Mourners memorialize officer’s end of watch

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Gentle Giant. Big ’n. The President of the Computer Nerd Herd. Sully from Monsters Inc. The Kid Whisperer.

Those are just a few of the nicknames Littleton Police Officer Kevin Denner was known by, but those who knew him say many more words describe him.

Kind. Dedicated. Solid. Beloved. Strong. Gentle. Loyal. Decent. Outstanding. Inspiring. Good. Husband. Father.

“As large as his stature was, his personality was even larger,” Interim Chief Gene Enley said through tears during the memorial service held at Mission Hills Church on the morning of May 10. “Kevin dedicated himself to protecting those who could not protect themselves.”

But there was nobody who could protect Denner enough to save him on May 6.

Denner was riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle when, police believe, the driver of a Toyota failed to yield the right of way. Denner struck the vehicle’s passenger side and died at the scene.

Julie Anderson was there, just passing by when it happened. She says Denner died peacefully, with no fear on his face.

“We all wanted and waited for a miracle, but none was to come,” she told hundreds of mourners as law-enforcement officers stood vigil over Denner’s casket, draped in the American flag, and most of the Littleton Police Department looked on.

Officer Krista Bunten worked closely with Denner in the detective unit, where he specialized in catching Internet predators. The looming 6-foot-7 officer would pose as a young teen, trying to lure them in.

“He was a police officer without a mean bone in his body,” said Bunten. She cried as she told his wife, Kristin, and young children, Kaidin and Kaitlin, how much he loved them.

Enley said the most important mark Denner leaves on the world is his family, and he asked the Littleton Police Department to literally and figuratively stand behind them.

“This is the only payment I can offer for you sharing Kevin with us,” he said.

Family friend David Phelps said Denner’s dedication to the department was clear.

“He really wanted to serve,” he said. “He had no agenda. He was just a really solid guy.”

Following the service, a huge contingent of police vehicles escorted the funeral procession to Littleton Cemetery, where Denner was laid to rest.

“Our prayers are with you as you move into your future,” said Pastor Rick Derbyshire.