Colorado native Denise A. Bretting graduated from Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska, in 1972 with a B.A. degree in Sociology and Political Science. She worked in Washington, D.C., for two years in the U.S. Senate before entering law school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She graduated with her J.D. degree in 1978 and was awarded membership in the Order of the Coif, an honor given to the top 10% of law school graduates. She was a writer and editor for the Journal of Air Law & Commerce during her last two years at SMU.

After working with prestigious law firms in Dallas, Texas, Denise moved to Loveland, Colorado in early 1995. She has practiced exclusively in the estate planning/probate administration field since the late 1990's. She is a member of the Trust & Estate Section of the Colorado Bar Association, the Larimer County Bar Association, and belongs to a group of trust/estate attorneys in the Loveland-Fort Collins area who meet regularly for continuing legal education in this specialized field.

Denise has served on a number of non-profit boards since moving to Loveland, including McKee Medical Center Advisory Board, High Plains Environmental Center, Investment Committee of the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, United Way, Loveland Rotary Club, Loveland Rotary Foundation, AIMS Community College Foundation, and Loveland Youth Gardeners. She is also a member of the Downtown Loveland Association.

Denise is married to Mark, and they have two grown sons, Justin & Kevin.

Denise has a number of interests outside of the legal field, including environmental education/sustainability and assisting with various bird research/survey projects in Northern Colorado. She teaches 4th graders in the City's environmental education program, and leads monthly bird surveys at a foothills natural area. She also enjoys hiking, camping, gardening, quilting, reading, cooking, and has trouble fitting them all in.