057 My Diane
Diane Evette Uehara
  • 67 years old
  • Date of birth: Feb 2, 1944
  • Place of birth:
    Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
  • Date of passing: Aug 23, 2011
  • Place of passing:
    Everett, Washington, United States
For our loving, artistic, wonderful, beloved Diane. I love you forever, Ronnie

Diane – Delighted, Delightful, Spirited and Adventurous

Many remarked over the years on Diane’s youthful spirit. Everyone knew her to be younger than her chronological age. Even after she went natural with her final "silver fox" hairdo.

She delighted in so many every day things, this was a wonderful, remarkable gift. Things that frustrate and terrify me horribly, like forgetting something or not being able to think of the word I want. She would simply laugh at herself or make a game out of guessing words that sounded like or reminded her of the word she was trying to think of. Sonoma, Scarsdale…then finally the right one…Sedona.

The most marvelous thing I can think of is how this Hawaii girl loved experiencing the seasons on the mainland. She always "oohed and aahed" over and wanted to collect fall leaves. The first couple years I showed her how to press them in wax paper like we did as kids and she sent her artistic creations to friends in Hawaii.

Then the cold…always breathing out hard to see her breath. She delighted in that and at seeing, touching and tasting snow with childlike wonder. She couldn’t wait for spring, flowers being her favorite. Every new bloom was encouraged while many were brought in for simple, stunning arrangements throughout the house. The striking tulip fields here in Scagit Valley were on her "must do" list every year (do go visit them if you ever have the chance and see Diane reflected in the simple beauty of the vast, rolling waves of color against the backdrop of red barns and misty blue hills).

Then she fell in love with tomatoes and babied them like you cannot imagine. We have some coming on even now, in this terrible year for tomatoes. I think she is tending them still and making certain I will have at least a few to taste and savor. And I will…all the while shedding crocodile tears that she is not here to share them.

When presented with the chance for adventure, unless it was clearly something dangerous or "too far," Diane said YES readily and eagerly. Whatever I proposed, she almost always said, "I love your ideas." Then we were off…to experience Portland, Eugene & the Oregon Coast; Santa Barbara, CA; Victoria, BC; Newport News, Williamsburg & Richmond; Washington DC; Vancouver, BC; the World Pastry Forum in Las Vegas; Spokane, WA; San Francisco; the Int'l Kite Festival in Long Beach, WA; Disneyland & Long Beach, CA; Montana & Yellowstone Park; the Hawaiian Festival in Kalama, WA; Sedona, Grand Canyon & Scottsdale; Alaska; Boston; the Olympic Peninsula; Glacier Park and the 6 main islands of Hawaii.

Thinking back I’m astonished that a few months after breaking her ankle, being diagnosed with cancer and having major thorasic surgery, Diane was up for the return trip to San Francisco she had dreamed of for decades. I know she had a lot of discomfort and pain but I remember her seeming delighted through most of the trip. We saw the sights and basically ate our way through the city (including two fabulous multi-course meals at Jardiniere and Farallon and the best Dim Sum in the financial district).

Thank you so much to Louise for encouraging Diane and accompanying her on her dream trip of a lifetime to Japan and Korea! Thank you also to Emi for giving Diane a taste of New York City!

Moving from Aiea, HI to Everett, WA 10 years ago (in 2001) was a huge adventure for Diane. She had always wanted to explore the mainland and only lacked a companion with which to do so. I was thrilled she chose me and eagerly showed her the joys of driving freely to so many places (keeping trips short initially as she became more accustomed to the distance of wide-open spaces which amazed her).

As a potter, Diane maintained a studio at The Foundry in Waikiki for many years. She had a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from UH where she established lifelong friendships with many artists and creative people whose work she followed through the years. She had always wanted to live in the Seattle area more than anywhere else on the mainland because of the vibrant artistic community. Visiting art museums and craft fairs was one of her great passions. We were subscribers to Everett Community Concerts, Seattle Symphony Pops Concerts, and the Seattle Women’s Chorus.

When Diane moved to Everett, she retired from 23 years in classified advertising at the Honolulu Advertiser. She was excited to start a new career and, true to her nature, looked at many practical, humdrum possibilities. I encouraged her to explore her passions. She ended up pursuing her love for cooking and desire to learn more added to her creative background in ceramics and graduated from South Seattle College’s Pastry & Specialty Baking program. My waistline has never been the same. She was sought after for parties for her many delightful creations, especially her spectacular lemon tarts and fresh mint chocolate cakes.

Our Diane – Devoted Daughter

Diane was devoted to her parents throughout their lives, visiting and caring for each of them most of her adult life because she loved them very much. She was the kind of person to always do what needed to be done without complaint or any thought that things should be otherwise. When she experienced hard times I know it was difficult because her sisters lived far away (on the East Coast). She donated bone marrow to her sister, Paulette, just before Paulette died of Leukemia in 1999. Diane was also devastated by her mother’s suffering after the accident that caused her traumatic brain injury. She visited mom several times every week during the following 2 years until Patsy passed away on the eve of Mother’s Day in 2000.

Diane – My Sweetheart, My Sweet Pea

We were blessed to share 12 years of joy and laughter, heartache and tears. I could not have been better loved or taken care of. Diane was always fussing over me and making sure I ate well, dressed warmly and made time for friends. She kept me in line and rewarded me with amazing surprises. She taught me so much about courage, true devotion, patience and love, being quiet and gentle, creative problem solving, cooking and saying "YES" to life.

Upon meeting, an acquaintance looked me up and down then boldly told Diane, "You got a good one!" We never did quit laughing about that. The most important test was when Diane’s dear friend Bobbie looked me over and without saying a word made it clear I was accepted. I thank heavens for that because my life would definitely not be the same if I had never experienced the ono food at Young’s Fish Market.

On Dec. 5, 1999 Diane expressed these feelings in a letter: "…I really think that someone or thing is looking out for me – the universe has brought you into my life. No one has shown me as much love and caring for me as you do – For the first time I feel my life is becoming complete and full because you are in it! This is a most exciting, fun time…I think this Christmas will be the best I’ve had since childhood…for the first time in years I can see that holidays will be fun and a joyous time! Because I’ll be sharing them with you – what a wonderful life we will have."

And so, we did. I cannot stop thinking about this lovely, demure little girl (and vibrant, na koa wahine) with such sparkling brown eyes, who captivated my heart.  My Ku'uipo.  I cannot yet find a way to say goodbye.  I cannot yet accept it.  For now I can only keep saying...I will love you forever.

Thank you immensely Gail DeLeon for your fond memories of Diane at the YWCA Pottery Studio and Raku Ho'olaule'a video (CLICK THE LINK TO PLAY):  http://smilebox.com/playBlog/4d6a59344e4441344d7a413d0d0a&blogview=true

Diane's favorite color is white.  Her favorite T-shirts say "I only look sweet and innocent" and "Kakimochi Breath."

PLEASE SHARE YOUR MEMORIES or thoughts about Diane by clicking the STORIES TAB up above. For short TRIBUTES or comments you may leave them below or on the stories page.

Double click any picture to enlarge it. You can then page through all the enlarged pictures.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALEA MELEKAI (ARMSTRONG) on 23rd August 2016

"My Diane passed five years ago today. I still miss her so! She was full of bright life and delighted in almost everything!"

This tribute was added by Cathy Campbell on 23rd August 2014

"When I think of Diane, I think of big smiles. I feel blessed to share your day of remembrance, 2014, with Roni and friends"

This tribute was added by Barbara Read on 23rd August 2014

"Diane was in attendance at a mutual friend's wedding over the weekend. A lovely butterfly fluttered through the yard just as the ceremony was beginning in a beautiful setting on Whidbey Island on Sunday.  How like Diane to be there, check in, and give her blessing to Kestrel and Madrone. She would be so happy about the recent weddings."

This tribute was added by Karen DuBois on 23rd August 2014

"Diane was a great woman and very kind to me. I will forever miss her and she will always be close in spirit.  I enjoyed feeling that spirit in Hawaii with my close friend Melchert, I will always remember the times together and/or the love of Diane. Thanks Ronnie for this tribute to Diane"

This tribute was added by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALEA MELEKAI (ARMSTRONG) on 21st August 2014

"On August 24, 2013 we had a Buddhist memorial service at Koyasan Buddhist Temple in Seattle marking the start of the 3rd year following Diane's death.  It was another beautiful ceremony attended by a handful of close friends.  On Memorial Day 2014 Louise and I remembered Diane, Louise's sister, Beth, our moms and other loved ones again at the Floating Lantern Festival in Honolulu.  This weekend we are hosting a BBQ at our house for friends to come remember Diane and celebrate her life.  I can't believe it has been 3 years.  She is still so dearly missed and loved."

This tribute was added by Samantha Starr on 23rd August 2013

"Diane, everyone I know who knew you, consistently has told me how much they loved you, how much they miss you, how highly they thought of you.  I've gathered how nice a woman you must have been.  I wish I had known you.  Even though I never really met you, your story & Ronnie’s has really inspired me & her never-ending love for you has touched me."

This tribute was added by gail deleon on 23rd August 2013

"Time is fleeting but thoughts of Diane remain and is a reminder to live with vibrancy!  I will never forget her whimsical beautiful pottery and those awesome pastries which were works of art!  Such a talented spirit!Blessings, Diane.  Peace, Gail"

This tribute was added by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALEA MELEKAI (ARMSTRONG) on 14th August 2013

"Again this year I floated a lantern in memory of Diane in Honolulu at the Memorial Day ceremony.  My dear friend, Lisa, also sent out a lantern with one side in memory of Diane, one for her brother and one for our friend, Te, who died of cancer before Diane.  We were joined by new friends, Naomi, Annie, Naomi's godmother and my Louise.  It was a very beautiful, bonding experience!"

This tribute was added by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALEA MELEKAI (ARMSTRONG) on 14th August 2013

"On August 26, 2012 I held a memorial tea party at my house in Diane's honor.  Since friends in WA were not able to attend her celebration of life in Hawaii in 2011, we watched part of the video taken there (which I had made for her dad as he also was unable to attend).  15 close friends attended and one of her caregivers.  It was still a very hard time for me."

This tribute was added by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALEA MELEKAI (ARMSTRONG) on 14th August 2013

"I arranged for the 1-year Buddhist memorial service at Koyasan Buddhist Temple in Seattle on August 23 at 7:00 pm.  The 1 hour service was lovely.  Their alter is extraordinarily beautiful.  Eleven close friends attended and offered incense, flowers and some delicious foods for Diane."

This tribute was added by Susan Melchert on 26th March 2013

"Hi, Diane, missed you, so I came to visit.

I very much enjoy listening to this music and reading through all the comments and looking through all the photos while sitting here at Nuuana Memorial.

Aloha, my friend, my role model of loving life."

This tribute was added by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALEA MELEKAI (ARMSTRONG) on 12th September 2012

"Our dear friend Lisa stayed on in Honolulu after Diane's celebration of life and has enjoyed two career opportunities in fields she is most passionate about.  She loves living in HI and will be joined by her life partner, Susan, and their dog in Oct. as soon as all the quarantine requirements are met...so it seems the magical chain of events I always experienced with Diane continues!"

This tribute was added by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALEA MELEKAI (ARMSTRONG) on 12th September 2012

"I purchased a TOBA (memorial tablet) for Diane for the annual OBON service and dances at Koboji Shingon Mission on School Street.  Diane's dear friend, Portia, attended and was so kind to send me wonderful pictures and some token items provided in remembrance.  Portia has been incredible providing flowers at Diane's niche for all the special occasions and telling her they are from me."

This tribute was added by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALEA MELEKAI (ARMSTRONG) on 12th September 2012

"This year I floated a lantern in memory of Diane in Honolulu at the Memorial Day ceremony.  It was stunningly beautiful and very hard for me all at the same time.  Unfortunately the best pictures taken during my trip were lost.  It was good to visit Diane's niche and bask in the soft air and beauty of Hawaii while remembering her and having some fun with friends."

This tribute was added by Toni Taft on 2nd February 2012

"Happy Birthday Diane!  You will be missed forever.
Aloha!
Love,
Toni"

This tribute was added by David Wiedeman on 28th November 2011

"I first met Diane when she came down to Eugene with Ronnie for the Oregon Festival of American Music. Diane loved to talk about growing tomatoes and cucumbers, which I did also. She was my biggest fan of my canned goods, and Wild Plum pies made here in town.  Diane will always be with me as I bought her beloved couch she brought back from Hawaii.  She'll always be in my heart, Aloha Diane"

This tribute was added by Susan Melchert on 15th November 2011

"I remember the mint chocolate cake Diane made for Lisa's birthday party, what a treat to eat! As I read through all the postings about Diane, I realize what a wonderful woman she was and yet I hardly knew her. If anything, my eyes have been opened; Diane has taught me to take time NOW to get to know your friend while we are alive rather than wait to tell them, you may not get the chance."

This tribute was added by Susan Melchert on 15th November 2011

"Everytime I read about how Diane touched so many lives, it makes me want to follow in her footsteps. Really, why do we wait until someone passes away to learn how wonderful they were? Let's start learning about each other now -- so we can appreciate our fiamily and friends, now, while they can still see our smiles and we can exchange hugs.
Aloha, Diane, thank you for making me smile."

This tribute was added by Lucie Johns on 3rd November 2011

"When I met Diane I knew Ronnie had found the right woman. Her sense of adventure was a delight. I suggested we do an easy hike one day. Diane wasn't much of a hiker but she persevered and said she loved what turned out to be not so easy. And I'll always remember those fine desserts that looked too good to eat (but were too tasty not to devour). I will miss her gentle spirit."

This tribute was added by Rick Edds on 2nd November 2011

"I remember meeting Diane about 16 years ago.  She lived in my building.  She had such a sweet heart.  It was not long after that, I met her at a community center.  I was so suprised to see her there with the other ladies.  Not long after that she met Ronnie.  You will be missed.  You are here with us.  With love and aloha,  your buddy Rick."

This tribute was added by Toni Taft on 28th September 2011

"I remember when I met Diane and Ronnie at Semiahmoo Resort on New Years Eve several years ago.  She had a huge smile on her face and was so happy to be spending New Years Eve with Ronnie and her friends.  She was full of life and laughter.  I feel blessed to know her. Aloha. Toni"

This tribute was added by Dora Rivera on 25th September 2011

"Remembering Diane is vivid. She was full of life! Each time we met, she had a smile on her face that was ready, at any moment, to bloom into wonderful laughter. I will have the best, forever memories of dinner in my kitchen with Diane & Kolohe.  Aloha Oe, until we meet again...<3"

This tribute was added by Patricia Shields on 23rd September 2011

"I am deeply heartbroken that Diane is no longer with us, I remember meeting her before she and Ronnie met.  I remember her strength & courage & her sense of humor.  She never hesitated to expand her knowledge & skills & how easily she made friends.  Aloha, dear one.  Pat"

This tribute was added by Cathy Campbell on 17th September 2011

"I remember very large bags of flour and sugar all over the kitchen as Diane delved into her Baking and Pastry homework when she was first a student. Diane gave of her time baking me cakes/pies for Camp Ten Trees auction. Yes, she will be missed but not forgotten. Aloha Cathy/Pat"


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This memorial is administered by:

RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALEA MELEKAI (ARMSTRONG)

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