YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Gina Marie Haren, 61, passed away and joined the chorus of angels in Heaven Saturday evening, January 9, 2021, at the Cleveland Clinic.
She was the beloved wife of Gregory Haren, whom she married on July 20, 1985. She was the favorite daughter of her mother, Celia Conti of Lowellville, with her loving sisters, Mary (Chris) Morrone, Nici (John) Wilaj and Lisa (John) Donofrio all fighting for second place. Gina also leaves two sons, Tom (Carla) Haren of North Royalton, Ohio and Gregory (Lauren) Haren of Sterling, Virginia; one daughter, Cecelia (Chaz) Carrera of Canfield; six grandchildren, Monica, Teresa, Samuel, Lucia, Catalina and Giovanna; her mother-in-law, Gloria Haren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Gina was born on September 30, 1959 in Youngstown, a daughter of Ralph and Celia Conti (Nolfi).
She graduated from Lowellville High School in 1977. Gina went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Youngstown State University and her Master’s Degree from Case Western Reserve University.
She began her career as a counselor for Catholic Services, where she worked for 17 years helping with hundreds of adoptions, many from foreign countries and most recently with Turning Point Counseling and Churchill Counseling. She also served as a grief counselor for Becker Funeral Homes.
Every moment was special with Gina Haren. She celebrated (and decorated for!) every holiday, no matter how small. She loved giving gifts for every occasion just to see the joy that it brought to the faces of the recipients. She would always say that “everybody should just have something to open.”
Every person felt like they were the most important person in the world to Gina, even after only a short interaction. She left an indelible mark on each person she met with her positive attitude and unique ability to not sweat the small stuff. In a time when it seems like everyone in the country is at everyone else’s throats, Gina was a model of empathy, patience, and kindness. She was a best friend to anyone who needed one, a shoulder to cry on for anyone in pain, a cheerleader for those who needed encouragement, and an advocate for those who needed an ally.
Gina led a faith and service-centered life, taking every opportunity to do good works for loved ones. “Inconvenient” was not a word in her dictionary, as she would go above and beyond for anyone in need. In the trying times she turned to prayer and placed her worries in God’s hands, setting an example for everyone around her.
Though she was not known for her culinary expertise, she did have two fan favorites, her Christmas pizzelles and Easter Bread. True to form, she always made two kinds of each, pizzelles with and without anise (which she hated) and Easter Bread with and without raisins, just so everybody who liked each type had their favorite holiday bakery.
Gina loved her husband, Greg, most of all. So much so that she even indulged his desires to get goats, chickens, a boat, farm equipment and his outdoor kitchen. Greg loved Gina but she made that awfully easy.
And boy, did Gina adore her grandchildren. She looked forward to every FaceTime call, visit, recital, trip and telephone call and her grandchildren adored her right back. They loved playing with their Grandma from morning till night, listening to her tell stories about Rumpelstiltskin and making the kinds of messes that her own kids were never allowed to make.
Even though Gina has only been in Heaven a short period of time, she has been sending signs of her love to her family in multiple ways. For instance, her family of rabid Cleveland Browns fans are thankful for her intercession on behalf of the orange and brown, who set multiple records in their first NFL playoff win since 1994 when they beat the tar out of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Gina was preceded in death by her father, Ralph Conti and father-in-law, Thomas Haren.
Friends will be received Wednesday, January 13, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home in Poland but Gina’s instructions are that 1970’s Teen Idol Bobby Sherman can show up any time he wants.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, January 14 at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Rosary Church in Lowellville with Fr. John Jerek officiating.
Interment will follow at Holy Rosary Cemetery.
Contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or Angels for Animals in Gina’s memory.
Gina’s family appreciates the thoughtful prayers of those who cannot attend due to COVID 19. For those who do and for the safety of everyone, please wear a mask, honor the 6-foot rule and do not linger after seeing the family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gina Marie (Conti) Haren, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Wednesday, January 13 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV.
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