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Denise T. Askin

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Published in Union Leader on June 9, 2023

Denise T. Askin, Ph.D, 76, of Manchester, formerly of Bedford, died June 6, 2023 surrounded by her family after a courageous battle with ALS.

Born in Brooklyn, NY on December 1, 1946, she was the daughter of Joseph and Rita (Devaney) Askin. She was educated at Visitation Academy (Valedictorian) and Fontbonne Academy (Valedictorian) in Brooklyn, and Graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in 1968. She holds a PhD. In American Literature from the University of Notre Dame, and an honorary doctorate from Saint Anselm College. Prior to retirement, Denise had served as Executive Vice President and Professor of English at St. Anselm College since 1972, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees. She loved teaching American literature, poetry, and Native American literature. To this day she has kept in contact with many former students.

Her research interests and publishing included the poetry of Walt Whitman, Henry James, T.S. Eliot, Flannery O’Connor, and Samson Occom, an 18th century minister and member of the Mohegan nation (for which she was honored by them). She has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the New Hampshire Humanities Council, for which she designed and led many seminars, especially for veterans who returned from war, and a Literature and Medicine program for doctors and other medical personnel. She was also a longtime CASA volunteer as well as a volunteer at VNA Hospice where she helped patients prepare their legacy writing and recordings.

She is remembered as hugely intelligent, an excellent teacher, a devoted and empathetic friend, a wise counselor, and a gentle peacemaker. Her love of conversation and her sense of humor echo to this day across the campus of St. Anselm College.

Among her fondest memories were growing up in Brooklyn and the many summers with her parents and later, with Walt and Joe, on the beaches of Eastern Long Island. The ocean was iconic for her and she jumped at any chance to be in or near it.

Most of all, she was the most devoted and loving wife and mother and always ready with a list of tasks for us.

Family members include her husband, Walter Noyalis of Bedford, son Joe and his wife Molly Williams Noyalis of Goffstown, cousins, niece and nephews.

Calling hours at Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, 1799 Elm St., corner of North St, will be Sunday from 3 to 7 pm. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Monday at 11 am in St. Anselm Abbey Church. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bedford.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to C.C.A.L.S. of Falmouth MA.

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