Dolores Marie Leone, age 85, of Brentwood, Tennessee left this world and was received into the arms of her savior Dec. 30, 2020, after a sudden illness. She was born in Youngstown, Ohio to the late Alex and Catherine Shasho on Jan. 9, 1935. She attended Woodrow Wilson High School and lived in Austintown, Ohio before moving to Brentwood in 1972. After the death of her first husband, Anthony Manna, early in their marriage, she married Chet Leone and within a few years became the loving mother of eight children (two of whom preceded her in death, with whom she is now joyfully reunited.) Dolores was a loving and devoted wife to Chet, from whom she is now parted after more than 58 years of marriage.
She gave of herself to her family, to long-standing friends, to friends and acquaintances at the periphery of her life, and to total strangers when the opportunity arose.
She had a special place in her heart for people who were troubled or anxious. She didn’t have a degree in counseling or any special training, but she had an endless capacity for listening and a natural ability to understand what the real issues were in someone’s life. She had an uncanny intuition, an ability to size up in an instant the state of someone’s heart, to know what was really troubling them. And she knew how to help them, because she herself had more than her share of sorrows since her earliest days, and she comforted them with the same comfort she had received. Most importantly, she pointed them to the savior whom she knew and loved with all her heart, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Her children grew up with hearts and bellies full from her unending love, boundless wisdom and tireless service. So she extended her love to the next generation, becoming grandmother to eight grandchildren for whom “Grandma’s House” was a special place of love and sustenance. Forbidding that her grandchildren should ever darken the door of a public Day Care facility, she filled in the gap for their working parents. Grandma’s “Day Care” was open five days a week, from before kindergarten through high school, providing food, hugs, love, lots of playtime with Grandma, rides to and from school, and even dinner for parents when they got off work. Not surprisingly, Grandma’s Day Care customers came over regularly on weekends as well, and continued to visit the facility through college and beyond.
Her love was not limited to those in her family. She was a beloved Sunday School teacher at the Lord’s Chapel for many years. After seeing what was happening in her Sunday School, the Elders of the church asked her to direct the entire program, which she did for several years. Her love for the children was perhaps only exceeded by their love for her. No doubt, there are many former students, all grown up now, who still fondly remember how years ago “Miss Dolores” would set a chair for Jesus every Sunday to remind them that he was with them.
Dolores is preceded in death by her two daughters, Diane Leone and Sandi (Gary) Dallas; three sisters, Martha Bowman, Violet Sobinovsky and Patsy Swedik; three brothers, Michael Shasho, Charles Shasho and Alex Shasho, Jr., her parents, Alex and Katherine Shasho; and her first husband, Anthony Manna.
Dolores is survived by her husband, Chet Leone; five sisters, Ann Bailey, Helen Weibel, Gerry (Donald) Jewel, Joanne Gareffa and Sandy Berry; her children, Gino Leone, Mary (Glen Cruzen) Chandler, Mark(Martha) Leone, Donna Leone, Maria Leone Wood and Lisa Leone; and grandchildren, Joshua Chandler, Seth Wood, Katherine Chandler, Matthew Dallas, Grace Leone, Anna Leone, Anthony Leone and Noah Wood; a host of nieces and nephews; and her beloved cat, Nancy.
A memorial service will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, with visitation one hour prior to the service, at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home. A graveside service will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021 at Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers. Memorials may be made to Men of Valor Nashville at https://men-of-valor.org.