Denise Gonzales grew up in Colorado and has deep roots in both Colorado and Iowa. Her great-great-great uncles were some of the early pioneers of Colorado, having settled here from Iowa in 1860. One of her uncles, David McShane, constructed an old stone fort on his ranch outside of Monument, Colorado in 1865 and it was used by many pioneer families to protect against attacks from Native Americans. He later went on to become the first postmaster, a council member for El Paso County and was a developer. He built several railroad lines and built 10 reservoirs in El Paso County. He also discovered and developed the Bison Mine. Another great-great-great uncle owned/worked part of the famous Gunnell mine and had the first mercantile establishment in Central City, Colorado long before it became a gambling town. Denise’s father was a cattle rancher outside of Matheson, Colorado where they lived when she was a young child.
Denise attended Metropolitan State College in Denver where she majored in Criminal Justice and had a minor in Philosophy. She graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Denise went to law school at the University of Denver where she graduated in 2001. Denise was a law clerk for Judge Robert H. Russell of the 18th Judicial District from 2000-2002. Denise got her first “attorney” job as a Deputy District Attorney in El Paso County where she worked from 2002-2008. She then went into private practice where she represented the State of Colorado in child support enforcement actions and transitioned her practice into family law and civil litigation.
Denise has one daughter, Mary, who is attending Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN on a vocal contemporary music scholarship. When not working, Denise enjoys oil painting and planning trips to visit Mary.