Dena Engel Gibson Profile Photo
1991 Dena 2018

Dena Engel Gibson

February 5, 1991 — December 8, 2018

DENA ENGEL GIBSON, 27, of Ogallala, passed away December 8, 2018, at Great Plains Health in North Platte.

Dena was born February 5, 1991, at Imperial, Nebraska to Robin and Brenda (Bennett) Engel. She attended Wauneta-Palisade School before graduating from Medicine Valley High School with the class of 2009.

Dena was a sovereign spirit from a young age and preferred to do things her own way. She spent her last couple years of high school under the foster care of Deb and Dennis Hazen before she joined the Army National Guard, where she was trained as a field medic. Dena was called into active duty service and served a tour in Iraq before being discharged. In 2014, Dena married Christopher Gibson in Ogallala. Dena found work cooking, cleaning and in various hospitality-oriented jobs. Her life would be blessed with two children along the way, Willow and Wilder.

Dena had a vibrant personality and made friends quickly. During her military service, she and her "battle buddies" as they were affectionately called, opted to get tattoos together. Dena developed a liking for this kind of body art and enjoyed adding bits and pieces as time went on. She was an animal lover and always had a dog. Dena enjoyed going to concerts, and always had a special relationship with her nephews. She was also a proud and active member of the Keith County Veterans' Organizations.

Despite having many good things going in life, Dena had a quiet and sustained struggle with depression that had a way of amplifying life's trials. Dena's battle with depression came to an undoubtedly tragic end, but the memory of the life she lived will always have a lofty presence in the hearts of family and friends.

Dena was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents; stepmom, Aneta Engel; and a stepsister, Lizzy Thompson.

Survivors include her children, Willow and Wilder Gibson of Ogallala; husband, Christopher; her father, Robin (Ruth) Engel of Haxtun, CO; mother, Brenda Engel of O'Neill; sister, Jackie (Bill) Taylor of Grant; brother, Robert (Cindy) Engel of McCook; half-sister, Becky Peterson of Norfolk; along with several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

A memorial has been established in Dena's memory for later designation by her family. Condolences may be shared at

Services will be held on Friday, December 14, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. at the New Hope Church in Ogallala with Pastor Matt Waitley officiating. Burial with military honors by the Keith County Veterans' Organizations will be at Ft. McPherson National Cemetery near Maxwell.

Visitation will be on Thursday, from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Prairie Hills Funeral Home in Ogallala.

Prairie Hills Funeral Home of Ogallala is in charge of arrangements.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dena Engel Gibson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Prairie Hills Funeral Home

319 E O St, Ogallala, NE 69153

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