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Leanne Heidi Star of Wilmette, IL, a talented editor and writer, avid volunteer, skilled wordsmith, and loving mom, grandmother, sister and fiancé, passed away suddenly on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at the age of 72.
She grew up in Park Forest, IL the second of five siblings and was then known as “DeeDee.” As a child she enjoyed and taught ballet, reading, and French and interned for Ann Landers. She attended the University of Chicago (class of ‘69) and the University of California, Berkeley where she received Bachelors and Masters degrees in comparative literature. Although not religious growing up, she learned to read Hebrew as an adult and became a bat mitzvah at the age of 57. She taught literature and writing at Beloit College in Wisconsin, Colby College in Maine, and at universities in Taiwan and China before becoming a freelance writer for Northwestern University among other organizations. She would have been the first person to read this over and offer her edits. She most recently managed a blog called Star Gazing for Chicago Now, and authored numerous play reviews for various publications.
She was a dedicated volunteer who was passionate about architecture and was a docent (class of 2011) for the Chicago Architecture Center for the popular river tour, amongst others, receiving 5-star reviews for her work. She took great pride in having created new tours and training incoming docents. She also marched for women’s rights and politically progressive causes, and was active in her congregation and choir. An avid and competitive puzzler and Scrabble player, she routinely hit “Queen Bee” status doing the New York Times Spelling Bee. In addition to her other hobbies, she designed and sewed personalized quilts for each of her 6 grandkids and always celebrated their birthdays with homemade cookies. She also loved exercising, trying new fitness classes, and walking her dogs.
Prior to COVID, she would host a regular minion for her synagogue, Congregation Hakafa, at her house and volunteered at A Just Harvest. More recently, she could be found dropping off her famed matzah ball soup for a sick friend or baking scones for her grandkids. She loved to travel and was always planning her next trip (Iceland and Israel amongst her favorites) or shuttling back and forth between her daughters’ houses. She was the favorite babysitter who was known as “Gaga” or “Grandma Leanne” by her grandchildren. Most of all, she was a Woman of Valor.
She is survived by her fiancé John D’Asto; her three daughters Maia Feigon (Michael Conti), Brooke Feigon (Gautam Chinta), and Gera Feigon (Joseph Rosenberg); her siblings Amy Star (Robert Falanga), Merrie Star (Gregory Scheuer), Natalie Star (Peter Kimball), and Vincent Star (Diane Stroing); her six grandchildren Avinash Feigon, Emilia Rosenberg, Henry Rosenberg, Naveen Feigon, Eleanor Conti, and Lucille Conti; her niece Rebecca Falanga and nephew Aaron Kimball. She was preceded in death by her parents Jack and Dorothy Star.
To keep everyone safe and healthy, the chapel service and interment are private. A funeral live stream and memorial will be made available via Chicago Jewish Funerals, followed by Zoom Shiva daily (times to be announced) Tuesday, January 26th - Monday, February 1st for those who wish to share the blessings of her memory. To attend the funeral live stream, please visit our website. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to New Trier Township Angel Fund, Inc., 739 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL 60093, www.newtriertownship.com/179/Donate or Fair Fight (Act Blue), 1270 Caroline Street Suite D120-311 Atlanta, GA 30307, secure.actblue.com/donate/forcemultiplier19fairfight. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822, www.cjfinfo.com.