Louise R. Stella

Louise R. Stella, 95, of Clarendon Hills, passed away peacefully Oct. 25, 2022, surrounded by family.

Louise was born in Lyons and grew up during the Great Depression. She was recognized as a leader at Nazareth Academy and continued to organize Class of 1944 reunions well into her 80s. Upon graduation she began working in the insurance industry, eventually becoming the first woman "special agent" for Fireman's Fund. She joined the National Association of Insurance Women and served in leadership roles, and was president of the I.D.E.A. Her remarkable success drew the attention of local media and she was featured on a radio interview to discuss her trailblazing career.

An avid golfer, she enjoyed outdoor activities and gardening. She was always eager to take her young nieces and nephew ice skating, bowling and bike riding. Following her retirement, she was an indefatigable volunteer at Notre Dame Parish in Clarendon Hills where her family has worshiped for over 60 years. "Zia" had a gift for soothing babies and a way with children that engendered the devotion of her great-nieces and nephews who loved coming to "Nonna and Zia's" house for sleepovers, meals and games. She was a devoted and loyal companion who never lost contact with childhood classmates, insurance industry colleagues, neighbors or friends.

She was fluent in Italian and kept in touch with extended family overseas. She shared her love of the language with the children in her family, who learned phrases of affection, songs, and nursery rhymes from her. She will be mourned by all those whose lives she touched.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Giulia Stella; her sister, Anne M. Randell; and her niece, Mimi Randell Levine.

She is survived by her nephew, David (Cindy) Randell of Hinsdale; her niece, Sara Randell (Greg) Riley; and her great-nieces and nephews, Gina Randell, JD Randell, Mia Randell, Joseph Levine, Olivia Randell, Gregory Riley and Josh Randell.

A funeral mass will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at Notre Dame Church, 64 Norfolk, Clarendon Hills.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made online to Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park at http://www.nazarethacademy.com.

Brian Powell Funeral Directors of Hinsdale handled the arrangements.