Denise Lynn Gilliatt, 65, Salem, passed away Thursday, March 30, 2023, at 5:36 p.m. in her residence following a short battle with pancreatic cancer.
A life resident of Washington County, she was born April 16, 1957, in Salem, the daughter of Glen Dudley and Geneva Mae (Russell) Worley.
On June 16, 1984, she married Richie Gilliatt, who survives.
Denise loved children and devoted her life to their care and wellbeing. Hundreds of Washington County children were cared for at her daycares, Hug-A-Kid I and II Childcare in Salem. Her daycares were voted the Best in Washington County several times.
Denise was the first in-home licensed child care provider in Washington County, receiving her license in 1985. About a decade later when the State of Indiana began requiring those caring for more than six children to be licensed, Denise promoted the idea within Washington County. She and about seven other local child care providers completed what was a new 18-month Child Development Associate course.
Denise worked to establish the Washington County Kid Care Coalition, Inc., an organization that was active locally in the1990s and worked to support daycare providers and promote a happy and healthy lifestyle for children. The coalition hosted public events, including several fairs with free events for families.
Denise was actively involved in promoting Week of the Child in April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Week of the Child focused on raising awareness of child abuse and focusing on prevention efforts.
Denise advocated for women and children involved in domestic violence situations. For these efforts she was honored in 2016 with the Outstanding Volunteer award by the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Denise was an active member of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce for many years, serving as president of the board of directors for two years in the early 2000s. In that role, she worked to promote local businesses and was involved in planning and carrying out various Chamber activities.
Denise also previously served as a member of the Salem Public Library Board of Trustees.
Survivors in addition to her husband include three daughters, Maryah Daulton, Misty Kern and Carissa Gilliatt; four sons, Ryan Worley, Eric Worley, Richie Worley and Bronson Gilliatt; one brother, Kevin Worley; three sisters, Sherry (Benny) Howard, Dianne (Guy) Quick and Cynthia Howard; 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday and from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday at Dawalt Funeral Home in Salem.
The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the funeral home. Internment will follow at Stampers Creek Cemetery near Paoli.
Memorial contributions may be made to:
Stampers Creek Cemetery
C/O Bill Rutherford
4440 E. State Road 56
Paoli, Indiana 47454
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