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Diane Marie (Née: Pasqualucci, Volante) Jensen, 79, of Park Ridge, IL, died on September 2nd, 2023.
She was born in Ironwood, MI on April 18th, 1944 to Lucille Pasqualucci and Leonard Volante while Leonard was off fighting in Italy as part of the 10th Mountain Division and Lucille was home working as a Rosie the Riveter. Diane Marie and her three younger sisters and brother were raised on the north side of Chicago and part of St. Benedict’s Parish.
Diane met the love of her life, Joe, in February 1963 at Saint Alphonsus Catholic Church’s young adults club Valentine’s dance. A fond memory of the special night was Joe and Diane dancing up a rock and roll storm. Joe was sweating profusely and Diane would take his handkerchief out of his sport coat to wipe his forehead as they continued to dance the night away. It was the most sweet and thoughtful gesture Joe always remembered. Earlier that night Diane walked all the way to the dance from her house, Joe wanting to make sure she got home safe and on time, offered her a ride home. Diane gladly accepted and on that special ride home the song “At Long Last Love” by Frank Sinatra played as Joe made sure Diane was dropped off at 11pm sharp. Fast forward 14 months later, excited to start their new lives together, the two were married on Diane’s birthday on April 18th, 1964 at St. Benedict Parish. As many friends and family know, the song “At Long Last Love” had so much meaning to Joe and Diane that they chose to have it engraved on their wedding bands along with their wedding date.
Joe and Diane were long time members of St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Paul of the Cross parishes as well as members and Auxiliary Ministers at St. Mary of the Woods for 20 years! Diane continued to give back to her community as President of the Women’s Auxiliary at the Altar and Rosary Society for 5 years. She was an active member of Ridgemoor Country Club, where she was once the President of the Lady’s Golf Club and only two weeks ago, Diane played and won the women’s senior C Club Championship! Residents at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida, Diane founded many relationships over the last five decades at their winter home. A special time for Diane was playing cards after golf with her friends either at Ridgemoor or Innisbrook - a high stakes cards game of 10-cents a round! When Diane returned home on that Tuesday or Thursday, Joe always jokingly asked Diane, “how much did we lose today, Honey.” Outside of golf and cards, Diane loved fashion and design and was known for her playful and timeless style. In her early years, on January 6th, 1970, she was featured in the Chicago Sun-Times Parade Magazine for the Beeline at home fashion show. From her famous red lipstick to her unique jewelry and accessories, Diane always stood out from the crowd.
She loved cooking, baking, crocheting, and making care packages for her grandchildren and all of their closest friends, one of Diane’s favorite roles was that as a grandparent. She treasured her time with her grandkids and loved being their Grandma, never failing to make sure they were taken care of and well fed. She was known for her infamous (and best) banana bread, Alec’s favorite breaded pork tenderloin, and her handcrafted, picture-filled birthday cards. Their fondest memory growing up was spending a whole day at Grandma’s cooking, baking, and eating all the pasta and desserts two grandkids could ever desire. There was never a picture at Grandma’s without pasta sauce-stained shirts and frosting filled spoons.
Diane had many friends from all walks of life and anyone who knew Diane knew she had a gift for crafts of all kinds. One of her many skills was card making. Her cards are famously stamped “made by Diane” and you can spot them from a mile away, each uniquely made and no two cards alike. Diane loved to make cards for occasions and as gifts to family and friends. Diane was also skilled in crochet. She crocheted blankets and scarves for family and friends, as well as doggie blankets. Every blanket and scarf were custom to the person receiving it and were made with love down to every last detail. Her hobbies were always centered around giving back to others.
To know Diane was to love Diane. She was known for her endless generosity and love for her family and friends. Her love language was gift giving in all shapes and forms - she left everyone better than how she found them. We couldn’t have asked for a better wife, mother, sibling or grandmother and will miss her every day. Diane’s memory will continue to live on in all of our hearts.
Diane was preceded in death by her father, Leonard, her mother, Lucille, her sister, Marina and is survived by her husband, Joseph Sr., her two children, Joseph Jr. (LaNae Libreri) and Jeffrey, her two grandchildren, Alec and Jillian, her sisters, Lenore (Jim) and Marilee (Bill) and her brother, Frank (Cindy). She is also survived by her many nieces and nephews, Michael and Christine, Melissa and Michael, John and Tom, Keith and Neal and non-related nieces and nephews Steven, Susan and Sandy, Peter and Tom.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, September 10, 4-8 p.m. at Ryan-Parke Funeral Home, 120 S. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge. Funeral Monday, 12 noon from funeral home to St. Paul of the Cross Church. Mass 12:30 p.m. (Mass can be viewed via live stream at www.spc-church.org) Interment will be private.