Diane Hardenfelder, 37, of East Northport, New York, passed away last week in Northport after a 10-month battle with lung cancer. A lifelong Long Islander, she was born in Syosset and raised in East Northport. She is survived by her husband, Robert, a New York City police officer, and their four children: Jessica, 11, Gregory, 8, Kyleigh, 4 and Evan, 11 months; a brother, John Lijoi, of Cold Spring,; a sister, Victoria Stewart, of Lexington, SC; a step-sister, Stephanie White, of Greenlawn; a stepbrother, Angelo Spetsiotes, of Orlando, FL; and her stepmother, Ruthanne Spetsiotes, of Kings Park.
She studied interior design at Parsons School of Design and had a small business from her home, as well as working for Fred's Carpet in East Northport for 10 years. She was a founding member of the Tiny Tots Community Playschool and a church school teacher at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Northport.
When she was diagnosed with lung cancer a month after her fourth child was born, the community rallied to her support, "because we knew Diane would be the first to help someone," said Donna Irizarry, the church school superintendent.