Denise Holzberger, 61, of Poughquag, NY, passed away on August 12, 2023, after a decades long battle with breast cancer.
Denise was born on October 9, 1961, in the Bronx, and lived in the city until her early teens, when her family moved upstate to settle in Poughquag, NY. She attended Lagrange Junior High School and Arlington High School, where she met her former spouse, John Holzberger, and some of her lifelong best friends, Linda & Jim Grayson, and Gina & John Maserjian. They were a close-knit group of friends that spent their teenage and college years enjoying many parties, dinners, vacations, and excursions together throughout their adult lives.
Denise also graduated from Dutchess Community College with an Associates’ Degree, and after working as a Branch Manager for Pawling Savings Bank, she went on to her decades long career as a secretary, treasurer, payroll clerk, and district clerk for multiple firehouses, including Lagrange Fire District, Arlington Fire District, and Highland Fire District. Denise was highly organized, detail oriented, reliable, and quick to identify and remedy any payroll discrepancies that arose – she was always “by the book” with everything.
At work, Denise was well known and loved by all for being kind, understanding, and always happy to have a chat.
When not at work, she was busy raising her two daughters, Christina and Danielle, hosting family barbeques, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas Eve, and Easter brunches, taking day trips to local beaches, ski resorts, amusement parks, cruises, and countless Disney vacations.
Denise’s favorite place was Disney – whether it was Disney World in Florida, Disney Land in California, Hilton Head Island Resort in South Carolina, Vero Beach, FL, or even a Disney Cruise. Some of her favorite vacations were going to Disney World in the fall for the Food and Wine Festival, relaxing by the pool, and walking around the parks with her family until everyone’s “feet felt like bloody stumps” – her favorite phrase to describe the impact of spending a day at a Disney park.
Denise also loved chatting with friends and was a true extrovert – entertaining, getting coffee or lunch with friends, and having long talks on the phone were some of her favorite pastimes. If you knew Denise, you knew she could have conversations for hours about anything and everything. She always had something interesting to talk about.
Aside from chatting up a storm with almost anyone who wanted to listen, Denise was also very talented with sewing. She loved to do little (or big) projects, making many Halloween costumes, dresses, pajamas, and even ring bearer pillows for weddings.
She loved special occasions because her love language was gifting – Denise always knew the perfect gift for every occasion, and she never showed up empty-handed when invited to anyone’s home. She was so passionate about giving, she kept a closet in the house just for “emergency gifts” – she always had items on hand for any last minute birthday party invitation, graduation, bridal or baby shower, anniversary – whatever the occasion. She put immense thought into every gift, to be sure the recipient would always love it. This spoke to her preparedness in life. Whatever situation arose, she had “just the thing for it” – be it a bandaid, medicine, a certain food, a gadget, an item of clothing, or an accessory. One could even say her eldest daughter inherited her propensity for overpacking on trips from her.
Denise was well spoken, and took pride in being polite and always having good manners – it was only later in life, after spending many years working at the firehouse amongst the chatter of large groups of firemen, that she finally allowed herself to let out the occasional curse word. And when she did, it was hilarious because it was always a perfectly timed quip that made you second guess “did she really just say what I think she said?” and ended with gut busting laughter.
Her favorite shows were Poldark, Downton Abbey, Yellowstone, 1883, she loved the music from The Greatest Showman, and anything to do with the Queen, the Royal Family, or Kate Middleton. She was also a great bargain hunter, frequenting HomeGoods and Macy’s, and loved a good sale.
After spending decades in Lagrangeville, Denise moved back home with her mother and sister, where she spent the remaining years with her family, helping to care for her mother, who predeceased her.
She was truly one of the kindest people you could ever meet. She always followed the rules, did the right thing, and was welcoming and friendly to everyone she crossed paths with. Even through the hardest times, Denise handled everything with grace.
Denise is survived by her oldest daughter, Christina Holzberger, and her husband Arthur Monteiro, of Plantsville, CT, her youngest daughter, Danielle Holzberger, and her partner, Ryan Selvidge, of La Verne, CA, her sister, Diane Capizzuto, of Poughquag, NY, and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
She is predeceased by her former spouse, John Holzberger, her mother, Agnes Capizzuto (nee Coppola), and her father, George Capizzuto.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Calling hours will be held on Saturday, August 19, from 1130am – 2pm at 895 Route 82, Hopewell Junction, NY. The funeral service will follow at 2 pm at the funeral home.
Arrangements are under the direction of the