Diane Vera Stafford, 64, of St. Louis, Mo., born Saturday, Jan. 14, 1950, in Belleville, Ill., died Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Christian Northeast Hospital in St. Louis, Mo.
Diane lived in Columbia, Mo., with the Woodhaven Learning Center for over 25 years. In 2009, she moved to St. Louis as part of the Missouri Mentor group. She attended St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Belleville and participated in the Special Olympics.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Dell B. and Leona, nee Siegler, Stafford.
Surviving are her sisters, Winifred (Lyndon) Knippa of Estes Park, Colo., Nancy (Thomas) Wider of Oakhurst, Calif., and Jo Jean (Carl) Voelkel of Belleville, Ill.; her nieces and nephews, Nancy Alpers, Melissa Springer, Beth Alpers, Robert (Julie) Wider, Robin Carlson, John (Joni) Wider, Sally Reda, Jean (Ken) Swenson and Shelly Voelkel; and 20 great-nieces and great-nephews.
Due to Diane's Down's Syndrome, her parents were told she "would not amount to much." Blessed with parents determined to provide her with opportunities to achieve her highest potential, Diane not only brought joy to every life she touched but learned to read and write, and was particularly good at playing 45's on her record player while she kept time with a pastry knife and her knee. Elvis was her favorite musician but she loved to dance to any music. Diane had a passion for pizza, ice cream, and watching movies. You rarely saw her without a beverage in hand preferably a Coke. She was mischievous and liked to untie your shoes when you were not looking. She loved cats and would often grab nieces and nephews, pet their heads and say, "My pussy cat" in a whispery voice. Diane liked to hug... everyone. She also liked breakfast in bed, swimming and holding babies. She was very tender-hearted and loving. When she was happy she would do a jig. She had a lot of friends, but her very best friend was her mother. We will all miss her dearly.
Memorials may be made to the Woodhaven Learning Center and the Special Olympics. Condolences may be expressed online at www.kurrusfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may call from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at St. Matthew United Methodist Church Chapel in Belleville, Ill.
Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at St. Matthew United Methodist Church Chapel, with Rev. James Slone officiating. Interment will follow at Green Mount Protestant Cemetery, Belleville, Ill.
KURRUS FUNERAL HOME, Belleville, Ill.
Kurrus Funeral Home
1773 Frank Scott Pkwy W Belleville, IL 62223
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Apr. 14, 2014