University Letter

UND's faculty and staff newsletter

Remembering Denise Twohey

Denise Twohey
Denise Twohey

Denise Twohey, retired professor of psychology, Grand Rapids, Minn., passed away on Feb. 9, 2021 after a long battle with disabilities brought on by cancer treatments 22 years ago. She was 70.

Denise beat the odds and survived her cancer beyond expectations. She passed away at the Green House Homes where she was a resident for the past 10 years. She was accompanied by family members at the end of life.

Denise (Neeci to her family) was a graduate of Marywood Academy, Kalamazoo College (’72) and earned a doctorate in Psychology from Western Michigan University, becoming a beloved tenured professor at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

Denise had a private therapy practice and was very active in her profession, including positions in the American Psychological Association and multiple academic committees. She was a regular presenter at APA conferences and her lectures were standing room only.

At a young age, Denise became a Bridge Life Master. She was a lover of art, literature, and music, as well as the active hobbies of tennis, and running. Her career was cut short in 1998 when she sought care at the Mayo Clinic for a malignant brain tumor. She eventually moved back to Grand Rapids where her parents, Edward and Margaret (Ed and Peg) Twohey helped care for her in her slowly declining condition. Ed and Peg were daily visitors at the Porter Hills Green House from 2010 until Ed passed in 2015. Peg continued daily visits, often accompanied by Denise’s sister Sharon (Saucy).

In these years the family got to know the caregivers at the Green House, and we thank them for their care, especially in the last year when visits were limited to outdoor only window experiences.

Denise joins her father Edward and is survived by her Mother, Margaret, of Grand Rapids, sisters Sean Mounier (Jerome) of New York, Sharon (Chis) Cook of Grand Rapids; brothers Michael (Claire) Twohey of Marquette MI, and Edward (Cam) Twohey of Chicago, IL as well as six nieces and nephews.

The family is planning to host a virtual memorial in the coming months and will alert family and friends when a date is set. Memorial donations may be made to The Porter Hills Foundation to support the Green House Homes 1049 East Paris Ave. 49506.