It is with a heavy heart that the children of Dorothy Frances Di Leo announce her passing though this life on October 20, 2018. She was the mother of seven children, grandmother to 21, great-grandmother to five, and a faithful friend to many.
She was born on March 24, 1929 to John and Margaret Heffernan, the only daughter and the youngest of three children. When she was a very young girl the family moved to Mussel Shoals, AL. She grew up a daughter of the South, and it was there she cultivated a graceful manner and sense of decorum that she carried with her all of her days. She attended Georgetown University and received her nursing degree in 1950. It was while she was at Georgetown she met Joseph Di Leo, her loving husband of 63 years. Their happy years at Georgetown were a constant source of pride and nostalgia throughout their long lives, and they remained active in alumni activities for almost 60 years.
Our mother was a deeply faithful congregant of Nativity of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church, and her devotion to her faith was a hallmark of her life. Her faith informed her considerable philanthropic activities; dozens of charitable organizations were the beneficiaries of her sustained generosity. She considered it her privilege and responsibility to support those in need, and she gave with a heart full of gratitude for her good fortune and many blessings.
Even though she retired from nursing with the birth of her first child in 1954, she identified as a nurse for the rest of her life. She returned to the work force in 1985, when she began a 15-year career as a fine jewelry specialist at Sterns and later Fortunoff. It was a career that married her love of jewelry with her considerable powers of persuasion. Anyone who knew her will attest to this fact: she was always the most impeccably dressed woman in any room, and our father and siblings were lucky to be graced by her effortless sense of style. It is a testament to the complexity of her character that her elegance was counterbalanced by her genuine unpretentious nature and salty sense of humor.
Our mother is pre-deceased by our father Joseph Di Leo and our sister Mary Di Leo Howard, with whom she is now reunited. She leaves behind her children Anne Di Leo, Margaret Hurley (Gary), Anthony Di Leo (Frances), Angela Di Leo, Maura Fiore (Peter), and Alicia Di Leo (Brett Palmer), and all of our children and grandchildren.
We will carry her memory with us forever.
A Memorial Gathering will be from 7-9pm on Friday November 2, 2018 at the M. David DeMarco Funeral Home, Inc. 205 Rhode Hall Rd. Monroe Twp., NJ 08831, 732-521-0555. A Memorial Mass will be 9:30am on Saturday November 3, 2018 at Nativity of Our Lord RC Church, 185 Applegarth Rd. Monroe Twp., NJ 08831 followed by Entombment of Dorothy’s Cremated Remains in Holy Cross Burial Park Mausoleum, South Brunswick.