- 67 years old
- Date of birth: May 23, 1947
- Place of birth:
Sacramento, California, United States
- Date of passing: Aug 4, 2014
- Place of passing:
Sacramento, California, United States
|Life's a twinkling, that's for certain, but it's such a fine thing. There's a gathering of spirits. There's a festival of friends. And we'll take up where we left off when we all meet again. -Carrie Newcomer "Gathering of Spirits"|
Diana Fay Watkins was born on May 23rd, 1947 in Sacramento to Frank and Goldie Lasswell. She transitioned early morning August 4th, 2014 in her home, surrounded by family, after a brief journey with Stage IV Sarcoma. This journey was undertaken with the same grace and stubbornness she had all her life, and ended peacefully. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Jim, her sister Sharon Lea Wright, and her children, Zachary Watkins and Sarah Troedson.
She worked as a Librarian for the State of California, and also the Los Rios Community College district after her retirement. In 2007, she received her certificate from the Doll Artisan Guild as a Master of Doll Making. Family and friends will long remember her skill and artistry in recreating antique porcelain dolls and their clothing. An accomplished quilter and seamstress, Diana never hesitated to offer her skills to others. Her smile and laughter were infectious. Always fond of nature, she loved national parks and was a frequent visitor to Yosemite and the Asilomar State Beach and grounds. In her younger years, she was a climber who hiked both the Yosemite rim trail and to the top of Yosemite Falls.
Those who knew her are invited to share thoughts, memories, and kind words for the family.
If you wish to make a donation in her name, the family suggests any of the following:
* Sacramento Youth Symphony - http://sacramentoyouthsymphony.org/donate-volunteer/
* Crocker Art Museum - https://crockerartmuseum.org/join-give/give/make-a-donation#click-here-to-make-your-tribute-gift-now
* WEAVE, Inc. - https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=weave&id=1
The family is also considering having a seat named after Diana in the Music Circus Wells Fargo Pavilion. If you are interested in contributing to this effort, please contact the family directly.
"Another Christmas and New Year has come and passed. Even though...I have my children and grandchildren...I miss you so very much. Especially at Christmas.
I love doting on your granddaughter, she is darling, smart, and I love being her Grantie...but I wish you were here so we could brag to each other about our little girls.
Oh my Sissy, my love is never ending and my memories keep me smiling...but I still cry...Love forever"
"Give my Uncle Fuzzy Face a hug for me when you see him. I miss you both."
"It's Autumn Equinox.
The season's turning.
Shorter and cooler days.
Longer and colder nights.
Almost time to put the electric blanket
back on the bed.
No words for how cold and dark
it can be."
"Your granddaughter loves books. You'd be proud. The Librarian of Congress is a woman (and black!) for the first time. You'd be proud of that too - and probably say it's about time.
I finally went to Britex - it's amazing. It was hard shopping there without you. I found fabric I think would make an amazing jacket - but I could never sew one without your help. So I'm making a skirt instead. I hope. I still have to find a pattern.
The shop next door (on the alley side) had dozens of heavy old singer sewing machines filling 2 stories of windows. I think you would've loved to see it.
I just keep missing you, and it keeps hurting that you're not here."
"8/4 9 PM PDT
it's hard to know that you have gone -
that you won't be there beside me at the dawn.
but I treasure all the days when you were mine
and wish - for just an hour - to turn back time.
Love you (as always), anyway. ;-)"
"It is hard to believe it's been 2 years since you have passed. I still feel your presence and think of you often. My baby girl Hannah crossed the rainbow bridge in December and I felt at ease knowing you would be there with Mallor to welcome and love her. Till we meet again me sweet friend."
"Still in my heart...still in your children...still in Micaela...still loved by those you left behind...oh my Sissy I miss you so much, my heart is still broke...Love you much"
"Your visitation the other night was so sweet. I loved the way you got into bed and put your head on my shoulder. Thank you."
"But the Days and Nights Are Long" by Cheryl Wheeler
Life is short
But the days and nights are long.
And time will heal all these wounds. Someday soon
I'll be rising, I'll be strong.
But now I'm losing all my battles.
Now I'm down and dropping still.
And this snow's blowing through like some ghost
With this blue I know too well.
Keep on beating just the same.
So I can, too: go through these moves -
Facing forward, walking straight.
But now my glance keeps drifting downward.
Now my feet can't find their way.
And this cold's creeping in through my bones
Whispering, it's here to stay.
I'll bide my time
Like there's any other way.
It moves too slow, moves too fast, it's gone and passed
And stopped entirely today.
I know there's light on some horizon,
But I can't see so far ahead.
Patience and grace, blessed is love. I'm losing my faith
In most of that stuff those wise men said
Most of that stuff those wise men said
Life is short
But the days and nights are long"
"I celebrate you my Danner Fay today on your birthday!
Still missing you sister, still loving you.
I see and hear you in my life...Melissa's rose you gave her in all its blooming glory...i hear you in my own laugh...I see you in Micaela and Sarah's faces...I hear you in Zachary's music. And every Iris bloom. You are so missed...forever in my heart"
"Dear Diana, you are missed even across the ocean in Germany. Yesterday we sent our loving dog companion of 14 years "Stella" on her way over the rainbow bridge. In reading the many loving messages here today I feel the loss of you and of our furry companion very deeply. I hope you get to feel all the love from the many many people you touched over your lifetime. And maybe give Stella a rub behind the ears when you see her."
"Mother's Day came and went, and you're still gone. It was harder this year, maybe because Micaela is 15 months and not 3. There are more and more things I want to ask you, to talk about. I wish I could share my mother-hood experience with you - I feel like no one would understand better than you. Today is your birthday and I didn't spend the weekend making a new necklace and earrings for you like I would have. I still have a couple of beads I'd planned to design necklaces around for you. Maybe I'll make one in your honor, if I have time during Micaela's nap. I'm typing this before she's awake... that must be part of why you were always such an early riser, getting things done before we kids were awake. I miss you so much. I love you so much."
"Thinking with love of sweet Diana today."
"The LIGHT of your smile is unforgettable, and your laugh is always contagious. I can hear it now, and I know you will live in our hearts forever."
"Diana, I remember the fun times we had together with Jim and Pastor Vi. Every time I think of you I get tears in my eyes. I know you are here right now with each of us who loved you! God bless you and we will meet again. <3"
"Our son got his Master''s degree last night. I stood and whistled. I know how proud you would be. I cried because you weren't there and because I was so proud of him and just because."
"Your birthday's coming up. I haven't forgotten. I still miss your smile and laugh. I Love You."
"Honey, our son has written an amazing piece of music. "Zodiac" is a pretty high bar for any future "student" composer to reach. I cried tears of joy and pride when it was all over. He had a huge audience: Melissa, Sharon Lea, Randy, Sarah, Matt, Ardis, Dennis, Mark, Martha, Chuck, Colleen (Erin's folks), Meghan, Dr. LaRocca, Tish, Natashia ... Of course, the rest of the auditorium was filled. And you were there."
"Well Sissy, My Iris are absolutely Beautiful. You always had good taste. I staked some today in the wind. Making sure I take care of my Sissy's iris. I am just the caretaker. I miss you so much sometimes I just yell ...I want you here with me. But I know you are near and telling me to calm down and take care of myself. Always in my heart, Hopefully I will see you again. Love you my Danner Fay"
"Well, I did it. I survived the first year of parenthood without you. I have missed you so much. There were so many times I needed you this past year. Micaela is amazing and wonderful and I know you'd be delighted with her. Dad is wonderfully helpful, Matt is the best husband and daddy I could have ever hoped for. Auntie is a font of advice and a listening ear and a reminder of you. But none of them are you.
Shannon lost her mom yesterday. I don't know if you and Bonnie got to meet more than once. You'd like her. Hopefully you can find her & the two of you can kibbutz and have a grand time."
"It's coming up on Valentine's day. I guess I'll have to get the flowers for both of us. We would probably be traveling by now. Maybe a weekend to Pacific Grove. We so loved being there together. I still miss you and love you, remembering with gratitude all the times we shared together."
"What a bumpy start to the year, Sweetie. It is wonderful now to feel your love surround me again. How do I lose that connection? I miss you every day; there is some little thing that we would have done together ... or complained about together ... or laughed about together. Be at peace and know that you are always in my heart. How could that not be? I gave it to you so many years ago."
"Oh My Sissy I held your granddaughter and tears filled my eyes because I wish you could hold her too. I love her so much and I am Grantie...we would have so much fun you and I with Micaela and Ellie. You never got to see Ellie either. But Ellie will grow up and I will make sure that she knows she had a Great Auntie who would love her and her name was Diana. Of course Sarah will make sure Micaela knows who you are. But I will whisper in her ear about you and I always will. I miss you every day and I still seek your advice...I love you my Sister. My Danner Fay..."
"This has been harder than last Christmas season because I'm not numb. You would have remembered where everything was. I sorta knew, but missed your certainty. We went to Christmas with Ardis and Dennis -- who is doing much better -- and I knew you would have baked something, so I went to Ettore's and got a coffee cake in the shape of a Christmas tree! (How I miss the smell of the house when you baked!!) I also bought some little loaves for Gifts to the neighbors. Just trying to keep some of your traditions alive to honor you. I miss you terribly."
"Micaela is 9 months old. She's been out as long as she was in me. Just this week she's starting to sleep more than 2 hrs at a time. She still doesn't have any teeth but she's doing great gumming the food we give her. Sometimes she laughs like you, and I see you in her smile the way it lights up a whole room. I wish you could hold her & I could see that joy on your face. Missing you still hurts. I know whenever we needed help keeping up with stuff around the house you would've been here. I know you would be delighted with Micaela crawling up to you and babbling sounds that are almost grandma. I love you."
"It is getting better, honey. This was actually a good week.
We celebrated Sarah's b-day. I gave her a coloring book ... and the set of 96 crayons in a box she'd given you!
We had dinner at Manderes (the new place) ... and owner was there and remembered me. Remember when we had that downpour and the ceiling caved in from all the water?!?
"A year of reaching across
to your side of the bed.
(Oh, that's right.)
A year of trying to remember
where you said you were going.
(Oh, that's right.)
A year of not having anyone
to remind me when I forgot to close the cabinet.
A year of hearing your laughter,
seeing your smile,
only in my mind.
It wasn't supposed to be like this.
We were going to live together
"I think of you in the morning, I smile when I think of your smile, I hear your laugh in mine. I miss our talks and our adventures. But I most of all miss you, yet marvel when I look at our Micalea . I take such joy in this little one, partly because she is my great Niece and partly because you live on in this precious little one. She is a darling.
Always your sister, your friend, I love you Diana"
"Diana, you are missed every day. I think of you when I see a beautiful quilt or go to a garden or see a picture of Yosmite. You inspire me to do selfless things for others or risk doing something new. There is a whisper of you in the joy of laughter and sunlight and gentle breezes. You are missed."
"It is hard to believe it has a been a whole year since you earned your wings my sweet friend. There are days when I know you are near because you cross my mind. I miss your sweet voice and our honest talks. Please know I'm taking great care of our sweet kitty friends and there are even new additions to the bunch. I love you and thank you for watching over me everyday!!"
"Roseville Fair ~Bill Staines, 1978
Oh the night was clear and the stars were shining
And the moon came up, so quiet in the sky
All the people gathered 'round, and the band was a-tuning
I can hear them now, playing "Coming Through the Rye"
You were dressed in blue and you looked so lovely:
Just a gentle flower of a small-town girl.
You took my hand, and we danced to the music –
With a single smile, you became my world
And we danced all night to the fiddle and the banjo.
Their drifting tunes, seemed to fill the air.
So long ago, but I still remember
How we fell in love at the Roseville Fair.
Now we courted well, and we courted dearly.
We would rock for hours on the front-porch chair.
Then a year went by from the time that I met you
And I made you mine at the Roseville Fair.
So here's a song, for all of the lovers
And here's a tune that they can share:
May they dance all night to the fiddle and the banjo
The way we did, at the Roseville Fair."
"Oh the lonely part of me is wishing to hear you laugh again, but then I stop and ,Oh I hear you laugh. I want to see your smile again,...oh I see your smile. I want to see you buzzing around doing this and that... Oh I see you buzzing around, you are still here in my heart and alive in my memory, as you will always be... you will never be far from me. I am your sister and always proud to be."
"Sonnet for Grievers
We seem to plumb of grief the very Deep,
With groans replacing words we dimly sense
And find the grey mist pieces scattered hence
Where word nor act could bring them home to keep.
Our balance fails – we fall into a heap:
There tears (or none) bring no surcease to tense-
Held neck and shoulders. There is a vapor dense
That binds us and prevents release to sleep.
Why, then, does this cold world still keep its spin?
Why sun? Why rain? Why commerce yet goes on?
Knows no one of the jagged glass within
Our breast, piercing these hearts that find no dawn.
But by some Grace we hope to someday win
A Light to pulse in corners ’til all shadow’s gone.
May 23, 2015
© Jim Watkins"
"Happy Birthday Sissy,
My God I miss you so much. Why did you have to leave us...I ask it every day... I see you in Micaela's face. Her whole face lights up when she smiles just like her Grandma. I love her so much and I talk to her about you. I am proud to be her Great-auntie. We all still hurt, it will never go away. But I try to remember the smiles and joy we all had, Melissa misses you terribly. I love you so much as I sit here with tears running down my face. Love you Sister, my Danner Fay."
"Happy Birthday, Honey. It's so strange --we always kissed each other and wished "happy Birthday" as the first thing. You were always so surprised that I put a card under your pillow... Hundreds of differences. All add up to I love you and miss you."
"I miss you every day momma. I know you were with me, in the room on February 14th when your granddaughter was born. I know you helped me through the birth, and held me understandingly when they took her up to NICU & I didn't get to hold her until she was already 5 hours old. Now Micaela is 3 months and I think she has some of your smile- it lights up her whole face and the whole room. I know you're proud of me becoming a mother. There are so many things I understand better about you now. There are a million things I wish I could ask you, even just to hear an answer I already know. I wish I could see you hold her, your first granddaughter. I know you'd be smiling.
I tried to make strawberry jam. The recipe in the book isn't quite what you taught me. The first batch came out too runny and didn't set up. But you taught me well and I think I know how to make it right next time. I'll try again a little later in the summer - you always said June or July has better strawberries.
It feels so strange not to be making a new necklace or earrings for you today. I was always grateful to you for being my biggest jewelry fan. Maybe I'll make something for you today anyway."
"I love it when you visit, honey. What a great dream about the two of us out on a date... When was the the last time we went dancing?!
"I see your sweet smile / I hear your laughter / You're right here beside me every day/ 'Cause I know you by heart.""
"Well Sissy, my first iris is blooming, Halloween Moon. I lost one iris out of the 13 so there are 12 left. All the others are growing. I will get another one to replace it.
I miss your smiling face and your smiling voice. I miss your advice and your scolding. But I will continue because that is what we do. And I will continue to live, love and make you proud of me. Miss and love you"
"The irises we picked out for Sharon Lea are starting to bloom. They're just as you pictured them and described them when we visited the Iris Garden. I'm learning a new song: "I Know You by Heart."
"You're still here, beside me every day. 'Cause I know you by heart."
Still loving you. Still missing you."
"All our flowers are coming up and are blooming...I remember the day you planted all those pansies and Jonny jump ups. They are blooming now and I see your smiling face in every little happy face of each bloom.
I tell my self each day this day I won't cry out of sadness, and each day I try to only shed a tear of joy that you were my Sister. Dear one I love you"
"I pruned the roses and said, "Don't worry, Dear. Roses are weeds; they'll grow back." I put the sheets over the plants to keep them from freezing. "They're safe, Dear."
I Love You. I always will. Happy New Year. I'll be sure to wake you for the ball drop."
"What I Didn’t Tell You
What I didn’t tell you
Is how it hurts to do the bills
Without Diana here to keep track and check the budget.
What I didn’t tell you
Is how I always played guitar and sang to Diana
And now I don’t play anymore because she’s not here to listen.
What I didn’t tell you
Is how I stay up late
To avoid going to bed alone.
What I didn’t tell you
Is how afraid I am that others judge me
For not grieving properly. Or enough. And that they’re right.
What I didn’t tell you
Is how I need your approval
Without Diana to tell me I’m OK.
What I didn’t tell you
Is how afraid I am to tell you
What I didn’t tell you."
"Thank you to all who contributed. We have sent the paperwork to California Musical Theater to have two seats named in momma's honor. Once the engraved plates are installed, I will post photos. We are all so grateful for your support and I know momma would be pleased and proud to have this memorial."
"Still missed and her life still treasured. I love you my sister always and forever"
"I was saddened to read of Diana's passing. I had the privilege of working with her at the California Energy Commission for a number of years. Her sparkling smile and personality were always a pleasure. As a fellow quilter we shared our love of fabric and creativity. I know she will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you all."
"God has taken another Angel home. Prayer of comfort and strength from God who wraps his arms around you; hold you up; carry you; wipe your tears; and then smiles and laugh with you as you remember a great woman 'Diana' and all the wonderful times you shared. My prayers are with you."
"Diana was a bright and energetic librarian at the CRC Library during my short time as the interim dean. It was an honor to get to know her even for those few months before she had to leave due to her illness. She was positive until the end, and her giving, caring spirit shone. With deepest sympathy to all of her family - she will be missed by many."
"Dear Jim and family, I was SO sorry to hear of your loss. I wish you strength and courage in the coming weeks and years. I know there will be tears, but may your good memories of Diana bring you smiles and laughter as well."
"My deepest sympathy to your family during this trying time."
"Jim and family:
My deepest sympathies are with you all during this difficult time. May you find comfort in the gift of all Diana brought you in her amazing life and hold her memory in your heart always. May The Lord Bless each one of you and hold you tightly in the palm of His hand. God Bless you all.
Victoria LaMar-Haas and family"
"Eyes full of pride, joy and interest
Laughter filled with delight, happiness and warmth
A heart bursting with kindness, love and strength
Diana, you will be missed! Not just your physical presence but your energy, your spirit and your loving nature.
I will cherish the memories of you and keep you close to my heart, always."
"Thank you for being such a beautiful blessing in my life. We had a special friendship and bonded over our fur babies. I bet Moller was so happy to see you on the other side of the rainbow bridge. You are home now my sweet friend. You will be dearly missed, but I will honor your memory every time I love on my sweet kitties. Love you always until we meet again!"
"Diana truly touched people’s lives. I shall greatly miss her.
Time with those we dearly love is always too short."
"I was saddened to see in the Bee the passing of Diana. I enjoyed my time with your family. Please accept my deepest condolences. May your faith bring you comfort in your loss. Sincerely, Karen Chaney, DC"
"I was shocked and saddened to read of Diana's passing. I had the privilege of working for Diana at the Calif. Energy Commission for several years. She was a fantastic boss, very flexible and caring. We both had young families at the time and that flexibility was oh so important! I agree with others about her infectious smile and laugh and that is certainly how I will remember her. My heart goes out to Jim , Sarah and Zachary. My thoughts and prayers are with you all."
"Jim, Sarah, Matt and Zachary
The world - at least this mortal plane--has lost a beautiful presence. Diana brought warmth, laughter and peace with her as a gift to others wherever she went. (and in my experience frequently the best cookies ever)
We are all the poorer for her physical presence being gone, but much richer for her having touched us. We are also the richer for the care and nurturing she gave to her family and that her spirit still lives through you."
"Dear Watkins family,
I was surprised and saddened to learn that Diana had passed. I had the pleasure of meeting Diana when we worked together at the Energy Commission. I was struck immediately by her open, friendly and warm personality. She was an excellent Librarian, who was very knowledgeable of her trade, and the reason the Energy Commission Library was top notch. I personally appreciated her support and friendship. I enjoyed visiting her Library and spending time with her discussing all types of things. After I retired as Chief of Administrative Services, I did not get a chance to see her again. However, I have never forgotten her. As I am sure you know, she was special. May God bless and keep all of you; and I encourage you to remember the good times."
"Diana was a beautiful loving person! I've known Jim and Diana for almost 20 years now! Diana was truly a light in this world, always with a smile on her face, and with a big hug! As we lay her to rest, we know that this isn't good-bye, only we'll see you later!
This is a poem I've written for her, Jim, Zach and Sarah.
Ashes to ashes,
And dust to dust,
The body returns,
And so it must.
But this is not the end,
Oh no sirree!
For this is only the next step,
In our journey you see.
For when you've given your soul,
To Jesus Christ our Lord,
Though the body may go down,
Upward our soul does soar.
Upward to heaven,
Up, up we soar,
To experience God's love, peace and joy,
Now and forevermore!
See you later Diana! We love you!"
"I am stunned and saddened to hear of Diana's passing - at only age 67! I worked as a scientist at the Energy Commission and used the library quite a bit. Diana was always so cheerful and helpful; we had a nice connection. I'm sorry I never got to sample her cookies! My deepest condolences to her family. I would like to contribute toward naming a seat in her honor at Music Circus - can someone contact me about that? Again, my condolences. - Elaine"
"It is difficult to reflect quietly on Diana Fay Watkins. As soon as you begin, joy disrupts everything. The joy of Diana seems much more comfortable with movement, music, engaged conversation, humming sewing machines, laughter, cookies achieving their exalted destiny in the oven, artistry in action, the calling of written words, and a blur of other activities all ascendant. (note to self: change your paradigm of "librarian").
Diana increased my understanding of the Periodic Table of the Elements. Here is what I learned: You have this element, DIANA. DIANA is unique, no other element is the same. DIANA has the capacity to bond with other unique elements to produce an entirely new element. DIANA can bond with JIM resulting in DIANAJIM; the characteristics of which are not found elsewhere in the universe. It's not very far into the DIANA table before you reach the remarkable SARAHDIANAJIMZACHARY where a two-dimensional representation breaks down and is insufficient to illuminate all the bonds and all the complexities of this unique element. The study of DIANA will lead you to understand that her defining attribute was connecting a wondrous world that included family, friends, co-workers, dolls, quilts, books, mountains, the garden out back, oceans, cats, home, dinner, those cookies, and more with the strongest bonds.
On August 6th, the Joycester reminded us that Diana was a blessed presence. As Diana's journeys continue, I believe that the bonds she created are unbreakable and that her blessed presence will be there when you dance, make or play music, smile at others, bake chocolate chip cookies, read, enjoy the company of others, create, or make the futile attempt to quietly reflect on Diana Fay Watkins. We honor Diana when we call those strong bonds she created by their real name, love. Diana and Jim knew it and the Beatles said it: "All you need is love." As Diana might say: "You can look it up."
Blessings and love to all who love Diana..."
"Diana always had a warm friendly smile and a very caring personality.
We met while Jim was in grad school and we had many wonderful get-to-gethers. We reconnected when Carolyn, my wife could get to enjoy their friendship. We were very saddened to read of her loss. Our best wishes to Jim and her family."
"Like some others, I first met Diana by way of her amazing chocolate cookies at Aikdo dojo potlucks. I wondered how good could they be, that everyone was making such a fuss? They were that good!
I got to know her better when I went over to talk to her and Jim about things after her diagnosis .... as a doctor-friend, who could translate "medical-ese" terminology and explain some things. I was impressed so much with two things, (1) the extraordinary love between Jim and Diana, from when they were kids, really, up to today! And (2) her extraordinary courage. Really strong, no-nonsense, "Let's find out what is true and then deal with that." I was struck: a truly strong woman.
Love to you all as you grieve. <3"
"Diana was a beautiful doll maker . I had the privilege of working with her in many porcelain doll making seminars. Her shining face and loving personality will be missed by all her knew her!"
"What sets Diana apart from so many for me (besides her famous delicious chocolate chip cookies) was her genuine kindness and warmth and the love she and her husband Jim obviously shared. She and Jim, a fellow Aikido student mirrored each other in a lovely way and had a love for each other that was so apparent and tangible it inspired a renewed love for life itself and human goodness. I hope Jim and Diana's family will carry on the spirit of that love."
"I met Diana for the first time about 5 years ago at an Aikido dojo potluck - everyone was salivating to get one of her famous chocolate chip cookies. One special member of the dojo even hoarded a whole plate of them... I had no idea she made those at that time, and I made the comment that those cookies must be pretty special, and what a pity it was that I could not eat them because I stay away from gluten. So we just chit-chatted along, and she revealed that she was the baking genius who made them. Her kind, and matter-of-fact way to talk, and the infectious laughter will stay in my heart, forever."
"Diana and I have been friends since we were 11 years old. We met at a 4-H Club party in Latrobe, and became instant friends. We were best friends all through high school, and roommates at UC Davis. That's when she met Jim, whom we all loved instantly. We all had fun going to dinner together at school and laughing over everything. When Diana and I were in high school, Goldie, Frank and SharonLea were very nice to let me come over all the time and visit them at the house in Latrobe. Their little stone house was my second home all summer. Over the years and then recently, I came up and visited Diana and Jim in Sacramento. Diana meant so much to me, and to all of us. Her friendship and positive outlook spread joy her whole life. So wonderful that she had Jim in her life, an angel. Diana was happy that Sarah and Zach are close by--and I did hear all about the legendary meals they cooked. My love and good wishes go out to the family. I am forever your friend, always. Thank you Jim for always reaching out to us, I am so grateful for the friendship. Diana we will miss you. Much love, Michelle"
"Over the past weeks, I have been reflecting on my amazing friendship with Diana. She was a wonderful travel companion. We went to Fall Retreat together, to museums and quit shows to name a few. We always had so much fun. Diana loved to laugh and have a good time. We worshipped together and sang in Hymnosis together. I loved the amazing dolls she made, they were beautiful and had such detailed craftsmanship. I will miss her radiant smile. Diana, you blessed us all. Love, Nancy Garrett"
"I treasure my memory of Diana's enduring cheerfulness… her quick smile and laughter. Plus… I'll always remember her World Famous Chicken Broccoli Casserole and her Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. Thank you, Diana, for blessing us with your presence."
"Diana was always happy and smiling and laughing. When she came into a room, you knew it because you could hear her energy and laughter. She was a wonderful woman with a wonderful laugh and it just made you happy to be around. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her."
"What I will remember most about Diana is her smile, her contagious laugh and her thoughtful look and reflective "hmmm" whenever I shared something that made her think. She always worried more about everyone else than herself, and I say to you now, Diana, go in peace knowing that you have given a lifetime of love to carry those who are left. All shall be well, my dear friend!"
"Diana has been in my life since I was born. Richie and I were the same age, just young enough to torture Diana, as much as possible. I always remember her being one of my older sisters. I know she got mad at us, but I also know she was full of love too. Her smile lit up the world. My heart is sad, but I will keep her smile in my heart forever. She is in peace, light and love. Diana was loved by many and will be missed terribly. Much love to her entire family,
"Danner,( Diana) was my only sister, and we have stood together every since we lost our brother in 1967. The Lasswell girls we were called, we stood together through losing both our parents and our blessed Grammie. And even though she is not here for me to see I know she will stand by me always until my time on earth is done. I Love you Forever"
"Diana also leaves her Niece Melissa, who love her like another mother...Nephews Chris, and Bryan, she always made sure they had some new school clothes when they were small and we were struggling. Diana also had two Great Nephews, Jack and Henry. They all loved her very much"
"Diana was a fine woman. I worked for her at the CEC and later briefly with her at Caltrans. She was ALWAYS upbeat, always conscientious, always a good worker. The library world will miss her. We will all miss her."
"It was always a pleasure to see Diana. I met her at the reception for the art exhibit where her daughter Sarah was one of my featured artists. A couple asked me to explain why Sarah's work was in the show, so I did. When I finished, Diana laughed, and Jim said, "That's our daughter!" When I looked surprised, Diana laughed again. Whenever I saw her, something would make her laugh, even towards the end of her life, and that's how I'll remember her -- a lovely woman with a beautiful smile and a wonderful laugh."
"Words to Calm the Spirit
Ametsuchi no musubi no naka ni chihayaburu
Kami no mioya no oyaoya to tsutae mashite
Chichihaha no atae tamahishi wake mitama.
Life originated with great vigor when heaven and earth took form, the genesis of the universe. The mitama of the kamisama has divided and been transmitted to us through our ancestors and parents.
Kono utsushiyo o makari naba
Towa no mitama no furusato no kami no mikado ni kaeru nari
When we pass from this visible world, we return to the resplendent abode of the kami, the origin of the enduring mitama.
Kami no mikado wa
Ametsuchi no nagaki inochi ni kotonarazu
Mimi ni kokoezu me ni mienu
Kiyoki nagisa ni shiki nami no yosuru tokoyo no kuni to yu.
The kamisama realm of eternal life remains inaudible and invisible. It is said: in the eternal land of the kamisama, waves gently lap on a beautiful, endless shore.
Tokoyo no kuni ni shirakumo no chie o oshi wake akanesasu
Hi no wakamiya ga tatsu to yu
It is said: in heaven the white clouds are pushed away, and there stands a shrine of the sun which shines a brilliant crimson color.
Hi no wakamiya no takadono ni
Yoyo no mitama wa akaru tae teru
Tae mochite mi o yosohi mizu no magatama
Torikakete yasuku odahi ni masu to yu
It is said: generations and generations of mitama radiate extraordinarily brightly, residing in the calm, tranquil sanctuary of the Sun Shrine, wearing exquisite, beautiful jewels.
Yasuku odahi ni masu koto o aogi kohinomi
Utsusomi no ware mo ukara mo hitosuji ni
We who are living in the present world
Earnestly look up in prayer, pleading for abiding peace and tranquility for the Departed.
Kami no mamichi no masamichi o ukegahi matsuri tsutsushimite
We sincerely believe in the true, straight path of the kami.
Oyako harakara mutsumajiku ie o totonoe
Mi o osame kiyoku akaruku urehinaku
Ikuru makoto o ame kakeri kuni kakerishite misonahashi
Parents and children, brothers and sisters—all strive to live clearly and brightly, in happiness and without grief. See how this truth flies through the heavens and soars across the earth!
Mitama wa takaku yasurakeku
Iya tokoshie ni shizumarite
We pray that your mitama abide nobly, in peaceful tranquility for all time.
Ie no sakae o mamori mase
Ie no sakae o mamori mase
Protect the prosperity of our livelihoods.
Protect the prosperity of our homes.
Mu jo rei ho shin ju bu gyo
Ten jo mu kyu mei un ryu sho
Bu nan nyu shin ka sho an raku
Myo ho ji gen dai i jin tsu riki
We follow kannagara, the way of the universe,
that the kami will manifest divine power in our being.
Harae tamae kiyome tamae mamori tamae
Sakiwae tamae terashi tamae michibiki tamae
Sweep the impurities from our being and purify our spirits
Grant us protection; grant us happiness;
Restore brightness to our spirits and give us guidance.
Sugasuga shiku sukoyaka ni
Higoto yogoto o arashime tamae
We implore the kami, that we may know health and strength, every day and every night."
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