Brianna Zunino Denison, known for her million-dollar-smile and sparkling blue eyes, her tremendous outgoing nature and compassion, died in Reno, Nevada after being abducted on January 20, 2008. She was 19 years old.
Brianna was born on March 29, 1988. She was lovingly known by her mother as Breezy, because she reminded her of a “breath of fresh air on a cool summer day.”
She spent her childhood in Reno, Nevada, and in her mother’s native town of Mendocino, California. Brianna’s passion for traveling and world cultures took her to Hawaii, New York, Mexico, Jamaica, Japan, Italy, Egypt, Hungary, Austria, and France. She studied abroad in Rome, Italy for a year with her family. Her ability to connect with people from all walks of life became part of her radiant personality.
When Jeff and Bridgette Denison’s children, Brianna and Brighton, were born, they considered them to be the greatest gifts of their lives.
Brianna was raised in the tradition of honoring children as our most precious possessions. Brianna’s mother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends instilled in her the merits of being a loving, spiritual, respectful and trusting human being.
She loved children and animals; especially her dog, Ozzy.
Brianna graduated from Reno High School in 2006. She was a sophomore at Santa Barbara City College, majoring in child psychology.
She is survived by her mother, Bridgette Zunino-Denison and younger brother Brighton Denison of Reno, her maternal grandparents Bob and Barbara Zunino of Mendocino, her maternal uncle, John Zunino and her cousin Ashley Zunino.
She also leaves behind her paternal grandmother, Carol (Fifi) Pierce, her aunts, Lauren Denison and Rena Denison Terry, uncles Mark Denison and Steve Terry, and 13 loving cousins, along with many extended family members throughout Nevada and California.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to her Foundation, “Bring Bri Justice” to help bring her killer to justice.