RIPLEY - Dreama Denver, widow of Bob “Gilligan” Denver will be the Grand Marshall for the 2014 Ripley Fourth of July Parade.
“The 4th of July Celebration is honored to have Dreama Denver as this year’s Grand Parade Marshal,” said 4th chairman John McGinley. “The widow of “Gilligan” and WV native is a great example of the “Volunteer Spirit” by working with special needs children and our country’s veterans.”
Actress, writer, radio station owner and personality Dreama Denver will forever been known as “Gilligan’s Wife”. Dreama met her husband of almost 30 years, television icon Bob Denver (Gilligan of Gilligan’s Island, Maynard G. Krebs of Dobie Gillis), when she was cast as his love interest in the Woody Allen play, “Play It Again, Sam”. After marrying the popular television personality, Dreama continued her acting career, appearing in a Gilligan’s Island reunion movie with Bob, co-starring with him in a TV pilot titled “Scamps” and touring the U.S. and Canada successfully and happily with her husband for over a decade.
The birth of the Denver’s son Colin, diagnosed with severe autism, changed everything for Bob and Dreama, who retired from show business and moved back to West Virginia to devote the next two decades to Colin’s full time care. During this time, the pair also founded The Denver Foundation, which honors their son and is dedicated to assisting special needs children and their families.
“The Denver Foundation and Little Buddy Radio, a nonprofit radio station owned and operated by the Foundation, were Bob’s last and most important legacies,” Dreama says, “and carrying on in his place, making these two entities as successful as possible became my mission after Bob passed away. His desire to give back to West Virginia was huge. He loved this area, considered himself an adopted West Virginian and was a tireless ambassador for the state. Regardless of how important and far reaching his television legacy was, and is, his love for our son and his desire to help other families like ours trumped even that.”
In the last year, the Denver Foundation has expanded to include Always Free Honor Flight, a nonprofit organization that honors our WV veterans by taking them, at no cost to the veteran, to our nation’s capitol to see the memorials built to honor their sacrifices for this country.
Dreama’s recently published memoir, “Gilligan’s Dreams’, recounting her almost 30 year marriage to Bob, which took them from the Hollywood Hills to the hills of West Virginia, is her most personal gift to Bob, detailing their journey through autism with their son and Bob’s courage the last 6 months of his life.
Page 2 of 2 - “Bob would be proud,” Dreama says. “I honestly didn’t think I could live without him, but I came to understand that the best way to honor his memory was to live a full and happy life, carrying on the work he started with a heart as big as his.”