Dena was born in South Carolina to Marvin and Eva Geddings. She became a widow with her first marriage to Mr. Brunson. She married secondly to William Ardis, Jr., a member of the Ardis family of Paxville and Manning.
Dena worked as a teacher's aide for Manning's only elementary school.
She passed away in 1991 at the age of 69 due to Alzheimer's.