As submitted by the Longwood Funeral Home of Matthew Genereux
Maureen Ann (Nelson) Kanara, 56, passed away peacefully after a courageous, eight year battle with cancer on January 8, 2014, with her devoted husband of 33 years, Edward W. Kanara by her side.
Originally of River Forest, Illinois, Maureen was born on July 2, 1957 to the late Nancy Feeley Nelson and Ronald T. Nelson and was the oldest of eleven children. She attended the University of Illinois, graduating with a business degree in 1980 and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She and Ed were married on May 3, 1980. For nearly a decade following their marriage, Maureen successfully managed Ed’s veterinary practice while caring for their six children in Sleepy Hollow, IL. The Kanara family moved to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania in August 1990 where she quickly became active in her children’s schools, scouts and sports organizations. Her children were always her top priority.
An accomplished athlete herself, Maureen was a nationally ranked junior tennis player, captain of the University of Illinois tennis team and received one of the first full ride athletic scholarships awarded to a woman at the U of IL. Maureen worked hard to ensure that all six of her children were driven to their respective sporting events and she and Ed rarely missed any of their games even if it meant driving through the night to get there. Four of her six children followed in her footsteps and played sports competitively in college.
An amazing baker and cook, her children’s friends were known to stop by the Kanara house unannounced for dinners and her famous chocolate chip cookies. When she wasn’t baking, traveling to sporting events or running her husband’s business, Maureen enjoyed playing golf, tennis, working out at the Kennett YMCA and meeting her friends for a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
After sending all six children to college, Maureen and Ed were able to head south and spend their winters in Naples, Florida, one of Maureen’s favorite places. While in Naples, Maureen became a competitive golfer, known to be among the best-dressed and most enjoyable golfing companions around. Once semi-retiring in Naples, Ed and Maureen were able to enjoy traveling to places other than the fields, gyms and pools where their children’s sports competitions were held. Her greatest joy in the last several years was spending time with her six grandchildren.
Maureen is survived by her husband, Edward W. Kanara, her six children: Colleen Kempf (husband Scott), Mary “Katie” Morley (husband Kevin), Kelly Midkiff (husband Matthew), Kenneth Kanara (wife Julie), Kristen Kanara, Keith Kanara, her father Ronald T. Nelson (wife Eileen), her eight brothers: Michael, Kevin, Bryan, Christopher, Scott, William Todd, James and Matthew, two sisters: MaryAnne Lappe and Melissa Bouchard, numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins and her six grandchildren: Ella, Hayden, Jackson, Andon, Logan and Brooks.
Visitation with the family will be on Friday evening, January 17th from 4:00PM to 8:00PM at the Longwood Funeral Home of Matthew Genereux, 913 East Baltimore Pike in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
A celebration service of Maureen’s life will be at 11:30AM on Saturday, January 18th at the Willowdale Chapel, 675 Unionville Road, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. The family will receive friends aand family from 10:00AM until 11:15 AM at the Willowdale Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Maureen’s memory are appreciated to the Misericordia Home (attention memo #3303), 6300 Ridge Avenue, Chicago, IL 60660.
Condolences to the family can be posted @ www.longwoodfuneralhome.com