On Thursday, March 8, 2018, I lost my best friend and bestest Sissie, Denise Kocan. She passed away long before her time, and before she was ready to, after a long, hard-fought courageous battle with cancer for the second time. She is survived by her identical Twin Sister and best friend, her bestest Sissie, Darcie Kocan, her brother-in-law, as she always lovingly thought of and referred to him as, Phil Knapp, her furry four-legged children, both at home and at Project P.A.W., Uncle, Nick Kocan, Great Uncle, Merle Gross, many cousins and the best of friends who are too countless to list but were more family than friends. She was predeceased by her wonderful parents, Donna and Robert Kocan, Maternal Grandparents Edna and Donald Wickizer and Paternal Grandparents Mabel and Nicholas Kocan.
Denise graduated from Seton Catholic Central High School and was a beloved member of the most awesome Class of 1987. She graduated from S.U.N.Y. Broome Community College in 1989 with an AAS Degree in Business and went on to work full-time at Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the Binghamton Regency Hotel before leaving to volunteer full-time at Project P.A.W., her family-founded, no-kill cat shelter in Binghamton, NY. She was able to find a wonderful part-time job at Wegmans and loved working in both W-Kids and the Floral Department for nearly ten years. She also did pet sitting and thought of and cared for the furries like they were her own.
Denise had the most beautiful contagious smile, the greatest memory, the sharpest wit, the sweetest laugh and giggle and the biggest heart of anyone you’ll ever know. She never complained a day in her life even when she should’ve with the debilitating pain, challenges and physical obstacles she was given while battling cancer. She was the most caring, thoughtful and generous person and always put the needs of others, whether they were two or four-legged, before her own, up to and including the last day of her life. The word “no” was not in her vocabulary. She was “addicted” to Etsy, eBay and HGTV, always buying the most thoughtful and unexpected gifts for everyone. She loved life and lived it to the fullest. Everyone who ever had the pleasure to meet her or call her their friend loved her. She was truly the best.
She was a patient of Broome Oncology. The care she received by the nurses, nursing assistants and staff on 1 Ross and 1 West units at Lourdes Hospital, during far too many hospital stays over the last year, was truly amazing and for which we will forever be grateful.
At Denise’s request, there will be no funeral service. A memorial will be planned for at a later date. In her memory, please consider donations to Project P.A.W. 127 Bevier Street, Binghamton, NY 13904.