Diane Helen Hoefner Alessi, known for her steadfast dedication and unwavering love for family, departed us on Friday, July 8th, 2022, at her Elliston home that she shared with her daughter Denise, grandson Vincent, and many beloved pets. She was surrounded by her children and the love they have for her.
Diane was born in Queens, New York on August 18th, in the year of 1935, to William and Helen Hoefner. She was 86 years old. Diane was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred Richard Alessi Sr., and two of her sisters Rosemary Hoefner Lefluer and Maureen Hoefner. She is survived by her sister Eleanor Hoefner Roycroft, her 8 children, 23 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.
Diane was married on June 22, 1957, to Alfred Richard Alessi Sr., and together they had 8 children that she adored. Marie Alessi of Manassas, Virginia, Vincent Alessi of New York City, New York, Denise Alessi Burtick (John) of Elliston, Virginia, Michael Alessi of Mechanicsville, Virginia, Alfred Richard Alessi Jr. of Virginia, Christopher Alessi (Juanita) of Gordonsville, Virginia, Robert Alessi (Amme) of Bristow, Virginia, and Diane Alessi Edmonds (James) of Warrenton, Virginia.
Diane was a devoted mother, raising her children early in life, and later was a small business owner. She co-owned the Kents Store General store in Fluvanna, Virginia, and is probably best known for her ownership of Hero Haven in Louisa, Virginia, as her sub sandwiches were as large as her laughter and light. Many knew her as a long-time member of St. Judes Catholic Church additionally.
Diane was not only the matriarch of her large family but often the cornerstone. She could always be counted on to extend words of encouragement, wisdom, and understanding. She possessed a no-nonsense type of personality which also provided the occasional no holds barred advice her family grew to know, love, and depend on. She set the truest example of motherhood that her daughters have drawn from when raising their own families and that her sons have found comfort in innumerable times. Often touted as the “strongest woman around” by her friends and family, Diane also held the title of the most loving. She loved her family deeply, never failing to encourage them to always do their best, and to put their all into whatever passion and path their own lives called for them to follow. Her capacity to be understanding and the discernment she possessed was second only to her fierce devotion.
Diane cherished her many animals throughout the years and had a special place in her heart for each of them. From her Weimaraners and Boxers to goats and chickens, Daine never met an animal that she didn’t have a fondness for. Her most recent loyal and loving canine companion, Otis was with her as she took her last breaths, laying with her and bringing her comfort, as he’s done so many times before.
Additionally, she loved gardening, growing both fruits and vegetables, which she would use to make the most delicious meals that her large family often gathered for. Her informal culinary abilities rivaled those of some of the most highly trained chefs. Her food was made not only with homegrown ingredients but also with hands so full of love and extraordinary skill. She would be delighted to know this love for cooking will be carried on for generations, in the form of various recipes she shared and the knowledge of food that she passed on to each of her children.
Diane will be so very missed, as her sense of humor and smile brightened many lives. Even as dementia threatened her memories, her personality shined through, giving her family some of their most cherished memories of their own, allowing them to remember vividly the woman they loved so much.
Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend Diane’s final resting arrangements. Friday, July 15th, 2022, Sheridans funeral home in Kents Store, Virginia will be accepting friends and family for visitation starting at 6:00 pm and concluding at 7:30 pm. St. Judes Catholic Church in Mineral, Virginia, will hold a viewing on Saturday, July 16th from 10:30 am until 11:00 am, with funeral mass and interment to follow immediately. The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to the Dementia Society of America.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…