The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001306045-01
Funeral Notices


Tempe Anne Denzer (Tiltman) passed away peacefully on August 21st. She was 92 years old and follows her husband James Hayes Denzer who passed away in 2008. Tempe was born in London in 1927 but spent her early years in Simla, India, in the foothills of the Himalayas where her father was deciphering Russian codes for England’s Government Code and Cipher School. As a skilled artist himself, he saw Tempe beginning to show the artistic gifts which would eventually serve her for eight decades. As her father moved quickly into leadership in the English codebreaking community, moving their small family from one placement to another, Tempe’s drawings and paintings began to show a depth and character beyond her young age. During WWII as a teen she lived in Bletchley Park, an hours’ train ride from London. Wartime rationing in England and her family’s need to keep her father’s work a close secret allowed Tempe to develop the optimistic and sensible manner that many have come to adore. Her father’s post-war career at the NSA brought the family to Washington DC, where Tempe met and married James who was beginning his career in the US codebreaking community. As the Viet Nam war intensified and with a growing family of their own, the Denzers were transferred to O’ahu. They eventually left government employment, and together helped develop and grow the Hawaii Child Centers. When she wasn’t cooking lunches for children at the school, or surfing, Tempe pushed herself hard artistically and eventually became involved in the O’ahu theater community beginning in the early 1970’s. She became head set-painter for the Hawaii Opera Theater and was deeply involved in many other venues. In the close-knit Hawaii theater community, she realized the lifelong friendships and artistic validation she had assumed were out of reach for her. At a time when a forty-something mother-of-five might find it difficult to start a new career, Tempe won over everyone she worked with and became their go-to artistic specialist for more than 30 years. She and James retired to the Big Island in 1992 but Tempe continued to travel for painting and design jobs in Hawaii and on the mainland. Her landscape paintings and portraits hang in many homes and offices around Hawaii and elsewhere. She inspired several of her grandchildren to pursue artistic degrees and careers. Tempe will continue to be the Heart of an adoring family. She is survived by 5 children, Stephen, Mark, Nicholas, Anthony and Tempe Jr., as well as 11 grandchildren. A memorial will be held most likely at the beginning of next year. We would like to extend our gratitude to the employees and residents of Pohai Nani and Saint Francis Hospice for making her last years a wonderful experience for our family.