Nina DiIorio

Ran Meals on Wheels in Franklin Lakes

Nina DiIorio,cq a consummate volunteer who coordinated Franklin Lakes' Meals on Wheels program into her 97th year, died Dec. 12 at her borough home. She was 101.

Mrs. DiIorio was a relative newcomer to Franklin Lakes, moving with her family from Staten Island in 1967. She made her presence felt after joining the local Woman's Club. Among projects she participated in was one that gave respite to caregivers; volunteers visited with the homebound while the caregivers took a much-needed break.

In 1985, Mrs. DiIorio saw an ad in the borough bulletin announcing the launch of a committee to develop Meals on Wheels. Jumping at the chance to expand her community involvement, she sent out more than 100 letters soliciting vendors and volunteers. She coordinated the program for 22 years and for much of that time personally delivered food to seniors but not in her own wheels. Mrs. DiIorio did not drive, so she rode with other volunteers.

"I'd drive and Nina would get out and serve the meals to the residents," said Gina Venner, a registered dietician dietitian who succeeded Mrs. DiIorio as program coordinator. "It was extremely important to her that the program continue and that she trust who would continue it."

Venner said Mrs. DiIorio remained an energetic Meals and on Wheels servant despite the aches and pains of ailments of a nonagenarian.

Mrs. DiIorio's son, Frank, said his mother, a former office manager, had a helping mind-set and was perfect at running a food delivery program.

"If there was something to be organized, Mom would organize it," he said. "If there was something that needed to be typed up and put in a column or on a calendar, there was Mom. She was one of a kind."

Mrs. DiIorio's husband, also Frank, died in 1999. She is survived by her son, of Philadelphia, and two grandchildren. A memorial Mass will be held said this morning thurs at 10:30 at the Church of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Franklin Lakes.

Email: levin@northjersey.com
Published in The Record/Herald News on Dec. 20, 2012