Diane Fenolio, age 73, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 after a short and thankfully painless battle with pancreatic cancer.
Diane was born on June 28, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois, the first of three children. In 1970, Diane met her greatest love Chuck at JC Penny. She worked in the wig department while Chuck worked in the shoe department. Chuck was shoes-on-the-ground for the family working full time while Diane transitioned between the roles of hairdresser and stay at home mom. Their marriage began with Chuck’s arrest and being placed into a paddy wagon at their wedding, which took a moment or two before they realized it was a joke, setup by some of their close friends.
They began having kids in 1973, creating a family of six to include: Chuckie, Jason, Kimmy, and Jeremy. Diane loved being a mother to her four children. She was room mother for each kid, making sure to stay active and involved both at home and at school. At home, she loved watching the kids swim in the pool or taking them with Chuck and her on fishing excursions to Optimist Park. She loved the family vacations to Branson, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Tennessee, and in later years to visit some of her children who had moved away.
Other trips Diane loved were to the casino with close friends as well as their outings to different restaurants in the area. She was a bit of a gambler and a foodie!
Everyone knew of Diane’s sweet tooth and her love of chocolate. Her stove often had some kind of baked good sitting on it and her freezer was always stocked with a variety of ice creams.
Over the years, Diane exhibited her love of crafting through many different hobbies: wood working, toll painting, gel candle making, essential oil bottle holders, painting canvases, photography, pressing flowers, jewelry making, crocheting doilies, afghans, beanies, and even anatomically correct animals.
Not to be forgotten is Diane’s love of flowers. She had beautiful flower gardens at each of their homes over the years. Her house featured many plants and assortments of fresh cut flowers at any given time. She always wanted everyone else to enjoy them as well, so often gave plants as gifts, whether you knew how to keep them alive or not!
Diane adored her grandchildren and spending the time that she could with them. They would, of course, work on crafts together, make jewelry, shakes, fairy gardens and bird houses, go to Tyler’s Tender, and have laughter filled game nights.
She is survived by four loving children, Charles Fenolio IV and wife Tatiana, Jason Fenolio and wife Tara, Kimberly Fenolio, Jeremy Fenolio and wife Shelly; 10 cherished grandchildren, Jacob Celestin, Alyssa, Anna, Karina, Isabelle, Aaron, Ethan, Kyra, Caleb, and Kole; brother Richard; other loved ones and friends. Diane is preceded in death by her husband Charles Fenolio III; sister Barbara English (Leverenz); parents Doris Malek (Swallow) and Paul Leverenz.
The visitation and service will be held at the FAGEN-MILLER FUNERAL HOME, 8580 Wicker Ave in St John on Friday, March 17, 2023 from 2 – 6 PM with service at 6 PM.
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