Denham Court dedicated in memory of late public servant

Published 12:14 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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By Matt Cizek

As the executive director of the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Development Authority, Todd Denham made the pursuit of economic development in Winchester a large part of his life’s work.

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It’s only fitting that a section in the industrial park he served bears his name.

In memory of the late public servant, Denham Court, located along Rolling Hills Lane, was dedicated on the afternoon of Monday, Nov. 20.

Denham passed away in April 2022 at age 52 following a battle with cancer.

“We remember…Todd Denham as we dedicate this street in his name in this place in which he gave much of his life,” said Jerry Johns, the senior minister at First Christian Church of Winchester, during an opening prayer. “We acknowledge that he was indeed a gift to us. The dedication of this street is the community’s gift to Todd’s memory.”

In a testament to his hard work and respect from the community, numerous individuals lined the street for the ceremony. They paid tribute to the man they knew personally and professionally.

Among the individuals present were Winchester City Commissioners Kitty Strode and Kenny Book, Clark County Magistrate Robert Blanton, former Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham, Clark County Deputy Judge-Executive James Tipton, Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cindy Banks, BCTC Winchester-Clark County Campus Director Bruce Manley and more.

Denham’s parents, Calvin and Harriett Denham, wife, Roni-Anne, and daughter, Makenna, were also in attendance.

Brad Sowden, the current director of the industrial authority, spoke to the crowd.

“He was a friend and true visionary,” said Sowden. “I can remember vividly being on a site visit with Todd and him telling me [that] one day we’re going to have to build an access road…and I remember him making a statement that we [have] got to sell all the land on Rolling Hills [Lane] first. Well, we’ve sold all the land on Rolling Hills. This truly is the access road that he mentioned years ago.”

The celebration date had a special meaning. Monday would have been Denham’s birthday.

Along with Sowden, speakers included Todd’s wife, Roni-Anne.

“We made Winchester our home for our entire married life. He lived in many communities, and he always said that Winchester was his favorite,” Denham said. “We made so many good friends here. I know that he would be very honored and very grateful.”

She also quoted Will Rogers, the actor and social commentator who was a personal favorite of Denham’s.

“What constitutes a life well spent, anyway? Love and admiration from your fellow men is all that anyone can ask”, Rogers said.

Winchester Mayor JoEllen Reed also took time to recognize Todd.

She described him as dependable, loyal, colorful, and more, and remembered Todd’s supportive actions after her mother’s passing.

“I think Todd and Roni-Anne were the first people to [come to] our home that night, and I will never forget that,” Reed said.

Shortly after, a picture was taken with all attendees in front of the Denham Court street sign as the ribbon was cut, naming the street in his honor.

Many then attended a small reception at Woody’s Sports Bar for food and drink.

With Denham Court now standing, a man who lived serving Winchester will forever have his name present.

“Todd loved his family. He loved Roni-Anne more than I could ever say. He loved his coworkers. They were a team. They all depended on each other,” Reed said. “Todd loved this city, and he loved this community. And guess what? We loved him!”