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Obituary for Marlene May Bereni

May 24, 1939 – July 14, 2023

Heaven gained another Angel. Marlene May Bereni, 84, a long-time resident of Waukegan, Ill., passed away peacefully surrounded by nearly all of the people she loved and raised as she left this earth on Friday, July 14, 2023. Marlene was born on May 24, 1939, in Waukegan, the daughter of Joseph and Liddia Bell (Carson) Kashney.

Marlene May Bereni
Marlene May Bereni

After the death of Marlene’s mother at a very young age, Marlene spent most of her childhood in the Lake Bluff Orphanage, but her father never failed to visit every weekend until she reached the age of 13 when she was then able to live with her father and brother. Marlene has fond memories of the orphanage, but home was truly alongside her father and brother. Marlene attended Lake Bluff Grade School and then Waukegan East High School.

Marlene married Louis Joseph Bereni and spent the majority of her life doing what she loved most, caring for her family. Above all, Marlene loved being a mother and loved being a grandmother even more. Her love for cooking, baking, crafts, photography, music, sewing, board games and cards would shine through in each generation from her four children to her seven grandchildren.

She was the wife that spent hours in the kitchen preparing home-grown meals from the garden, like her famous zucchini stew and her rhubarb cake. She was the mother that would enthusiastically sew her children’s clothes and costumes; she would drive her girls to baton practice, dance and piano lessons, spend weeks baking for the holidays, and always provide a gathering place for many of the neighborhood children. She was the grandmother who loved scouring rummages and thrift stores for the best toys. She would drive all over town to the best local parks, read them books, have sleepovers, and bring them to church. She played endless games with them and even learned how to play Dr. Mario to keep up with the times.

She handed down an untold number of stories from her past to all family members who loved to listen. She created safety and comfort for little ones on her lap and the love she conveyed with her hugs was truly magical. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for the people she loved. Simply put, Marlene’s life was lived for and through her children and grandchildren.

Marlene’s legacy of love will live on in her four children: Roland Bereni, Lois (Ed) Shorman, Denise Moen, and Jodi (Bob) Adams; grandchildren: Jamie Heraver, Ryan and Jack Moen, Austin (Marissa) and Adam Koziol, and Christian and Joseph Bereni; nephews: Joshua (Esther) Kinzie and Marc (Tammy) Russ; grandniece, Lisette Kinzie; and many others who she dearly loved that naturally called her Granny or Grandma B.

She was met at the gates of heaven by her parents: Joseph and Liddia Kashney; and her brother, Roland Kashney.


Private services will be held for Marlene at St. Marks Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waukegan, IL. Prayers for Marlene and her family are greatly appreciated.

Obituary and photo courtesy of Wilson Funeral Home.

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