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Obituary of Dena L Yeagley, 64


Dena Yeagley, 64, of State College died of natural causes Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at home.

Born September 16, 1955 in State College, she was the youngest child of Henry Yeagley Jr., and Becky Yeagley.

For decades, Dena has been the most important figure in the State College skating community. An accomplished figure skater in her own right, she trained in both State College and Hershey PA. At just 16 years old, Dena earned a gold medal in ice dance, U.S. Figure Skating's highest test achievement.

After graduating from State College Area High School, Dena went on to earn her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island. She returned to State College in 1980 to take up the newly formed position of Skating Director at the brand-new Penn State Greenberg Ice Pavilion.

As the first Skating Director at Penn State, and an Instructor in the Kinesiology Department, Dena was the creator and guiding force behind the many programs and events that became hallmarks of the successful program that she built. Thousands of Penn State students took her Ice-Skating classes, which were hugely popular and always full. For decades, local skaters both youth and adults learned to skate through the Ice Pavilion’s group lesson program she supervised. Dena directed the Penn State Skating Camps, which hosted young skaters from all over the country for two weeks of intensive training (and fun) each summer. Her crowning achievement was the creation of Ice Rhythms, the Penn State Ice Show. Under her guidance, the show grew to a highly polished, professional showcase of the talent developed at Penn State, along with national and world-level guest performers. Year after year, Ice Rhythms shows sold out every seat in the Ice Pavilion.

Dena was a Master Rated Free Skating Coach with the Professional Skaters Association and earned the distinction of being a Level IV Coach (National) through the accomplishments of her students.

Along with her program director accomplishments, Dena's legacy lives on in the many, many lives she touched as their individual skating coach. Dena coached hundreds of skaters in her nearly 40-year career. Dena was a wonderful, dedicated professional who cared deeply about her students and their well-being on and off the ice. Dena served as a mentor and example of professionalism for the many young coaches who started their careers on her staff. She has been an integral part of the State College skating community, Nittany Valley Skating Club, and Penn State Skating Program for decades. Her loss is immeasurable, and she will be deeply missed by so many people.

Dena was predeceased by her beloved daughter Abigail, who died November 30, 2003, at the age of 10, from carbon monoxide poisoning. Dena honored Abby's life and legacy by starting the Abby Yeagley Foundation, which supports local figure skaters. Dena also dedicated herself to educating others on the need for CO detectors.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Abby Yeagley Memorial Figure Skating Fund, managed by the Centre Foundation:

Arrangements have been entrusted to Daughenbaugh Funeral Home, Inc 228 S. Pennsylvania Ave. Centre Hall, PA 16828. Services will be held at a later date. An online guest book can be signed or condolences to the family available at

Name of Deceased

Dena L Yeagley



Date of Death


Date of Birth


Funeral Home

Daughenbaugh Funeral Home

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