SALEM, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Denise Lynn (Groom) Riffee passed away at the age of 79 at the Cleveland Clinic on Thursday, September 28, 2023, after battling heart disease.

She was born on August 20, 1944 in Warren, to the late William Richard Groom and Dorothy Irene (Dennison) Groom.

Denise is survived by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom she dearly loved. In order of age and grouped by each family, they include:

Mike and Kate Riffee residing in Columbus, Ohio. Their children and family include Mike and Megan (Riffee) Lippert whose children are Conner and Charlotte and Patrick and Kristen Riffee. 

Rick and Marsha (Riffee) Barker who reside in Hanoverton, Ohio and their children, Tyler Barker and Rich and Carrie Barker. 

Michelle’s daughter’s family includes Donald and Ashley (Lease) McKinley of Wellsville, Ohio whose children are Denise’s great-grandchildren, Allison, Brooklynn, Daxton and Cassidy. 

Monica Riffee who resides in Leetonia, Ohio whose family includes Denise’s granddaughter, Amanda Riffee and Denise’s great-grandchildren, Noah, Jake and Alivia, with whom she was very close.

Mark and Ginger Riffee of Hanoverton, Ohio and their daughters’ families include Joe and Breanne (Riffee) Percy and their children, Pearl and Evelyn and Mark and Brooke (Riffee) Boley and their children, Colton and Lainey. 

William and Kim (Rizzi) Moore reside in LaGrange, Kentucky and their daughters, Ellie and Maria. 

Lastly, Denise is survived by her 14-year-old cat, Mya, who was very special to her. 

Denise was devoted to her faith in Jesus. She was an avid thrifter who could really find a bargain. She liked to sew, crochet and knit; was a long-time gardener who loved to can and cook fresh foods and she loved movies, especially sci-fi and action films and mysteries. Denise loved her life and her family and friends with strong feelings and she made sure they were felt and known by those around her. She will be greatly missed. 

Denise was a member of Locust Grove Baptist Church and deeply loved her church and church family.   

Denise is preceded in death by her first husband, Joseph Salvatore Rizzi who died in 1979 after 12 years of marriage. Denise is also preceded in death by her husband and best friend, Billy Jo Riffee, who died in 2008 after 25 years of shared life together. In addition, she is preceded in death by her stepdaughter, Michelle (Riffee) Lease and a great-granddaughter, Autumn Boley, who both passed away in 2020. 

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at Locust Grove Baptist Church at 12015 Washingtonville Road, Salem, Ohio, with calling hours at 10:00 a.m. followed by a service at 12:00 p.m. led by Pastor Bob Noble; burial to immediately follow in the church cemetery. 

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Arrangements are being handled by Stark Memorial Funeral Home and Cremation Services. To send condolences, or order flowers visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Denise L. Riffee, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Monday, October 2 at the following approximate times: 6:47 a.m. on WYTV, 9:43 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.