Jane Ardella DiGeorge was born on August 10, 1935. She was a raven-haired beauty from Stuebenville, Ohio. She had an incredible smile and laugh. She was one of the tennis ladies who played every day at Cambridge Racket Club then went to lunch at the old Bootlegger. Those tennis days were the happiest days of her life. We were a tennis family. She worked for a company selling show tickets. Best employee they ever had. We went to lots of shows together...Avenue Q, Mystere, Starlight Express, Suzanne Sommers, even Zumanity (probably not the best show to see with your mom). She was a great mom to many. She had three sons...Arnie (me), Dean and Shawn. She also took in most of our friends who weren’t doing well at home. She said we broke everything of value she ever had. We drove her crazy but she loved us like crazy anyway. Shawn was a motorcycling, base-jumping, dare-deviling maniac. He died and I had to tell mom at her work. She just kept saying, “No, it’s not true,” over and over again. That day was almost as awful as Friday when she died. We would vacation in Newport Beach at the Marriott by Fashion Island. Mom and Dad loved that place. We got mom a trip to Europe. She went with her friend Betty. She couldn’t get dad to go but she loved that trip. Dad just wasn’t into that sort of thing. Dad is still around because she took such good care of him. He is a handful. We told him mom died. He will forget tomorrow and wonder where she is. Maybe that is the way it is supposed to be. The entire time she was sick she would ask, “Who will take care of your dad?" She never pulled punches. One time she told me that my girlfriend looked like me with a wig. And she would occasionally give me the finger. But she gave it like it was on a silver tray...and we would laugh. She had a secret that she didn’t tell me till close to the end. She made me promise not to tell. She thought God wouldn’t let her into heaven because of it. I said, “Mom, God will be lucky to have you.” She was fighting dementia. I guess we wanted her to win but we didn’t help her the right way. But like she told Dean and I many times, ”You are all I have.” She had a clear moment in the hospital where she said, “I know I am not going to get better. I love you all.” We already knew she loved us. She had a long life with friends, kids and a husband who loved her. She loved her life so much she wanted to get back to that place where she smiled and laughed and drank and Shawn was alive. She is with him now. Love you mom. We are having a small family service at Davis Funeral Home on Monday. If anyone wants to donate in her behalf…give to the Agassi Foundation. She loved tennis and what tennis did for us. So that seems right.
Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal on Jul. 9, 2019.