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1952 Jeanne Marie Porreca 2024

Jeanne Marie Porreca

January 22, 1952 — February 28, 2024

Jeanne Marie (Walley) Porreca

January 22nd, 1952 - February 28th, 2024


Filled with strength and grace, Jeanne Marie (Walley) Porreca of Columbus, OH, passed away on February 28th, 2024 at the Kobacker House after a brief, though hard-fought, battle with a rare cancer.


Jeanne was born on January 22nd, 1952 to Mary Margaret and George Walley Jr. in Keyser, WV. She was the second of six children. Some of her fondest memories were playing with her siblings in the woods behind “the house on top of the hill” that their father built in Moundsville, WV. She fostered strong bonds with all of her siblings and continued to be a steadfast companion and light to them throughout her whole life.


After graduating from John Marshall High School in 1970, she went on to study at La Roche College in Pittsburgh, PA. She was interested in art, though ultimately chose a path in service to humanity, graduating with a BA in Sociology in 1974. Her career as a social worker spanned well over 30 years, mostly at OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, where she touched the lives of patients and co-workers alike. She retired in 2018 and was remembered for her gentle spirit, integrity, good-natured sass, resourcefulness, and compassion. 


Jeanne was a revered sister, niece, aunt, cousin, friend, and neighbor. However, her leading role was as chief magic and memory-maker to her three children, whom she lovingly referred to as her “geels.” She raised her girls with devotion, unconditional love, self-awareness, and humor. When they were little, she requested that they call her “Mommy Dearest” to keep herself laughing and levelheaded, and the nickname stuck. When she left this world, she left a lifetime of acts of love that left no question about her feelings for them, or any of her greater family and friends. 


As Jeanne was known to be a baby-whisperer, she was thrilled to be crowned “Nana” in 2012. She was the proudest Nana to six treasured grandbabies. She shared her love of nature, crafting, and music with them as she dedicated her years in retirement to them and cherished each of them dearly.


Jeanne was a community-builder and hosted her infamous “Jeanne’s Weenie Roast” for many years at her home in Grove City, OH. She became a “bonus mom” to many. She served as a volunteer guardian for disabled adults and, more recently, as co-chair for the Columbus Congenital Heart Walk for The Children’s Heart Foundation. 


Jeanne had the superpower of “love in action.” She created genuine connections through listening and meaningful conversation. She was the one who showed up, made herself available to lend a helping hand, crafted special gifts, created homemade meals and unforgettable treats, and dedicated time to finding the perfect card or encouraging word. She took life’s trials in stride, managing to laugh through it all. Jeanne had a gentle, bubbling laugh that could set people at ease and make anyone feel like an old friend. 


Her dear friend said it best, that “being the humble person she was, she probably had no idea of the ripple effect that her presence meant to all of us.”


Jeanne was preceded in death by her beloved parents. She is survived by her three children: Michelle Rae of Columbus, OH, Jennifer Porreca-Faux of Columbus, OH, and Anna (Francois Lebeau) Porreca of Denver, CO; six grandchildren: Adeline (11), Larry (9), Nolan (9), Elliot (6), Enzo (4), and Ozzy (1); sisters: Susan (Alfonso) Jaramillo, Margie (Bryan) Yoho, and Sally (Dave) Papac; brothers G.J. (Kathy) Walley, and Chuck (Margie Shofer) Walley; her dearest aunt, Helen Chambers; and many nieces and nephews.


Jeanne’s Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, June 21st from 11:30-3:00 at the Amelita Morolo Barn at Sunny 95 Park in Upper Arlington. In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations to The Children’s Heart Foundation.

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