Obituary Listings

Rena Bianucci Sereno

September 30, 1932 March 23, 2018
Rena Bianucci Sereno
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Obituary for Rena Bianucci Sereno

Rena Bianucci Sereno, 85, native of Naperville, residing in Batavia, passed away on March 23, 2018. Rena is survived by her six children, Martin Sereno (with Claudia Fernety), Paul Sereno (with Lisa Zago), Joan Sereno (with Allard Jongman), Margaret Sereno, Anne Sereno (with Sylvain Laroche), and Sara Sereno; and her seven grandchildren, Katrina, Mark, Thomas, Robert, Vincent, Ava, and Arlo. She was preceded in death by her infant daughter Catherine, former husband Charles Sereno, siblings Doris and Raymond, and identical twin Rita.

Rena was born on September 30, 1932 to Modesto and Clorinda Paoli Bianucci, who owned the City Meat Market (Jefferson St.) and a family farm at the fork of the DuPage River. She attended Naper School and, demonstrating a talent in art, took life drawing classes at the Art Institute of Chicago from age 13. She graduated from Naperville Community High School in 1950, then attended Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN, obtaining a B.A. in Art and Art History, with minors in Education, Theology, and Religion in 1954. While raising six children, she continued producing artwork and established her teaching career. Starting part-time, presenting artwork in Naperville grade schools, she was soon hired as a full-time art teacher. In 1969, she helped design a state-of-the-art Art Room for the newly-built Prairie Elementary School, where she was the art teacher until her retirement in 2001. There, she transformed the grade school art curriculum, developed art exhibits, performances, and field trips, and won teaching awards. Rena also continued to study art and art history, earning an M.S. in Art Education at Northern Illinois University (NIU, 1976) and accumulating nearly 200 hours of graduate course credits. Additionally, she taught at Illinois Benedictine College, North Central College, and NIU.

Rena was passionate about education, the arts, peace, social justice, and her family, with a deep appreciation for world art and architectural history. At home, she produced mosaics, prints, pastels, oil and acrylic paintings, sculptures, and macramé. Her work captured and commented on contemporary, religious, and social subjects, including the Beatles, the Assumption and Crucifixion, wars and peace marches, as well as women, life, love, and reproduction. In her retirement, Rena continued to travel the world, visiting scores of art and architectural sites across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, with frequent stops in the Mediterranean. Over the years, she held leadership roles in various organizations, including the National and Illinois Education and Art Education Associations, the Naperville Teachers Association, the Classical Art Society of the Art Institute, the NIU Alumni Association, and ALPHA: Friends of Antiquity, a lecture series at NIU.

In lieu of flowers, donations are being accepted for a Naperville Riverwalk bench in Rena’s honor. Please send donations to Paul Sereno, 9702 South Avenue H, Chicago, IL 60617.

Visitation will be on Saturday, April 14, from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. at the Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 44 South Mill St., Naperville, IL 60540. Interment will be private.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Rena Bianucci Sereno, please visit our Tribute Store.

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2:00 PM 4/14/2018 2:00:00 PM - 4:30 PM 4/14/2018 4:30:00 PM
Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home

44 S. Mill St.
Naperville, IL 60540

Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home
44 S. Mill St. Naperville 60540 IL
United States

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