Floral 24

Carol Marie Defendi

January 12, 2020


Carol Marie Defendi, 76 of Dubuque Iowa was called home to the Lord on January 12, 2020 at home, surrounded by the loving embrace of her children.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 25, 2020 at St. Joseph Key West Church with Rev. Rodney Allers officiating. Burial will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, January 24th, 2020 at Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Road where a rosary will be said at 6:45 p.m.

Carol was born on March 24, 1943 in Dubuque, Iowa, the daughter of Ronald and Helen (Keppler) Nennig. She graduated from Wahlert High School and attended NICC in Peosta for nursing. Carol drove bus for the Dubuque Community Schools and was a Registered Nurse at SunnyCrest Care Facility

She married Cyril W. Oswald in June of 1964 and he preceded her in death. She later married Albert J “Duke” Defendi in September of 1991, and he preceded her in death.

Carol was an incredibly strong woman, her faith was never broken, her love for her family was unconditional and her home was her foundation. She loved her friends, gardening, being out in nature, cutting down the occasional tree and burning an always too big burn pile. She craved spending as much time with her kids and grandchildren as possible. She was a loyal friend, trustworthy spouse and an extremely loving and forgiving mother.  

In her later years her passion for gardening took over. If you would stop by the house you would find her taking care of her plants and her numerous flower gardens, feeding her birds out back or spending 3 or more days cutting her grass.  On Friday's she helped clean the church with Rosie and made sure they always hit the "DQ" before they went home.  She always talked about how fun it was and joked that she would eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch AND dinner if she could and never have to cook again.  Eat ice cream mom, everyday, for breakfast, lunch AND dinner.

She is survived by her two children, Kristina (Jason) Clausen, of Waukee, Iowa, and Brian (Teri Collins) Oswald, of Des Moines, Iowa. Grandchildren, Madison and Zachary; her brother John (Teresa) Nennig, of Independence, Iowa; brother-in-law William Whitters along with many loving nieces, nephews

Carol was preceded in death by her parents; her sister Ruth Mary Whitters husband, Cyril W. Oswald; husband, Albert J “Duke” Defendi.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of Dubuque

If it wasn’t for these incredible people and organizations, we would not have been able to fulfill mom’s wishes as she continued along her journey. They include, John & Teresa Nennig, Corrine and Bob Schatz, Rosie Nolan, Jennifer Klein, Hospice of Dubuque, and HomeInstead.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Carol Marie Defendi, please visit our floral store.


January 24, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory
2595 Rockdale Road
Dubuque, IA 52003

Funeral Mass
January 25, 2020

10:30 AM
St. Joseph Church, Key West
10204 Key West Dr
Dubuque, Iowa 52003

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