A Fond Farewell For “Sweet Denise”
A proclamation was issued by the state of Connecticut recognizing January 30th as Denise D'Ascenzo Day as The Constitution State honors the memory and contributions of a beloved iconic news anchor and reporter who unexpectedly passed away in December. Ironically, on this Feast Day of The Three Hierarchs, today would've been Denise's 62nd birthday as you can expect the timing of this accolade truly came in at the right moment.
On Wednesday, a full house gathered together at The Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford to look back and pay homage to Sweet Denise as her accomplishments in journalism and as a person were well remembered (and she always lived up to expectations as a true pillar to her community).
I witnessed a beautiful ceremony which began with a beautiful rendition of "Hallelujah" courtesy of The Hall High School Choraliers. This presentation also featured memorable moments from Denise's three decade plus tenure at channel 3 beginning with an announcement from the station's manager that another honor in her memory is in the works this spring as the location of WFSB-TV will be known as 3 Denise D'Ascenzo Way in Rocky Hill. Current colleagues and former co-anchors took center stage to highlight memorable moments of her career and they even showed a segment regarding her lighter side which consisted of a series of out-takes, sketches and bloopers from her time on the anchor desk and while reporting out on the field.
The New Britian High School marching band presented a beautiful rendition of "The Marine's Hymn" which also paid homage to her father who proudly served our country in the USMC. The closing segment featured a personal glance at Denise off the anchor desk along with a special video commemorating her contributions in the realm of television news, a career that spanned nearly four decades which began in Syracuse, Ironically, when I would attend the State Fair in New York's Salt City, I'd call Denise and send utmost regards from former colleagues that still remembered her contributions when she was a reporter and weather caster at then WIXT-TV. Her words to the letter: "Ron, you made my day". A moment in our friendship that remains unforgettable to this day.
I am confident that Denise was with us in spirit for this tribute as she was smiling from up above. Her memory will ALWAYS remain eternal and everlasting.
(Photo of Denise D'Ascenzo courtesy of her Facebook page)