Romeoville woman saw good things in everyday life
By Denise Baran-Unland Correspondent November 11, 2012 8:12PM
Updated: December 13, 2012 10:19AM
Susan Zeno, of Romeoville, understood what it takes some individuals a lifetime to learn: The wonders of daily living.
For many years, Susan worked as a lunchroom and recess aide for Robert C. Hill Elementary School in Romeoville. She was an active member of St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Parish in Romeoville and the Moose Lodge of Lockport.
Susan also liked to don her prettiest dress for a night of dancing with her husband, Jerry. Twice weekly until she was nearly 70, Susan laced up her skates and rolled around the Aurora Skate Center.
“She was a caring person that loved to call up people and have conversations,” said Laureen Lash, of Chicago, Susan’s daughter.
Susan could turn a simple trip to the doctor’s office into an adventure. Laureen’s dwarfism meant many such childhood visits to an Oak Park specialist, by bus, since at the time Susan did not drive.
“It’d be just the two of us hanging out,” Laureen said. “Then we would go out for ice cream. After I got married, I’d pick her up and we’d go shopping and then out to eat. It was our special time together.”
Although Susan enjoyed the occasional embroidery or craft project, it was her deep love for sewing that Susan passed to Laureen. When Laureen was a little girl, Susan sewed rag dolls, doll clothes and Halloween costumes. They later collaborated on Christmas gifts.
“We even shared the sewing machine,” Laureen said. “We just brought it back and forth to each other’s houses.”
Susan read nonfiction, played Scrabble and watched television programs about history, wildlife and geography. She devoured Reader’s Digest — Susan had a decades-long subscription — and her favorite section was Word Power.
“She liked learning new things,” Laureen said. “She’d call me up to talk about an interesting program she saw. She was a lifetime student.”
After Susan’s Aug. 12 death at the age of 72, when Laureen selected a shiny jacket to accompany one of her mother’s dresses, the undertaker suggested Laureen bring Susan’s favorite dancing shoes, too.
“He said this way she’ll be all ready to meet my daddy when he gets to heaven,” Laureen said. “So we picked out her nicest pair and now she’s all ready to go.”
Contact Denise M. Baran-Unland
at 815-467-5249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.