Denise Marie Ruder, 59, passed away on June 15, 2022 at her home in Gisela, Arizona. She was born in Spokane, Washington on July 17, 1962, and was a lifelong member of the Colville Confederate Tribes.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Tonto Apache Gym in Payson for Denise on Monday, June 27, 2022, at 10 AM. A luncheon will follow. All family and friends welcome to attend.
Denise is survived by her husband, David Ruder, her two children Michelle and Brian Ruder, her mother Janice Chilton, two brothers, Leland “Butch” and Jason Chilton, a sister Karen Chilton, and she was proud to be a “Nana” to granddaughter Angelica. Denise’s father, Leland A. Chilton, preceded her in death in 1999.
The Chilton family moved to Gisela in 1972, when the subdivisions were just opening, and were among the first families there. Denise was then 10 years old, so lived in Gisela for 50 years. She spent time enjoying Tonto Creek, as generations before her did.
She attended school in Payson and graduated from Payson High School. Denise is remembered by classmates as a friendly girl, always welcoming others.
She attended Dental Assistant School in Mesa and then worked for Dr. Harold Rush in Payson. Denise also worked at Fairway Foods, and during the summers, she worked for the United States Forest Service. She also made beautiful jewelry that she sold.
Denise married David Ruder on December 24, 1986, in Gisela, and had two children: Michelle and Brian. Both are now grown. The Ruders made their home in Gisela.
Denise is remembered by her family as a really good cook and a loving and caring member of the family who was the “glue” that held the family together. She was friendly and tried to make everyone smile. She was a loving daughter who supported her mother in all of her endeavors. She will be missed.
by Jayne Peace Pyle
“Losing someone you love is like losing apart of yourself. You miss them and you miss who you were with them. Nobody will ever replace that.”
“Because someone we love is in heaven, there’s a little bit of heaven in our home.”