For our loving, artistic, wonderful, beloved Diane. I love you forever, Ronnie
  • 67 years old
  • Born on February 2, 1944 in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States.
  • Passed away on August 23, 2011 in Everett, Washington, United States.

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):

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.

Posted by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALE... on February 4, 2018
Diane, wonderful light, I met Bishop Dean Okimura today and we talked about your joyful spirit and how you were dancing the Bon Dance during the 7-year memorial today. I certainly can see and feel you doing that. Wish I could take your hand and dance with you once again. We had a grand time at lunch afterward, infused with our communing with your spirit. Yesterday would have been your 74th birthday and it sure seems like you should still be alive to celebrate. Well, the groundhog saw its shadow so 6 more weeks of winter for the mainlanders but here on Oahu we are basking in warmth, light and a little rain, and most especially the lovely spirit of the local people and our delightful companions from the other side who we know share our joys and protect us. I thank you again for taking such good care of me! I love you forever...
Posted by Cathy Campbell on February 2, 2018

Nice tribute to Diane. I know you still miss her. I also guess Diane is happy that you are happy and in love. Love Cathy
Posted by Barbara Read on August 23, 2017
Aloha, dear friend,
I have such fond memories of the times we spent together, being serious and silly, making memories out of adventures both serious and silly,, of everyday and special occasions. You are missed.  Barb
Posted by Barbara Read on August 23, 2017
You are missed and loved!
Posted by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALE... on February 3, 2017
I love you forever Diane. You gave so much and had so many talents and such a quiet, gently but firm and determined manner. I was really wanting to talk to you today. I took a drive up to Pali Lookout today. Remembering all the special times we shared.
Posted by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALE... on August 23, 2016
My Diane passed five years ago today. I still miss her so! She was full of bright life and delighted in almost everything!
Posted by Karen DuBois on August 23, 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
Posted by Barbara Read on August 23, 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.
Posted by Cathy Campbell on August 23, 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
Posted by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALE... on August 21, 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.
Posted by Gail Deleon on August 23, 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
Posted by Samantha Starr on August 23, 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.
Posted by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALE... on August 14, 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.
Posted by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALE... on August 14, 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.
Posted by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALE... on August 14, 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!
Posted by Susan Melchert on March 26, 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.
Posted by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALE... on September 12, 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.
Posted by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALE... on September 12, 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.
Posted by RONELLE JOY KOLOHE MAKALE... on September 12, 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 it seems the magical chain of events I always experienced with Diane continues!
Posted by Toni Taft on February 2, 2012
Happy Birthday Diane! You will be missed forever.
Posted by David Wiedeman on November 28, 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
Posted by Susan Melchert on November 15, 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.
Posted by Susan Melchert on November 15, 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.
Posted by Lucie Johns on November 3, 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.
Posted by Rick Edds on November 2, 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.
Posted by Toni Taft on September 28, 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
Posted by Dora Rivera on September 25, 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
Posted by Patricia Shields on September 23, 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
Posted by Cathy Campbell on September 17, 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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