your family and leading them in the right direction, if you need anything just give me a call, much love to each and everyone of you and God bless.

  51. I’m so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  52. My heart aches for your family. I’m counting my blessings to have known Dena, she touched so many people with her sparkling personality and smile. Many prayers to you all.

  53. Terry, Kenna, Livi, Emilie, and Ty Harris

    We all have such good memories of Dena. We are sorry for your loss, she will be missed.

  54. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. ~Tammera Ryan, on behalf of the staff and volunteers of Providence Hospice Place

  55. Gilda and Steve Whaley

    Please accept our thoughts, prayers and caring in your families’ time of loss. May God Bless and Keep you all in His Loving Arms and give each one of you His Strength always.

  56. So sorry for the loss of such a wonderful person. Thoughts and Prayers for all the family and friends that Dina loved . God Bless

  57. Hazel Toten Crews

    Wesley and Ginger I am so sorry for your loss. She was such a beautiful person and a delight to be around. She would light the room up with her smile.

  58. Loretta Tolliver and Tammy Whitworth

    Dena came into our lives as a physical therapist and became a friend. We believe that Dena with her kind spirit touched anyone that meet her. We are sadden by her passing but know that we will see her again one day. To her family know that you are very much in our prayers.

  59. You are in my prayers and thoughts.

  60. Dorothy (Lindsey) Scott

    Ginger and Family, so sorry for your loss. Thinking and praying for all of you during this difficult time.

  61. From Our Family to Your Family With Sympathy:

    Words cannot express how sorry we are to hear of the loss of Dena. Your family will be in our hearts and prayers. May God’s Love offer you comfort during this time of sorrow.

    The Westerfeld Family
    (Kenneth, Lea, Ashley, and Haley)

  62. Joella Cuellar McKeel

    Toten and Gamble family, I am so sorry for your loss. Dena was such a precious person. In school every time you saw her she would have that great cheerful smile. It would brighten anyone’s day. May your memories of her make you smile. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  63. Ginger, Wesley and Family, I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. May God hold each one of you in His arms and hands and give you the strength to go through each day without her. But, I know you will have such wonderful and happy memories of her and the joy that she must have brought to each one you by reading all of the condolences sent to you. Love to you all and God bless each one of you.

  64. He will swallow up* death forever, And the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces.+ The reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, For Jehovah himself has spoken it. My thoughts and prayers are with each and every family member. With Love E. Marie Ragland

  65. Ginger, Wesley, Denise and family, I know there is nothing I can say to make the hurt go away. For some reason God hand picks his special angels we never know why. Remember all the wonderful memories because that can get you by day to day. I am sending prayers and hugs, with love.

  66. Dena truly lived her life abundantly. She had such a contagious laugh and smile and was a blessing to so many. I always ran into her at the dollar store and we’d laugh about spending so much money at a dollar store. I will never forget that beautiful smile. I pray for all the family, the comfort only God can bring.

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