GRANVILLE — Carmella "Milly" Arena, 81, of Granville peacefully drifted off to sleep surrounded by her loving family after a very long illness on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at her residence. She was diagnosed with Primary Lateral Sclerosis which robbed her of her ability to speak and eventually her mobility. She had lived with her daughter, Linda, and son-in-law, Tom, since 2008.
Milly was born in Chicago on Feb. 26, 1936, to Frank and Carmela Arena. She was the baby of the family and was welcomed by her brothers, Frank and Paul, and her sisters, Jennie and Josephine. The Arena children learned to speak English when they attended school as only Sicilian was spoken at home. She attended Austin High School. She also attended Illinois Valley Community College and obtained her real estate license. She worked many jobs throughout her life including Brach Candy, Motorola, Illinois Bell and Coldwell Banker. With over 30 years working on the Illinois River at Consolidated Grain and Barge, Wolfe Marine Services and ADM Grain, she retired in 2001.
She married Richard Corcoran in 1954 and they had four children. They moved from Chicago to Granville in 1968. She enjoyed performing with the Sweet Adelines with her daughters. The family spent many summers at Lake Wildwood, where they were one of the first members. She was a longtime member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in LaSalle and was active in the Cursillo Community.
Last year, her 80th birthday was celebrated by family and friends, her caregivers, including Cindy Golden and Elizabeth Koester, and her hospice team that all loved her so much.
She will be missed by her children, Rick and Brenda Corcoran of Peru, Kathi and Harold “Red” Bly of Peru, Linda and Tom Smith of Granville, and Diana and David Williams of Woodland Hills, Calif.; her grandchildren, Jayme Corcoran and Jeff Rietgraf of LaSalle, Laura Zeman and Max Marx of Peru, Andrea and Sean Brannon of Granville, Crystal and Mike Credi of Peru, Michelle and Joe Hansen of Princeton, Eric Lopez of Ottawa, Amy and Brandon Brucki of Marseilles, Jeff Lopez of Ottawa, and Jason Lopez and Emily Froemel of LaSalle; and her 17 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by the love of her life, Dave Vickaryous; her sister, Jennie Pacini of Elk Grove Village; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Paul and Frank; one sister, Josephine; two sons, Kevin and Joey; one nephew, Nick; a grandchild; and a great-grandchild.
Services will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, at the Dysart-Cofoid Funeral Chapel in Granville with Father John Crist officiating. Cremation rites will be accorded following the service.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
Contributions may be directed to www.mda.org.
Online condolences may be made to her family at www.dcfunerals.com.