Norene June Fox-Guerra passed away January 31, 2023, surrounded by family at Gull Arbor Senior Living in Richland, MI. Norene was born on December 20, 1938, to Howard J. and Leona N. (Miller) Cole in Nashville, MI. She graduated from Bellevue High School in 1957.
Norene had an idyllic childhood with her beloved siblings, Steven and Nancy, on the M-66 family farm. She played pretend, learned to cook and can food, helped with chores, learned to play the piano, developed a love of music and sang whenever she could. Norene sang at many events during her years in school although she was shy. It came as a great surprise to her when she was voted Prom Queen.
After high school, she worked at the "3 A" (AAA) in the Wolverine Tower. There was a barbershop in the lower level, and she was introduced to a young barber named Leonard Fox. Their first date did not go well, and Norene did not think she would go out with him again. However, Leonard persisted, and the second date went better. Within two years, they were married.
Norene quit work to raise her family â Lori, Julie, and John. She was the quintessential housewife, great cook, room mother and Bluebird/ Campfire leader. She canned and froze vegetables, fruit, and meat. Nothing compared to her canned dill pickles! No family gathering or dinner was complete unless there was a plate full of dill pickles on the table. Norene served a hot breakfast every morning and prepared dinner every night which was eaten at the dinner table as a family. If the kids had an event, there would be a plate of dinner waiting for them in the warm oven. As her kids grew up, she tried her hand at serving the dinner shift at the Countryside Inn. Then, took classes in dog grooming and set up shop in the basement of her home. The business was very successful.
As her kids became teenagers, she learned of a job opening as church secretary at Maple United Methodist Church where she was in the choir and attended regularly (she was a 60+ year member of Maple). This job was where Norene excelled. She ran the office, answered all calls, typed and printed bulletins (the old-fashioned way) and did mailings, organized and planned luncheons, banquets and events. She and her long-time friend, Alyce Egelkraut, were the queens of the kitchen. Norene served as church secretary for over 25 years. During the time she was secretary at the church, Norene also managed the family ice cream shop. It was called the Dairy Factor which was in Wattles Park. Her friend, Janet Embury was co-manager. This fun adventure lasted several years.
After retirement, Norene continued to sing in the church choir. She had many solos. Her voice was angelic. She sang at baptismals, weddings, and funerals etc. She even did a stint in the Leila Follies.
Norene and Leonard loved camping, fishing, watching their kids (then their grandkids) play sports or participate in events. They often had the grandkids overnight; it was a treat for the kids! As a family, they camped every Summer for a week at some type of rustic campground. Norene and Leonard traveled to Europe and Hawaii with Elmer and Alyce Egelkraut. However, they most enjoyed traveling around the United States in their truck/camper. They visited many interesting sights along the way. On warm summer days, Norene would ride her bike down to her good friend Janet Embury's house. They would sit by the pool; sip iced tea and chat. Norene (and Leonard) often enjoyed visiting Jack and Liz Hoffman (Norene's cousins) down the street as well.
After Norene retired and Leonard semi-retired, they built a lovely home on Lacey Rd. They spent many years enjoying the country life, wildlife, fishing, hauling wood and they had a large garden. Norene planted flowers all around the outside of the house and was very proud of them.
Several years after Leonard passed, Norene met a very nice man named Lou Guerra at Family Fare. He asked for her phone number, and she nervously gave it to him. He called her that night for a date. She fell for him easily as he was quite charming. They were married for 12 loving years. Norene and Lou spent winters in Florida and did some traveling. They often danced, laughed and giggled like teenagers. Norene passed away 7 months after her sweet Lou. She was very lucky to have found love twice in a lifetime!
Norene is survived by her children Lori (Jeff) Bays, Julie Cariuty (Scott Darby), John (Janet) Fox. Grandchildren, Ryan Bays (Elizabeth Lynch), Tyler (Jill) Bays, Brandon (Erica) Bays, Tarynn (Nick) Andrews, Jordann Cariuty (Stephanie Bird), Ayrtonn Cariuty, Corey Fox, Jessica (Kyle) Froehlich. Great grandchildren, Taylor, Britton, and Jensen Bays, Ethan, Elijah and Micah Reed, Leighton, Colette, and Mary Bays, Luka Cariuty, Liam Fox, Finn, Everett, Hayes and Tate Froehlich. Siblings Steve (Joie) Cole, Nancy (Bill) Bivens and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Howard and Leona Cole and husbands Leonard Fox and Louis Guerra.
Let us celebrate the wonderful life she had, and all the memories Norene has given us! Her body and mind are finally at peace.
Friends will be received 4:00 â 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, where funeral service will be officiated by Pastor Linda Stoddard 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 8, 2023. Interment will follow at Ellis Cemetery in Assyria, Michigan. Donations may be made to her beloved Maple United Methodist Church or to Gull Arbor Senior Living. They each gave our mother warmth, caring and compassion. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.
The family created a beautiful memorial photo slideshow and it may be viewed at https://vimeo.com/797502324/c82e14bf36.