Norene Ruth DiNardo, age 102, died peacefully at home on November 11, 2017. Norene was born on April 11, 1915 and was the daughter of the late Arthur and Laura (Lonsdorf) Blecha. She grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, graduated from Edgewood College and became an English teacher. After World War II broke out Norene and her sister Carmella wanted to contribute to the war effort and decided to join the USO. Norene was assigned to Fort Lewis in Olympia, Washington where she ultimately became Director. Her duties Included coordinating the social services and activities for the service men and women stationed there. It was at Fort Lewis where she met her future husband, V. James DiNardo (Jim) of Quincy, MA.Following a brief but romantic courtship, Norene and Jim were married on August 26, 1944 at the Post Chapel, three days before Jim was shipped out to Kodiak Island for two years.
Following the war, the couple lived in Quincy and Norwell before finally settling in Bridgewater, where they raised their family and became immersed in the community. Norene taught English at Norwell Junior High School, imbuing in her students a love for literature and poetry. An avid lover of nature, she was an active member of the Bridgewater Garden Club, devoting many hours to her own lovely gardens. She was also an enthusiastic member of the Faculty Wives Club at Bridgewater State College, where her husband Jim served as a professor and, later, as Executive Vice President.
Following her retirement from teaching, Norene explored new hobbies and became a talented painter. Even when her eyesight began to diminish she continued on with her painting lessons at the Bridgewater Senior Center and produced many lovely pieces. She even enjoyed having her paintings displayed at an exhibit in the local library, for which she was very proud. Her painting brought her much pleasure and many new and cherished friends. Most importantly, Norene was a person of deep faith and a devout Christian. She truly looked forward to attending Mass at St. Basil Chapel as often as she could, followed by breakfast with her son, Larry, at Good Days – usually ordering their scrumptious cinnamon French toast.
Norene was the loving mother of Laura Fox and her husband Phillip of Montana and Lawrence DiNardo and his wife Linda of Hanover, proud “Grammie” of Leann, Lorena, Larry, Carolyn, and Jim, and “Great Grammie” of Joshua and Medley. Norene was predeceased by her brothers Francis, Ralph and Edward and her sister Carmella.
Visitation will be on Sunday, November 19, from 3:00-5:00 pm at the Prophett-Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 98 Bedford Street, Bridgewater. Funeral from the funeral home on Monday, November 20 at 9:00 am. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Basil Chapel (BSU), 122 Park Avenue, Bridgewater at 10:00 am, and burial will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas Cemetery.