The Andie Summers Show

Donnie Remembers His Late Mother Ilene Black

If you were wondering why I was out of the office and not on the air with The Andie Summers Show last week, it was because my mom passed away suddenly on New Year’s Day.

My mom was 66 years old and she had some heart problems but nothing major or that is what she told my brother and I.  She never wanted my brother or I worry about her.

Now before I get into the details, I have to let you know how close my mom and I were.  We were super close!  She used to mother me all the time but she was also there to listen like a guy friend.  She provided the best advice and also did it with a smile on her face. I was and always will be a Momma’s Boy!

On New Year’s Eve, my mom was having trouble breathing.  She was struggling with shortness of breath so her and my dad decided to call an ambulance and have her go to the Emergency Room.  This was a smart idea because hospitals on New Year’s Eve are crazy packed! She was put in a bed and just rested while they tried to get he breathing under control.  My dad told us that she was very tired and just needed sleep.  He left right after midnight and my mom stayed the night to be monitored.  My dad called me the next morning in a panic because he just got off the phone with the doctor and the doctor wanted to talk to him face to face.  My dad and I arrive at the hospital and my mom is in the ICU and in a room.  She is now on a ventilator and has a ton of tubes hooked up to her.  The doctor told us that she is currently dealing with pulmonary edema.  This is where fluid backs up into the lungs.  With my mom’s heart condition, her arteries widened and too much blood was being pumped by her heart and it did not have any other place to go.  So it went into her lungs.  I am not really good with doctor/medical talk but she started to suffer serious heart failure now.  We were told that she was not going to be able to survive if she ever came off a ventilator.  That’s where that story ends.  My mom passed away just before 7pm on New Year’s Day surrounded by her family. I am so glad I got to say goodbye but I can’t believe how fast everything happened.

Her memorial was Friday, January 5th at Murphy’s Funeral Home in Ewing.  I have a pretty big family and my mom was super involved in our community, we knew this memorial was going to be packed. Packed is not the correct word. It was mobbed! There were probably 600 people who came and about 100 people were turned away because the ceremony was about to start and the line was still outside and down the block.

My mother really was the greatest human being who ever graced this planet.  She will be sorely missed by everyone who has come in contact with her.  She always left you with a smile on your face.  Thank you for everything, Mom.  Until we meet again.

  • My Facebook Post Right After My Mom Passed To Let People Know

    Donnie Family

    Last night my family suffered the biggest loss we could ever think of. My beautiful mother passed away after a quick bout of pulmonary edema. If you knew my mom, you knew how much she loved her family, her friends and her puppy babies. This one really hits hard but we will recover from this. Our teacher and our rock Ilene Geoghan Black taught us how to. Mom, I love you more than you could ever know. I will think about you every day of my life and never let the memory of you fade. I wish I could talk to you one last time to thank you for everything you have done for me but I know you heard me last night. I love you Mom. You were the perfect fan!

  • My Mom's Obituary

    Ilene Marie Black, a loving and kind soul, left us gracefully on January 1, 2024. Born in Yardville, NJ, in 1957, Ilene was a lifelong resident of Ewing, NJ, where she touched many hearts and lived a life full of compassion and dedication to her community.
    A 1975 graduate of Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, NJ, Ilene had a strong involvement with the Notre Dame High School Alumni Organization, which spanned many years as she continued to help organize and was often the MC of many class reunions. As the respected office manager at the Presbytery of New Brunswick for over two decades, Ilene retired in January 2023, leaving behind a legacy of service and commitment.
    She was a contributor to the Ewing Observer Community newspaper with her monthly column, “Betting on Black”, occasionally to the embarrassment of her husband and sons as they were often the subject of her column and nothing was off limits. Ilene even poked fun at herself, guaranteeing that every column had a message of love and fun, illustrating her own special way of looking at life.
    She was an artist. Whether it was trying her hand at watercolor or acrylic painting, her successful ETSY Sea Glass Business called Sea Spray Secrets, Ilene was busier than she ever thought possible, bringing joy to so many who either purchased her creations or were gifted them.
    Ilene was a Die Hard Philadelphia sports fan and took every win and loss to heart. In addition, Ilene was everyone’s “Sports Mom.” Following both her sons through their school and West End Soccer careers, Ilene held various positions within the West End Soccer organization including West End’s Annual Labor Day National Invitational Tournament Director, West End Green Lightning and West End United’s Team Manager and overall Team Mom. While her sons attended Incarnation School, she coached the Junior Varsity Cheerleading Team and won back-to-back tournament competitions.
    Ilene was the ultimate cheerleader for both her sons – no matter what careers they pursued, she was there to support them through all the ups and downs. She loved them fiercely. She supported them unconditionally, and she never met a soul with whom she didn’t share her pride in their accomplishments.
    She is survived by her devoted husband of 43 years, George Black; her caring sons, George and Donald (Michelle) Black; her brothers, Greg Geoghan and Russell Kingsland; her sister, Kim Kingsland and Pam Lair; and the joy of her life, her pets Peach and Jax. Ilene was predeceased by her parents Connie and Donald Geoghan, biological mother Peggy Frohbose, and her brother, Donald Geoghan. Her warmth also lives on through several cherished nieces and nephews, and through her perpetual love and respect for the residents and staff of Greenwood House – a facility her Dad resided in for 4 years. Ilene’s presence will be profoundly missed, yet her spirit remains a beacon of love within the community she so dearly nurtured.
    Family and friends are invited to a memorial gathering on Friday, January 5, 2024 from 10:00am – 11:30am at Murphy Funeral Home, 935 Parkway Avenue, Ewing, NJ 08618. A memorial service will begin at 11:30am. In lieu of flowers, donations to EASEL Animal Rescue League, Shelter, & Pet Adoptions in Ewing, NJ and the Burlington County Animal Shelter are welcomed.

    To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
  • My Letter To My Mom

    There’s not enough paper, websites, or space on a phone to get all of this out. My mother. Let me tell you about her. She was adopted by the 2 greatest people of all time. I miss my grandparents every day. They lived across the street from where I grew up and that same house is where my mom grew up. My mom has been with me for everything. I mean EVERYTHING! I don’t think people reading or hearing this understand how much she was “there.” Sometimes it was like okay, mom… back up…

    This is literally the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write because there is too much. She didn’t lift weights but her shoulders could carry boulders! I’ve had so much anxiety in my life, I may have gotten it from her but she never let me see it. Now, we talk about it openly. When I was growing up, we didn’t have much money. My dad busted his ass, I mean he worked 2 jobs just to send my bro and I to catholic school. Back then, I didn’t know any better. Today, I totally understand why and I respect that man so much more. I would’ve done the same thing for my family. This ain’t about you pops. Love you tho. More than you know. Coolest dude ever but this is about mom. Her back must be tired because she carried her 3 boys and sometimes a dog or 2 thru everything. My grandfathers Pop and Pop Pop and my dad could fix physical things like a lawn mower or a faucet but mom would fix anything going on in life. Had a bad day, mom fixed it. Her presence always made me felt at ease. I always felt like nothing bad could happen to me cause my mom was there. I call her once a week on my ride home for work. She picks up every time. She could have a serious meeting with her bosses. I’ve never heard her voicemail. If she can’t take the call, she will pick up and say these exact words “hey, I will call you right back. I love you.” This woman has been my rock… a rock doesn’t do her justice. She is a freaking mountain! I married a woman who is almost identical to my mother. Is that weird, maybe…. My wife is a spitting image of my mother. During my engagement party, I had a little too much to drink and tried to explain to everyone that exact sentiment. It came out way wrong so what I meant to say is boys marry girls that have the same traits as their mother. My mother has every trait you would want and need in a mom. It took me a while but I found that in my now wife Michelle. When they are together and talk, I get choked up. We go to breakfast just the 3 of us like once a month and I can tell my mom absolutely loves the time she spends with my wife. My mother in law is a spitting image of my mom and my wife. I am lucky as heck to have 3 of the same women who don’t give a crap about themselves but only care about others. It’s amazing. 

    So… I wrote that when my mom was not doing very well in the hospital about 2 years ago. I told her I wrote something for her and she begged me to send it to her. I didn’t want to because I told her it sounded like an obituary but she really wanted to see it. I never said no to my mom so why will I start now. She loved it. She also offered commentary and some few pointers. She said to mention her as Princess Ilene. I asked her when were you a princess? She told me these exact words “I’ve always been a princess, stupid!” 

    Well mom, you are not only a so-called princess… you are and always will be the greatest human being to ever grace this earth. There will never be a day I will not think of you. 

    When you went into the hospital on December 31st, I sent you a text at 5:42pm asking “how are you doing?” Of course you responded with “Struggling. It will be ok.” She struggled with heart issues and I truly believe she knew her time was coming to an end. She would never let me, my bro, Michelle, or my dad know if she was in pain because she didn’t want us to worry about her. She worried about us constantly and didn’t want to burden us with her health issues. That is who my mother was and always be. Our caregiver, our hero, and the toughest person I’ve ever met. 

    You taught Georgie and I just about everything we know. We got it from here now Mom. 

    I love you! 

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