Louise Marie Forneris Fernandez

(April 15, 1936 – Jan. 26, 2023)

Published by Herr Funeral Home and Cremation Services, (Collinsville, Illinois) on Legacy.com, January 30, 2023

Louise answered Jesus’ calling and entered her Heavenly Home on January 26th [2023] at 3:30 am. Louise Marie Forneris, 86, was born on April 15, 1936. She was an only child to Emily Rose “Amelia” (nee Genetti) [baptismal name: Rosina Amelia Genetti] and Giovanni “John” Forneris.

As a child Louise was quiet and bashful. She grew up in a home with her parents and “Nona” speaking Italian. When it came time for her to enter school at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School she did not know English and the teachers could not understand her. It was decided for her to attend Clay School where she learned English and continued to progress with her other subjects. She eventually joined her class at Saints Peter and Paul and graduated in 1949.

Louise loved to read especially comic books and complete puzzles. In her early years this helped her learn English, and eventually attend Saints Peter and Paul.

In 1941 her parents bought land outside of Collinsville, the old brick building, St. Louis Hydraulic Foundry and Press Company. Her parents worked day and night clearing the land and cleaning bricks.

They eventually moved to this location and named the property Forneris Hill. Besides the brick building there was a pond and cabins they restored and rented.

1953 Senior Portrait, Collinsville Township High School

She attended Collinsville Township High School were she was a member of the marching band. Louise loved the band trips to Nashville, TN and New Orleans, LA. She also wanted to become a nurse. After graduating from high school in 1953 she attended Christian Welfare School of Nursing. During her undergraduate years this school closed, so she continued her nursing education at the Springfield School of Nursing in Springfield, IL. She graduated in 1957. She worked as a registered nurse at Christian Welfare Hospital.

During her college years she met Angel Fernandez and they married. They built a home on Forneris Hill and helped her parents with a vegetable farm. They grew enough tomatoes to hire help and supply Brooks Ketchup, Produce Row, and local grocery stores. They also helped with renting and maintaining the cabins and brick building.

One of the most memorable tenants was a circus. In the early 1960’s a circus came to town that would perform acts such as shooting a person out of a cannon and walking a high wire. They also had animals including elephants, orangutans, tigers, lions, and camels.

Louise and Angel started their family and had four beautiful children, Dr. Mark (Joan) Fernandez, Michael (Jan) Fernandez, Rose Marie (Richard) Zabawa, and Robert (Natalie) Fernandez.

While raising four children Louise returned to nursing in Collinsville and worked many years with local doctors. She retired when her eight grandchildren were born, Christopher Fernandez, Brian Fernandez, Jared Fernandez, Jordan Fernandez, Rebecca Zabawa, Dr. Luke Zabawa, Bobbi Fernandez and Rob (Mercedes) Fernandez.

Louise has an adopted granddaughter Kim (Justin) Hongisto and four adopted great grandchildren, Magen, Micah, Luke, and Logan.

Louise loved to watch her children and grandchildren play sports. She and Angel did not miss a game. They also loved to pick up and drop off the grandchildren at school. There were many days they would be at three to four different schools to get the grandchildren. They had their own minivan schedule.

Louise joins her Husband, Mother, and Father in Heaven.

Please join us in celebrating Louise’s life at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church with the visitation at 9:00 am and Mass at 10:30 am on Monday, February 6th [2023].

In lieu of Flowers, please consider donating to Shriners Hospital and Saints Peter and Paul Athletic Department.

To send a flower arrangement or to plant trees in memory of Louise M. Fernandez, please visit our Sympathy Store (link provided below).

To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Louise M. Fernandez, please visit our Sympathy Store (link provided below).

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Webmaster’s Note: Louise M. Fernandez was the daughter of Rosina Amelia Genetti (1916-2006) and Giovanni Forneris (1915-2003). She was the granddaughter of Vigilio Genetti (1852-1932) and his second wife Margaretha Mueller Kittstein (1882-1956) of Collinsville, Illinois. She is also the sister-in-law of Geraldine Fernandez Genetti (1921-2020) who married Louise’s uncle, Vernon Genetti (1918-1999), her mother’s younger brother. This means that the four children of Louise Forneris Fernandez and the three children of Geraldine and Vernon Genetti, (Genelle, Sharon and Thomas – all living) are double cousins, being related through both their maternal and paternal sides. They are first cousins through Angel Fernandez and Geraldine Fernandez Genetti; and first cousins, once removed through Louise Forneris Fernandez and her Uncle Vernon Genetti.

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