Denise Lynne Tabor


image of Denise Lynne Tabor

Denise Lynne Tabor

Denise Lynne Tabor passed away on March 20, 2022 after a difficult struggle with cancer. She was 59 years old and a long-time resident of Seattle, Washington.

Denise was born on April 7, 1962 in Alameda County, California to Frank John and Joan Alexandra Ostrow. She graduated from Skidmore College with a BA in English and received her Master’s in English from Middlebury College’s Breadloaf School of writing. Denise began her career as an English teacher at Philips Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and was a much-loved instructor. She was a passionate writer and musician who truly loved Puget Sound and all the wildlife surrounding her home. She had a particular love for hummingbirds and made her home a welcoming haven for many of these special jewels in flight.

Denise is survived by her mother, Joan A. Ostrow of Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, her brother, Frank P. Ostrow of Falmouth Maine (Susan), her sisters, Dawn A. Ostrow-Remy of Rochester, Vermont and Jeannette L. Ostrow of Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, one niece, and three nephews. She was predeceased by her beloved partner, Michael George Lehman.

A memorial service will be scheduled in Maine where her ashes will be scattered. To remember Denise, please consider a donation to PAWS (

8 Responses to “Denise Lynne Tabor”

  • Susan Ostrow says:


    You are greatly missed. You brought such vibrancy and energy to our lives. Frank, Andrew, Chris and I are so privileged to have you in our lives.

    Love from your sister-in-law,

  • Megan Shea says:

    I am so saddened to learn of Denise’s passing. While we have not been in touch in a long time, I have incredibly fond memories of our summers on the mountain at Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont. Spirited, musical, and inclusive, she allowed her perpetual smile to reach all. I am thinking of her family and friends at this difficult time – may you find some solace in the stories and memories. Denise was a life-giver; may she rest in peace.

  • Andrew Ostrow says:

    Aunt Denise,

    I am so saddened by your loss but will always cherish your memory and love you. We miss you now and always.

    Your nephew,

  • Charles Carvallo says:

    How Denise loved animals – elephants, dolphins, hummingbirds, etc. I still see her beloved cat sitting at the window overlooking the water in Seattle. Creative & passionate, I hope her spirit flies free with the hummingbirds, swims in loving waters of eternity with the dolphins & surrounded by the loved ones who have gone on before. Fly free, beautiful spirit!!

  • Carolyn and Ted says:

    Denise had an expansive spirit and a wonderful gift for music and poetry. Denise we will miss your directness and your expression filled eyes that could always hold us to our truths. We were fortunate to have been your friends. Ted and Carolyn.

  • Hank Rosenfeld says:

    Friends, I miss her so much. I think with Denise it was always love at first sight. Love just poured out of her like words, like poems. Our souls and minds melded together upon first conversations in New York in the 1980s—continuing almost every night during the pandemic’s last two years, for an hour, two hours sometimes we were like-minded west coasters: She loved to sing, read and hear poetry aloud, word playing in the dark. You should have heard her karaoke Joni Mitchell–an all-time fave-so similar these two lovely songbirds of canyons and golden gardens. The music she made with Michael downstairs in their studio was fantastic and so fun!

    She read her poems about children and mothers, egotistical poets at conferences, teaching Beckett at Andover, poems about hummingbirds and cats, her flowers garden. And elephants, always the elephants. Her photos of pelicans, sea lions from Pacific coastlines, wow. I wish I had a poem of hers to share right now…she’d leave them as messages.

    All the time wiling “away the hours/conferring with the flowers…consulting with the rain….da da da da da da,” exiled in Seattle and Santa Monica…we were always wanting to go somewhere. Back to Costa Rico, New Zealand, her beloved Hawaiian hideaway.

    We had a lot of adventures: way out in SF Golden Gate Park at the buffalo pen feeding chunks of sourdough through the old fence onto thick gray tongues of gentle beasts, and a few meadows west two coyotes crossed the green in front of us – and we knew they were two lost radio sweethearts, CBS newsman Chris Stanley (They went together in NYC) and Steve “Coyote” Capen, FM DJ.

    She had a cool sunken pad in Manhattan that was over time progressively sinking into a west 51st Street SOMETHING between the Hudson River and the Irish Rep.
    Once we jumped on the D train, took it to Yankee Stadium, getting there just in time to see Stevie Wonder. He was opening for Nelson Mandela. What a time it was! Allen Ginsberg singing on the Lower East Side his CIA Calypso during Iran-Contra. Attorney William Kuntsler was there. We went to see Robert Bly read his “leaping” poetry on the upper east side, he brought his own dervishes and the whirling, intimate poems of Rumi, the Persian who wrote his poems to God.

    “Somewhere out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there!”

    At the opening of Hugo Literary House in Seattle, after the serious inaugural readings, we got high in the garden out back and out danced everybody until the band quit and threw us out.

    And wherever Denise went you met new people because she seemed to love them, bringing them into her orbit, creating a larger, closer world. I never filled a moment with anyone as full or as many moments as I did with my Denise Ostrow.

    One afternoon in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, we saw them two coyotes, like we had in Golden Gate. Right on time, this time trailing their shadows in the dust. We knew who they were.

    At a certain point in our lives, Denise and I were Didi and Gogo, playing through time together, magical soul mates–I think that’s who we were!

  • Jessica Sharp says:

    Denise I am so sad to hear of your passing. My heart goes out to your friends and family and pray that the fondest of your memories together bring them peace and comfort. You were such a bright light when you came into the office and I will miss the energy and positivity your radiated. Always so full of kindness I will miss our conversations and cherish the last talk we shared. It was such an honor to be a part of your journey. May your fly free my friend.

  • Kathy Henderson says:

    Almost 2 years have past and I still miss you. Denise was a friend who could love you unconditionally. The only one, really. I hope the afterlife is as beautiful as you are.

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