Pia Denkewalter Memorial Scholarship
Pia-Margrethe Denkewalter was born April 9, 1981, and died in a climbing accident on Byron Glacier August 4, 1996 at age 15.
Pia was an avid outdoor sports enthusiast and a student at West High. She excelled in many sports, participating in cross country skiing and track at West High, and she participated in training groups and camps in those sports. She was also a soccer player with Team Alaska. She had just discovered mountain biking when she died. Pia was a fierce competitor who was always eager to try something new.
Her family, Paul and Mary Kaye Denkewalter, and sisters, Ingrid and Grethe, remember this about her:
“Pia loved reading, particularly history. Her flare for fashion was one of her trademarks. She also was a movie buff, memorizing lines, scenes and musical scores from dozens of movies – Monty Python was her favorite. A musician for many years, she played the violin.
“Pia was a perfectionist who refused to do anything halfway – she was proud of being a 4.0 student at West High School. Always a lady, she had no qualms about speaking out for what she believed. Pia set goals for herself and worked tirelessly to achieve them.
“Her friends, who treasured her enthusiasm and her sense of humor, will miss the way Pia could always make them laugh. Her wit and outlook on life frequently took center stage whenever friends and family were gathered. She was a loyal and steady friend. She will always be remembered by her family and many friends who loved her.”
In addition to this scholarship, there is an annual cross country skiing race in Anchorage named for Pia, Pia’s Classic.