A memorial mass celebrating the life of Mrs. Dianne Zeinoun will be held on Tuesday 4/25/2023 in Danbury, CT at St. Anthony’s Maronite Catholic Church on Granville Ave. Dianne Zeinoun, resident of Danbury, CT since 2017, and most recently a resident at Maplewood Senior Living in Newtown, CT, passed away peacefully Wednesday morning, March 29, 2023.
Dianne was born in Cleburne, TX to William Treat Berry and Mary Allison Berry of Hill County, Texas. She grew up in Cleburne, TX, graduating in 1962 from Cleburne High School. Dianne attended one year of college at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX before beginning a job at the First State Bank of Rio Vista (“The Cow Pasture Bank”) near her hometown. She was nurtured and loved by her boss, Mr. Niles Smith and his wife Shirley Smith. She then applied for a job to work for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where she was accepted and worked and lived in the D.C. area in the mid-1960s. While there, she expressed interest in working abroad for the State Department, and shortly thereafter, she was stationed as a secretary at the United States Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. It was there that Mom met the love of her life.
At a fated evening party hosted by the embassy, Mom met and introduced herself to a dapper, young man named Bob Zeinoun, who worked at the time for Pan American Airlines as an affiliate for the airway to embassy staff. At that party, our parents sparked an immediate connection and love that would unite them for the next 56 years.
Married on December 14, 1969 in Beirut, Dianne and Bob continued their love, with Bob starting his handbag manufacturing business, named Honey Bunch Handbags after the nickname our mom coined for our father, Honey Bunch. They resided there shortly, and also briefly back in Texas, where their first daughter, Allison Jamal Zeinoun was born. Fourteen months later, they welcomed Jennifer Amal (affectionately known as Amal by family), born in Beirut. They resided briefly in New York City in 1973 before Amal was born, living on 33rd and Third Avenue. They then moved their family to Armonk, NY, about 40 miles north of New York City, to begin their domestic life, with Dad commuting into the city to grow his new business.
It was here that Mom hit her stride. She was a wonderful and nurturing mother, teaching Allison and Amal to read early, letting them create stores and imaginative plays in their playroom upstairs, as well as pretend restaurants in their basement where Dad would teach them to play ping-pong and billiards next to the wood burning stove, and where the girls would sled outside in the winter while Mom prepared hot cocoa and Arabic bread. Mom was the PTA secretary for the girls’ school, St. Patrick’s Parochial School in Bedford, NY, and she was a stay-at-home mother until the girls were in seventh and eighth grade. She was bustling with life, welcoming, jovial, the life of the party, often impersonating the “Big Bopper” singer and other songwriters from the 1950s. She welcomed swarms of Dad’s growing Lebanese family, nieces and nephews, at pool parties in the summer. She tirelessly taught her daughters the value in working hard, remaining curious, striving to do their best, helping others, and always extending to others (friends and strangers alike) kindness and inclusivity. Each summer, she would travel with the girls to see their family in Texas, emphasizing the importance and love of family.
Dianne also began working in 1987 as a secretary for John Flynn Consulting Engineers in Bedford, NY. She remained a beautiful and dedicated employee to and friend of the Flynns and her coworkers until her retirement in 2004.
Dianne lived in Armonk from 1975 until 2001, moving just two days after 9/11 to Somers, NY to live in the Greenbriar community. It was here that Bob and Dianne lived for twenty years, nurturing their growing family, including their beautiful grandchildren born to Jennifer Amal and Charlie Tallard, intermixed with Allison’s three children. Mom and Dad even acted as caregivers to each of Allison’s three children in the first years of their lives. Mom was a talented pianist and ever the cheerleader to Bob, her children, and her grandchildren. Her zest for life, particularly before her recent decline in the last three years, was her most beautiful quality; this, along with her genuine and warm smile, her tight hugs, and her sense of humor, are what we will miss most about Mom.
Dianne and Bob even took an adventure to live in Willowbrook, Il near Amal’s family from 2015 until 2017. They loved and invested themselves fully in attending all of the sporting and school events for Amal’s children in Hinsdale, IL, often playing tennis and cheering on their grandkids, before they moved back to the east coast in March 2017 to live closer to Allison and her family. Mom lived at Maplewood Senior Living in Newtown, CT the last two years of her life.
Dianne is survived by her loving husband, Bob Zeinoun of Danbury, CT, her two daughters, Allison Zeinoun Ferrier and her husband, Jason Ferrier, and Jennifer Amal Zeinoun Tallard and her husband, Charlie Tallard; their six grandchildren, Madeline, Will, and Zack Tallard and Samuel, Lily, and Emmeline Ferrier; as well as her brother, Bill Berry and his wife, Patti, of Cleburne, TX, in addition to multiple cousins in Texas and nieces and nephews in the New York area.
Dianne Zeinoun will always be remembered for the sweet and giving soul that she was, and as a devoted wife to Bob and a loving mother to Allison and Amal.
Dianne will be buried at Peoria Cemetery, Peoria, TX at 11am on Monday, April 10, 2023. All are welcome to attend the burial. A memorial of her life—a mass followed by a luncheon--will be held at St. Anthony’s Maronite Catholic Church in Danbury, CT on April 25, 2023, from 11:30am to 12:30pm, with a meal downstairs at St. Anthony's Church from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in her memory to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or to Regional Hospice of CT (for whose support and care these last two months the family are so grateful).
More information can be found at www.jowdykanefuneralhome.com as well as www.marshallandmarshallfd.com in Texas.
Dianne certainly achieved the goal noted by famous author Ralph Waldo Emerson—
“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
Au revois, Mom— “until we meet again.”
Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western CT
30 Milestone Road, Danbury CT 06810
National Alliance on Mental Illness
4301 Wilson Boulevard Suite 300, Arlington VA 22203
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