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Patricia J. Diener
March 17, 1941 ~ August 28, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old
Patricia J. Diener (nee Howes), known to her loved ones as Pat, passed away peacefully on August 28, 2023, in Barrington, IL, at the age of 82. She was born on March 17, 1941, in Chicago, Illinois. Pat was a woman of intelligence, independence and strength, traits she no doubt learned from her mother. She had a curious mind, a love for reading and a wry wit, traits she carried with her throughout her life.
Pat received her English degree from Loyola University in 1963, demonstrating her commitment to education and continuing what would be a lifelong love of reading - indeed her collection of books was immense. She was always happy to give books away to anyone that would enjoy them - oftentimes putting a cart of books in front of her house with a simple "free" sign - hoping her joy could be shared with others. The idea of discarding a book was absolutely anathema to her.
She married Albert Diener of Dunkirk, Indiana in 1963 and went on to have four children, three boys and a girl - all while moving from Chicago to England to Georgia to California and eventually back to Illinois. She devoted many years to focus on raising the four children, with countless sleepless nights, tummy aches, school lunches and emergency room visits - often joking the kids had a special talent to injure themselves in a new and unique way, such as one of the boys (I won't name names) who decided to climb a very large tree in order to get a stick (a stick!), and then promptly fall out of said tree. Boys. During this time she was also taking on roles of den mother for a cub scout troop, official scorekeeper for countless baseball seasons, and even preparing and assembling the league-wide team rosters, schedules and directory for an entire youth baseball league - in a time when the personal computer had yet to be invented and word processing consisted of correction tape.
She rejoined the paid workforce with Kemper Insurance and held various positions at the State Bank of Lake Zurich, working her way up from teller to assistant manager during her time there. She was always friendly and professional to her colleagues and her customers. When life threw her a major curveball, she rose to the challenge and reinvented herself. After moving cross-country she joined a small tech company in California that specialized in mortgage software - leveraging her extensive banking experience. In a field dominated by computer savvy people half her age, she was able to bring her practical knowledge to bear and became a valued member of the team, where she remained until her retirement.
In her free time, Pat indulged in her hobbies of reading, games and solving crosswords. She was an avid Scrabble player, often traveling to local, regional and national tournaments, making friends along the way. Playing against her was fun but often a humbling experience - she was invariably kind and smile sweetly at you - just prior to playing the most obscure word to rack up a ridiculously high word score and add to her now insurmountable lead. In reality, she enjoyed all manner of games, from dominoes to Texas hold-em, pinochle to bridge - but the most enjoyable part was spending time visiting and laughing with her friends.
Pat is survived by her four loving children, John (Malissa) Diener of Chandler, AZ, Matt (Karen) Diener of Hawthorn Woods, IL, Chris (Tatiana) Diener of Silver Springs, MD, and her youngest child Jen (Ken) Elsey of Forsyth, IL as well as her cherished grandchildren, Quinton, Nia, Emily, Thomas, Erica, Abigail, Catalina, Tatiana, and Stephanie. She was preceded in death by her mother, Margaret Berg, and her sisters, Jane Howes and Lorieta Howes.
A visitation to honor and remember Pat will be held on Thursday, August 31, at Davenport Funeral Home, located at 149 W. Main St, Barrington, IL 60010, from 10:00am to 12:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that contributions be made to the American Cancer Society or a hospice near you. These organizations were dear to Pat's heart, and any support would be greatly appreciated.
Pat will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. Her memory will forever live on in the hearts of her family and friends.