Florence Mary Yannes Duesterberg, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, passed away on August 5 at the full age of 98. She was born in Nuremberg, Pennsylvania to Lawrence and Mary Yannes and was the eldest of 6 children. She is survived by her younger brother James Yannes of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, her five daughters Lisa Bender, Patty Decker, Luann Duesterberg-Colbert, Beth Buchholz and Peggy Foley and their families and her 16 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
She graduated from St Agnes Hospital School of Nursing and worked in Obstetrics, Emergency, Geriatrics, Home Health Care and Psychiatric Nursing for over 40 years. She was Dean of students at Penn State University and coached the woman's basketball team. She married Louis Duesterberg on September 3, 1955 and was married for 49 years until his death in 2004.
They were avid bridge players, beach combers and Cruise lovers. Commitment to family was paramount and faith and devotion to God foundational. Consequently, many others were drawn into the home and considered "family members" and Florence's Mama arms extended to many over the years. Her signature character qualities included a constant heart of gratitude, often in the midst of some daunting circumstances.
Her knee jerk empathy response to peoples pain was to give financially or give of her own service to their particular need. Yes. She could do this because she washed her used ziplock bags. Every child and grandchild got a birthday card every year and the infamous birthday song, on the phone, off key.
Her life highlights were her undying sacrificial love for daughters, her dogged determination to educate each family member at the collegiate level and her unending efforts to "keep the family together". Her prayer life was just plain inspirational. Her laughter and love for connection with people brought so many hearts together.
She was the wind beneath our feet, our biggest champion and the the ever constant exhorter to stand tall and be counted. It is a joy to honor and celebrate her life at a memorial service/mass at Saint Joseph Chapel at Holy Cross College next to Andre House in Notre Dame, Indiana. Visitation will be from 9:30am to 10:30am at the Chapel followed immediately by mass at 10:30.
Donations can be made to Christ Child Society in South Bend, Indiana where she volunteered for years on behalf of the children of St. Joe county.