Oxley-Heard Funeral Home has been serving the community since 1931.
Dena Short

Dena Short

November 5, 1915 - February 5, 2019     Age: 103

Dena Gray Short, born November 5, 1915 in New York, New York passed away in Amelia Island, Florida February 5, 2019 at the age of 103.

She was a child of Immigrants to the United States, and went through the Great Depression, which had a great impact on her life. We know this instilled in her at a young age a tenacious zest for life. 

During her life, she lived in New Jersey, Manhasset, New York, Atlanta, Georgia and Amelia Island, Florida.

Born to Dena were three children, Jack Gray, who preceded her in death and a daughter, Nina Johnson and another son, Richard Short. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren always gave her enormous love, joy and laughter.

In the 1950’s Dena became a member of the ‘Unitarian Universalist Congregations of Flushing and Manhasset, Long Island, New York and later in Atlanta’s Unitarian Universalist Congregations including Ponce de Leon Avenue, Cliff Valley Way, and Northwest Congregation. She was instrumental in the beginnings of art show displays at the churches in New York and Atlanta. This was her great passion and the halls of the various churches are, to this day, filled with art, conversation and camaraderie.

Dena was devotee of Atlanta’s ‘Alliance Theatre’ and ‘High Museum’ for many years. She was also was active in supporting the Amelia Community Theatre Company Civitan Clubs in Atlanta and Amelia Island.

She had a successful career in real estate in Atlanta with Harry Norman Realtors.

Living at Osprey Village in on Amelia Island was a great pleasure of her later life. A large part of her life was the daily drives to the Ocean to literally breathe the beauty and magnetism of the sea.

Among all of her accomplishments, her family was most proud of her steadfast quest for knowledge. She was an amazing self taught human being. Her infectious spirit and thirst for life was admired by all that met her.

A Hospice nurse came in room in her last days, looked at Dena, and said “I know this lady! She always sat right here in a wheelchair-busy at her bedside table, she always had on pearl cluster earrings ,a necklace and scarf, and looked so pretty”. A friend wrote and said “Dena was a lovely Lady, I loved her, we shared a passion for high heels!”

She was always treated with great honor and compassion by the staff of The Retreat at Osprey Village, especially in her declining days. Their unyielding love and comfort to Dena, has send her off to eternity with a blessed soul.

The family extends heartfelt thanks to The Retreat at Osprey Village staff for their warmth and  her loving caregiver, Charlene Fulgram, as well as the staff of Community Hospice.

Her family mourns her death and celebrates her life. She was a beautiful Lady, Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma – “Dena’s Family”

She will be laid to rest at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs, Georgia at 2:00 PM, Friday, February 8, 2019.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Nassau County Council On Aging, 1901 Island Walk Way, Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034  (904) 261-0701

4 Condolences

  • Susan Markiw, PT Posted February 6, 2019 11:15 am

    Dena was one of my patients over the years who always made me smile and showed me that growing older could be done with dignity and grace. May she always remain glamorous

  • Jackie Rushton Posted February 7, 2019 9:11 am

    My condolence for the loss of Dena, she was a joy to be around, she would come into the office and was always a bright light of life. Rest in peace Dena and God Bless you.

  • Julee fleming Posted February 7, 2019 10:54 am

    Dena brought joy and laughter to all her friends. I have never known anyone who delighted in being alive so much. I am so grateful for her friendship. Blessings and love to her family

  • Kim Kelly-Speranza Posted February 8, 2019 6:04 am

    I met Dena a few years ago when I was a volunteer at the Retreat. My duty was to host the “penny poker “ games that Dena loved to play. She was not only fun to be around, she was also a good player and would often win. Dena would always make me feel special by thanking me for taking the time to volunteer. Classy lady who I will remember. Her family is in my thoughts and prayers.

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