Leslie Denise “Deni” Brinkmeyer, passed away suddenly at Overland Park Regional Medical Center on Friday, July 9, 2021 at 10:58 pm at the age of 64. Deni was born on March 1, 1957 in Pittsburg, KS, to her parents, Robert “Bob” U. and Diann (Foster) Morris and was the oldest of four siblings whom she loved dearly. She attended Pittsburg schools and graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1975.
Deni and her siblings grew up on a large family farm raising Quarter Horses. Her passion for horses was shared with her sister and she achieved many recognitions and awards such as being crowned the 1974 Crawford County Rodeo Queen. Deni had a way with words and she was a beautiful writer and storyteller. She attended Stephens College in Columbia, MO, with a focus in journalism but to also further pursue her love of horses in the Equine Business and Science program with dreams of becoming an equine veterinarian. During high school, Deni met the love of her life, Ed Brinkmeyer, and they enjoyed a life of love and adventure in Chanute and Overland Park, KS, for almost 36 years until they amicably divorced in 2014.
Ed and Deni continued to share a true friendship and they loved and parented their children together stressing that above anything else, family is most important. Deni fearlessly comforted each of us during difficult times with all her heart, no matter the situation. She taught all of us to love fiercely, trust deeply and to always remain open hearted to anyone that will cross our path. She was an unbelievable inspiration, confidant and friend to all of us and her amazing devotion as a Mother, Grandmother, Aunt, Cousin, Nannie and friend will last forever.
While living in Chanute, Deni was employed by the Ashley Clinic as a medical secretary and transcriptionist starting in April 1978 for multiple physicians including Dr. Albert Kihm, Dr. Earl Gehrt, Dr. Robert Thomen, Dr. Charles Van Houden, Dr. J. Jason Robinson, and Dr. Todd Morrison. Deni enjoyed her friendships and community involvement within Chanute and especially treasured the time in which she and her family were able to strengthen their faith in God. She was a member of the First Christian Church in Chanute, KS, and served as a deacon, taught Sunday School and supported various youth activities for many years as well as being a member of the Handbell choir. In November 2014, Deni retired from the medical field and immediately opened her heart to in-home childcare in Overland Park, KS. All of the babies that came into her home and heart were the greatest joy of her life and she will forever be known as “Nannie” to Star, Anna, Harper, Ella, Olivia, Conor, Cordelia, Hallie Grace, Ali Rose, Layla, Mason, Norah, Graham, Eddie, Lena, Violet, Noah and her last babies, sweet Eleanor and Baby Laskowski.
Deni is survived by her best friend, Ed Brinkmeyer and his significant other, Sandee O’Neal, of Chanute, KS; and her three children, Zach Brinkmeyer of Chanute, KS; Leslie Brinkmeyer of Overland Park, KS; and Chad Allen and his significant other, Michelle Buchanan, of Aledo, TX. She will forever watch over her grandchildren; Shaylea and Brayce Brinkmeyer of Savonburg, KS; and Peyton Allen of Aledo, TX. Her heart was further filled with the special relationships she shared with her nieces and nephews and she loved her fun weekends and holidays with each of them; Troy and Janice McKinzie of Parsons, KS; Dustin and Bekah Morris of Pittsburg, KS; Annie and Tyler Christian of Pittsburg, KS; and Dakota and Dylan Brizzee of Pittsburg, KS. Deni was given the biggest blessings of all which is her sweet great-niece Brenley Ann Morris and great nephew William Robert Christian, both of Pittsburg, KS; as well as Teale and Thad White of Arkansas and Taley McKinzie of Parsons, KS. She was especially excited for the arrival of her newest great-nephew, baby Arlo Morris, in November 2021. Deni is also survived by her two brothers, Danny Morris of Pittsburg, KS and Derek Morris of Texas; as well as many dear cousins and extended family. She was joyfully embraced in heaven by her parents, Bob and Diann Morris, her in-laws, Vernon and Jane Brinkmeyer, and her sister, Dalene Morris.
The family invites all friends and loved ones to her Celebration of Life on Sunday, July 25, 2021, at 2 pm at the First Christian Church, Chanute, KS, with the Rev. Tom Eastman officiating. Deni was able to share her love a final time by giving the gift of life through organ, tissue and eye donation and her wish was to be cremated. The family has been supported during this time by Reflections Memorial Services, LLC, of Kansas City, MO, and online condolences may be left at www.reflectionsmemorialservices.com.
A private family burial will take place at a later date at Bird Cemetery in Pittsburg, KS; however, she would remind everyone that there is no one final location in which you will find her. She will be seen and felt in the rays of the sun on a warm spring day, the rain drops during a thunderstorm, the feathers of a beautiful red bird, in the waves of the Pacific Ocean, in the excitement of a good horse race and right in the very center of all of our hearts. If desired, Deni’s family suggests memorials be made with your family’s favorite charity or organization or to one in which she often supported including the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, Kansas City, MO, in honor of her sweet Layla or to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, 101 Pro Rodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, CO, 80919.