September 16, 1937 - April 7, 2020.
Marianne Fosse Dimos, equestrian, Journalist, Teacher, Restaurateur, Real Estate Broker, Administrator. Marianne Fosse Dimos served many roles in a life not constrained by the conventions of the day. Yet to her, the most important roles she ever had were wife, mother, and Yia-Yia. Marianne was born in Chicago, IL on September 16, 1937, the youngest of Sarah (Stanton) and Cyril Fosse’s six children.
Growing up, she was a competitive equestrian and enjoyed spending summers with her siblings; whether exploring the ramparts of Ft. Monroe with her brother Ed, a highly decorated career soldier; New York City with her brother, the renowned director and choreographer Bob; or her beloved Chicago with her other siblings Cyril (Bud), Don, and Patricia (Pat). After graduating from Evanston Township High School in 1955, she enrolled in Northwestern University, where she graduated from the Medill School of Journalism and was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi.
While at Northwestern, she met the love of her life, John. Both were smitten and they married in 1960, remaining together for forty-four years until John’s death in 2004. They started their own family soon after in Chicago as Marianne worked as a freelance journalist, having their three sons Jim, John, and Chris in the next four years (and, as John would point out, buying a new car in that span too). During that busy four-year period, the young family also lived in both East Lansing, MI and Gary, IN, John’s hometown.
When in Gary, John worked in his father’s restaurant, the Beauty Spot, while Marianne raised the boys and a small menagerie of laboratory animals. When John left the family restaurant business to join the printing company R.R. Donnelley & Sons, the family eventually relocated to Lancaster, PA, where Marianne returned to school to earn her Master’s in Elementary Education from Millersville State College and teach in the College’s laboratory school. When John’s father Jim decided to retire in 1972, John, Marianne, and the boys returned to Gary to run the Beauty Spot. A fixture in NW Indiana for three generations, the restaurant was a family affair as John’s brother Tom and wife Pam became co-owners and brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends all helping under the watchful eye of Marianne (who always kept the other eye on the cash register). After a foray into the liquor store business, John and Marianne retired into new careers: together as real estate brokers and then, for Marianne, as volunteer and eventually volunteer coordinator at Porter Memorial (later Porter Regional) Hospital. Marianne worked at the hospital for 15 years and it was a source of great friendships and, when John passed away, solace. All during this time, Marianne’s real job was mother and grandmother. She was loving and supportive to her sons but never refrained from challenging them to be their best. Marianne had a passion for education and service to others and she instilled it in her sons and her five grandchildren: Stephanie, Jennifer, Jonathan, Drew and Trace. She loved her sons and her daughters-in-law Kathy and Theresa, but it was the grandchildren who brought her joy. Whether it was sitting on the sideline to watch a soccer game, under a tent watching dancing at the Greek Festival, or in the theater for a talent show, Marianne was always there with a smile and a hearty “Bravo” no matter what the outcome. The grandchildren were always without fault and any shortcomings were the result of flawed parenting. While Marianne lived a life serving others, she took time for herself as well. An avid reader, she stayed current on the political and economic issues of the day and wasn’t shy in sharing a knowledgeable, well-reasoned opinion. She loved animals, from the Great Danes and horses of her youth, the dogs in her life Beau Geste, Herbie, Boomer, Scribble, Sketch, Wally, Wendy, and Raisin, or any stray that wandered into her orbit. She enjoyed performance theater, whether on the big screen or live performances of the Lyric Opera or a Broadway musical.
Marianne is survived by her son Jim, his wife Kathy and their three children Stephanie, Jennifer, and Jonathan; son John; and son Chris, his wife Theresa and their two children Drew and Trace. She loved her extended family of in-laws, outlaws, nieces, nephews, and cousins from her and John’s family and, while never on Facebook, her vast network of friends around the world.
With the current restrictions stemming from COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a small funeral with just the immediate family. A celebration of Marianne’s life will occur at a later date, when it is safe for all who want to join the festivities.
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