Areli Menoni (nee Robles), 81, passed away surrounded by her family and loved ones in her home in
Berwyn on September 24, 2022.
Areli came from very humble beginnings in Benque-Viejo, Belize. From the time she was a young child,
Areli valued hard work, family and community. She had a passion for learning, reading and spirited
conversation. Her hands were never idle – she spent her free time learning the joy of cooking, sewing
and crocheting, all of which she perfected over her lifetime.
While teaching English in the local school in Belize in 1966, Areli met the love of her life John Menoni,
who was serving in the Peace Corps in Belize. They married in 1968 and began their lives together in the
US. In the following years, she and John welcomed four incredible boys, whom she raised while working
long hours at the US Post Office.
Always the caregiver, Areli made the decision to attend Triton College in the evenings to earn her
nursing degree, while raising her boys and working full-time at the Post Office. For the next eight years,
she worked part-time at the British Home in Brookfield providing meticulous, compassionate care to
seniors. While her boys were growing up, Areli and John continued their selfless support of their
community by welcoming countless family members and friends into their home.
Areli was commonly referred to as the best cook ever and served many signature dishes to delighted
friends and family over the years including traditional Belizean dishes like stewed chicken, rice and
beans, tamales, empanadas and fried plantains. Areli learned how to cook Italian dishes from her
mother-in-law including her world-famous ravioli and minestrone. No matter what, everyone who came
through the door of her home was considered family and she treated them as such – providing food,
learned insights, strong opinions, and a very welcoming and homey environment.
In her retirement, Areli brought beauty to her surroundings by planting gorgeous flower gardens
throughout the neighborhood. Not only that but she shared her seeds/cuttings and taught many others
how to make their own gardens flourish. She and John also travelled the world from France to Spain to
Italy to Alaska, St. Petersburg to Cartagena and beyond.
Areli is survived by her husband John Menoni, her four kids John (Julie), Victor, Joseph (Brigid) and
Daniel (Veronica). She has five beautiful grandchildren Molly, Tommy, Maggie, Joey and Catie as well as
her niece Dina (Raul), their children Raul and Kali and countless family and friends.