Irene F. "Meri" Durland, 84, a former beauty queen from Italy, passed away on Friday surrounded by family at her Long Branch home.
Born in Livorno, Italy, Meri married Lee Durland, immigrated to the U.S. and first settled in East Orange and West Caldwell before moving to Long Branch, where she lived out her life. She had many friends throughout Monmouth County and beyond.
Meri, known for her dedication and love of family, friends and animals, was a woman of strong faith and a parishioner of Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, Christ the King Parish, Long Branch.
A mother of three children and grandmother to six grandchildren, the family called her an unforgettable woman, with bright blue eyes and warm smile, who touched all she knew with her compassion and generosity.
Meri is predeceased by her husband, Lee, who died in 2003 in Cadosia, NY.
She is survived by: two sons, Lee and Carlo Durland, of Long Branch; a daughter and son-in-law, Pia and Joe Corte, Livingston; six grandchildren, Joseph and Nicholas Corte, Matthew, Cortnie, Justin and Daniel Durland; four sisters in Italy and a brother in Australia; many nieces and nephew worldwide.
Visitation will be at the Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home, 10 Morrell Street, Long Branch on Tuesday, April 2, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.
There will be a funeral mass on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, Long Branch.
Entombment will follow at Woodbine Mausoleum, Oceanport. Contributions may be made to Catholic Charitites, Diocese of Trenton, 383 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08607.
Messages of condolence please visit Meri's Book of Memories at www.woolleyboglioli.com.