Kreeger, Diane P.
Diane Francine Theresa Gloria Piceno Kreeger, age 64, of Long Valley, passed away on Sunday May 2nd, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. She was raised in an Italian American household at the end of the suburban boom. Diane has always been known for her lively spirit and dedication to her family. The oldest of two children of Frank and Angela Piceno, survived by her husband, Bruce, her Daughter Lauren, Son Jacob, and sister Sandra Piceno. Growing up on David Cassidy, family parties, and dreams of becoming a Cosmetologist, Diane knew she wanted a family of her own more than anything.
Married in 1979 to Bruce G. Kreeger, the two began their lives with hopelessly romantic enthusiasm. Having started their first business together in Ledgewood, NJ, the duo would continue their lives’ endeavors as one, always promising to never go to bed angry. Time was never spent, though, without Lauren and Jake, always included in vacations, business trips, and everything.
Diane wholly made her life about her children, leading by example and inspiring ethics, morals, and beliefs that provided the foundation for the makeup of the Kreeger family. Baseball games, equestrian competitions, and fishing trips may not have been Diane’s hobbies in life. It was not enough for her to be a by standing observer, though; she became knowledgeable and invested in any event she attended because it was essential to her family. She also was not to be outdone at any Springsteen concert, always singing, dancing, and laughing with endless energy.
Not without trials and tribulations over time, Diane’s self-described “laugh reflex” dominated her daily routine. Through 42 years and 166 days, Bruce and Diane’s marriage offered constant support and undying dedication. She took each familial victory and obstacle with vigor, pride, and persistence. She showed her kids how to soar both in their successes as well as their setbacks. With this attitude and approach, the Kreeger family would be tested with Diane’s cancer diagnosis in May 2012.
Despite being inoperable, a team of doctors sought to provide Diane’s desire to beat her ailment with the best treatment possible. Within a year, the golf ball-size brain tumor had been completely eradicated. What ensued, however, was another battle of slow deterioration of Diane’s mind and spirit. By June 2019, Diane was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and was not expected to recover.
Trips to the bar, nail salon, and mall filled Diane’s weeks over the next six months. Lauren, Jake, and Bruce all made it their purpose to live for their girl. Having always taken care of everyone else in her life, the roles were reversed, but the training was in place. Thanks in great part to the help of the honorary Kreeger daughter, Danielle, Lauren’s primary caretaking capacity over the next year and up to Diane’s death were conducted with the same care and compassion exemplified through Diane’s maternity.
On Sunday, May 2nd, 2021, Diane’s body succumbed to her illness. Her kids swear they heard her singing and smiling Lady Gaga lyrics right up to her last breath, stopping only for her last gasp once her loved ones were away from her bedside. Through one final act of compassion and protection, Diane Kreeger maintained her matriarchy even through her last days. Diane Kreeger left this world an inspiration and archetypal example for her kids and all those she touched.
She will be sorely missed.
A party will be held in her honor at her request for a later date. In place of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at: https://alzfdn.org/support-us/donate/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwytOEBhD5ARIsANnRjVhQ6cJU68vkLUup5guAkqVw05okF0TH7JXWgwboSO5TyDGYD25xPPMaAgSYEALw_wcB
Private arrangements are under the direction of the Smith-Taylor-Ruggiero Funeral Home One Baker Ave. (Rt. 46) Dover, NJ. Online condolences through www.smith-taylor-ruggierofuneralhome.com