Jean D. Lena (nee Riccio), 89, longtime resident of Oak Park, died on Aug. 28, 2020. Born in Chicago on July 27, 1931 to Eugene and Eulalia Riccio, she was proud of her 35+ years as a switchboard operator at West Suburban Hospital, where she was known to many as “Operator Jean,” before retiring in 2005. Before her career as an operator, she worked many years as a bridal dress consultant at Carson Pirie Scott and Gilmore’s department stores. She loved cooking for her family and friends and loved gardening and fixing and decorating her home. Her kitchen door was always open with something good cooking on the stove and perhaps some lively conversation. Her family was her world.
Jean was married for 53 years to the love of her life, the late Ronald C., who died in 2007. She is survived by her children, Karen (Frank) Cartwright, Richard (Kathy), Tom (Jennifer) and Diane Lena; her grandchildren, Lauren (Timothy) Trisler, Jean, Frank (Jamie) and Madeline, Charlie and Molly Lena, Christine, Matthew and Michael Lena; and her great-grandchildren, Jack, Audra and Carmella. She was the sister of James (Joellen) and Eugene (Patricia) Riccio. She was preceded in death by her granddaughter, the late Maggie Cartwright, and her sister, the late Marie Wolande.
A visitation was held Friday, Sept. 4 at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home followed by a private Mass at St. Edmund Church and burial at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.