Denise Lynn (Rukes) Kantauskas, 55, of Stevensville, Mich., passed away on Tuesday, July 13, 2020, at her home in the care of her family.
Denise was born Sept. 26, 1964, in St. Joseph, Mich., the daughter of Billy Dale and Diana Pauline (Strueli) Rukes. On Sept. 17, 1988, she married Gregory Alan Kantauskas. Denise was employed at Chemical Bank for 31 years. Denise had a faith in Jesus that allowed her to always put one foot in front of the other battling what she knew from the start was an incurable cancer. She did so with grace, dignity and courage. Some of her most enjoyable times were spent with family and friends hosting and planning family gatherings and parties around the pool with great food and laughter. She enjoyed traveling on numerous vacations and especially at Norris Lake with time spent out behind the wheel of a pontoon boat.
Survivors include her husband, Gregory, of 31 years; parents, Bill and Diana Rukes; sister, Autum (John) Hall; nieces and nephews, Summer (Gabe) Cabanillas, Ben Hall, Emily (Alex Dewey) Hall, Abigail Hall, Fred (Andrea) Barclay, Daniel Feece and Zachary Feece; mother-in-law, Dolores Kantauskas; father-in-law, Matthew Kantauskas; sister-in-law, Linda (Dale) Feece; and her K9 companions, Gracie and Boomer.
Denise was preceded in death by her grandparents, Lewis and Nellie Rukes and Rudy and Amy Conrich; infant sister, Rosemarie Rukes and K9s Frosty, Scooter, Cookie and Taffy.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 17, at the Boyd Chapel of Pike Funeral and Cremation Services, Bridgman, Mich. Friends may meet with the family on Thursday, July 16, from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be at Graceland Cemetery, Bridgman, Mich.
Memorial contributions may be made to Humane Society of SW Michigan, Yeager Family Pet Shelter, 5400 Niles Road, St. Joseph, MI 49085 or Berrien County Cancer Service, 3900 Hollywood Road, St. Joseph, MI 49085. Send flowers to the family, live stream of the service and online condolences accepted at www.PikeFH.com.