Alisa Lynn Lehman, 63, passed away at home on Monday, 11/8/21, in Glen Ellyn, IL, from Metastatic Breast Cancer. This was her second bout with the disease after about a 5-year period between being declared cancer free and it returning in a metastasized state in 2016. It manifested itself by attacking several of her organs and bones but its worst impacts were shown to be in her liver, which ultimately failed and lead to her untimely death. She faced her final days bravely and was at peace in the end. Alongside her medical care providers, Alisa did everything she could to prolong her time with her loved ones. The family feels like she successfully added several years to her life with the steps she took to manage her own self-care and lifestyle in addition to the unbelievable care she received from the Greater Chicago area medical community. Specific thanks to Edwards-Elmhurst Health, Northwestern Medicine, UChicago Medicine, as well as Aetna and BCBS for their devotion to their patients and whom all had a major hand in sustaining her well beyond expectations. She spent her final weeks at home, in Hospice care, keeping her as comfortable as possible. She was surrounded by her immediate family through her last breaths.
Alisa is survived by her husband, Joel, and daughters Kassandra (Kassi), 28, and Kerrilyn (Kerri), 26. Alisa and Joel were just a week short of their 34th wedding anniversary. They spent many happy years together raising the kids and traveling fairly widely in the US and Canada and to a lesser extent overseas when possible. With her second diagnosis in 2016, the family took extra care to travel with her to some of her bucket list places around the world including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Banff, Italy, and many great spots in the US while also staying as close as possible to family and friends.
Alisa was born in 1957 in Brooklyn, NY to her surviving and devoted parents Dr. Robert and Roberta Weller and was raised on Long Island in North Woodmere, NY where she lived until getting married to Joel at 30 years old. Alisa is also survived by her younger brothers Bruce (Shari) and David (Karen) Weller, their children Alex (Rachel), Jessica, Maddy, Emma, Zach, and Mia, and her aunts Marylin Losek and Ruth Fatt. Her grandparents, Bella and Benjamin Weller and Alice and Alfred Fatt, all predeceased her, as did her beloved uncles Herb Weller, Arnie Fatt, and Alvin Losek and Aunt Vera Weller.
Alisa had a passion for life and lived it fully. She maintained her adventurous spirit throughout her entire life; from traveling to Australia and New Zealand for 6 months in her 20’s, to undertaking all sorts of active hobbies such as SCUBA, horseback riding, hang gliding, rock climbing, and more. She graduated from Hewlett HS in 1976 and went on to earn a BA in Communications from OSU in 1980. She then went on to earn a higher technical degree immediately after graduating college and settled into an early career as a computer help desk analyst working for EF Hutton, Shearson, and eventually Lehman Brothers, though without benefit of any relationship to the name. Later when she and Joel were having the girls, she left the workforce to be a stay-at-home Mother. When the kids got old enough to need less of her time, she came back into the workforce in a new way, by opening a few of her own businesses: Zoodle, her Face Painting and Party Entertainment company and Wee Whimsey World, where she created and sold her magical clay figurines and other artwork, all while serving as property manager for Great Blue, LLC.
It’s hard to know one’s legacy so soon after leaving us but for Alisa, two are already clear: 1) her daughters Kassi and Kerri - she put everything into raising them to be well educated, wonderful, contributing, productive, and caring adults; what more could a parent ask for? and, 2) her Art – she sold and left behind an extraordinary collection of carefully crafted handmade whimsical creatures, paintings, and jewelry. One of her final requests was that we share her creations with family and friends.
Another of Alisa’s final wishes was to leverage her experience to lend support to advancing the cures for cancer by supporting METAvivor, an organization that funds Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) research. She carefully chose this particular organization because of the contributions it has made to MBC research and knowing that 100% of donations made to METAvivor go toward funding research. 115 people in the US die each day from just MBC, and so little of all the funding for cancer research finds its way to this, her own particular disease. METAvivor remains the sole US organization dedicated to awarding annual stage 4 breast cancer research. In lieu of flowers and other gifts, please visit their website and kindly make even a small donation in her memory: https://www.metavivor.org/
Due to the Pandemic, the family has decided to postpone formally celebrating her life until it is safe to do so in a manner that will honor her properly. The family will send out communications regarding the venue(s) and timing at a later date, possibly not until spring of 2022.
The family warmly appreciates all your prayers, well wishes, support, and love shared before her passing and beyond. We can’t say enough how humbled we are by the love and caring we received from our network of friends, family, and medical providers throughout this journey.
With Love and Respectfully, the Lehman and Weller Families