Denise Blakely Fuller, born 21 April 1967 in Schenectady, New York, passed away on 5 January 2020 in Glendora, California.
Denise had an infectious laugh and loved to smile, learn, and see new places. Denise was deeply loved by family and friends, and will be missed tremendously. She constantly doodled on any nearby paper and loved to learn new skills like cooking, decorating, or different ways of wiggling her toes in warm sand. Her nieces and nephews loved to hear her stories and ask her questions about animated movies that included her artwork. She was a wonderful artist, but was an even better friend and companion.
Denise grew up with three older brothers and joined them in their wild antics. Denise even followed her brothers in several employment decisions, including a paper route and roofing homes. She learned to play the violin and piano, but her deepest passion was for art. Denise drew every chance she got. She highly valued being mentored by a local American Western sculptor and artist, Richard A. Myer, who helped nurture her budding talent in drawing.
After high school, Denise attended Art Center College of Design ("Art Center"). Denise was one of the youngest students at Art Center because her illustration portfolio coming out of high school was strong enough to get admitted to Art Center. Denise spent time with her older brother, Kempton, at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Design where she furthered her drawing skills. Denise obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration/Industrial Design from Art Center in 1990.
Denise worked in the animation industry focusing on layout, matte painting, visual development, etc. She began her career at Disney Feature Animation Studios, and also worked at Sony Imageworks, Rhythm and Hues, Pixar, EA Games, and Warner Bros. Animation. Denise’s artwork can be seen in many movies, including, Emperor’s New Groove, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Elf, Tarzan, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Pocahontas, Atlantis, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Hotel Transylvania, and Toy Story 3.
Denise was a loving friend, a kind sister, a wonderful aunt, a sweet daughter, and a valued mentor to young artists. Her bright eyes and contagious laugh will be deeply missed by those who know her. Denise is survived by her father, Clifford; two brothers, Kempton and Darrell; a sister and brother-in-law, Christiane (Bryan) Woerner; three sisters-in-law, Cyndy, Shannon, and Rachel; seventeen nieces and nephews, and nine great grand nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her mother, Carolyn, and two older brothers, Rodney and Vernon.
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