Jennifer Merendino, adored wife of Angelo and loving daughter of Camille and Larry Wise, bravely fought a battle she did not choose, and surrounded by family and friends, left us December 22, 2011.|
In October of 2007, Jennifer and Angelo were married in New York City where they made their home; five months later, Jennifer was diagnosed with Stage 3B breast cancer. Just after their first wedding anniversary, Jennifer was free of cancer, yet two and a half years later new spots were found on Jen's hip, liver, sacrum and brain.
Jennifer was born December 6, 1971 in Akron, Ohio to Larry and Camille Wise, who love and miss her dearly, along with her grandmother, Genevieve Villanova; sister Laura and brother-in-law, Chris (Webb); brother, Scott; nieces, Gabriel and Victoria; and sister-in-law, Laurie Maher. Jennifer is loved and missed by her in-laws, Sam and Vilma Merendino; her sisters and brothers-in-law, Frank, Mena, MaryAnn and Allan (Macek), Sammy and Georgia, Paul and Ann, Tina and Mark (Martin), Tommy and Lisa, Rose and Jason (Carroll), David and Aimee and Danny; and many nieces, nephews and great nephews. She is loved and will be missed by her aunts, uncles and cousins along with her many dear friends. Jennifer was preceded in death by her grandfather, Angelo Villanova; her grandparents, Paul and Jane Wise; and her uncle, Paul Wise.
The families wish to thank Rev. John Duffell, pastor of Church of the Ascension in New York City, for his compassion and attendance in ministering to Jennifer and Angelo.
A 1990 graduate of Revere High School, Jennifer completed her Liberal Arts Degree in 2010 from The City College of New York. She was employed by Kiehls Cosmetics as an assistant to the senior vice president of global marketing and vice president of international business development, and was responsible for the development of an earth-friendly work environment for Kiehls and its parent company L'Oreal. Jennifer founded the website greenyourintentions.org, which encourages environmentally responsible and sustainable ways. In 2008 she co-founded The Dragon Boat Team in New York City, which owns two boats and hosts over 50 team members, all of whom have had or currently are fighting cancer.
Graceful and always kind-hearted, Jen wanted to share with others the realities of cancer treatment, so her daily life was photographed by Angelo for a documentary entitled, ``The Battle We Didn't Choose: my wife's fight with breast cancer.' She has touched the hearts of her family, friends, co-workers, the medical team at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute and all those she has met, along with those who knew her through the photos and commentaries viewed on social media sites. Strangers became friends as Jen's story was told; many shared their stories, and all sent good wishes, kind thoughts and prayers of compassion and healing.
Calling hours will be held Wed., Dec. 28, 2011 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Hennessy Funeral Home, 552 North Main Street, Akron. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thurs. Dec. 29, 2011 at 11 a.m. at Blessed Trinity Church (St. Martha Parish), 300 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron, said by Rev. John Duffell of Church of the Ascension. Interment to follow at Chestnut Hill Memorial Park, 2613 Sackett Avenue in Cuyahoga Falls.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to the Jennifer Merendino Memorial Cancer Foundation at First Merit Bank. Please join us in remembering the goodness that was Jennifer. We are all privileged to have known her. Those wishing to send online condolences may visit ohio.com.
Published in Akron Beacon Journal on Dec. 27, 2011