Diane Lynn Poling Abrahamsen, a longtime Atascocita resident known for her deep devotion to the people and pets she loved, died July 4th after a valiant fight against cancer. She was 59.
Diane was born Aug. 1, 1953, in Cleveland, Ohio, the oldest of four children born to Raymond and Gloria Poling, of Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio.
At the age of 15, she met the love of her life, Bob Abrahamsen, during a summer outing at their hometown park in Mentor. The two dated throughout their high school years and after her graduation from Mentor High School in 1971. She also attended Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio. On Dec. 3, 1977, nearly a decade after they met, Diane and Bob married.
Diane happily embraced the role of wife and homemaker, wholeheartedly supporting Bob in his photojournalism career, enabling him to travel the world as a TV news photographer, mostly with NBC News.
In 1980, his work brought the couple to Houston, where the family grew to four. Derek arrived in 1982 to be joined by a little sister, Taryn, in 1987.
Always feisty and independent, Diane ruled the roost, insisting on household rules and order, while also instilling values and ethics in her children. She was the consummate mother, participating in every activity from dance, baseball, soccer, softball and theatre practice with Taryn and Derek. She gifted her children with her sense of determination and a belief in education and hard work in pursuit of a dream.
After the kids completed high school, Diane went to work for a local attorney, putting her skills for running a busy household to work as his office manager and paralegal.
In her 33 years of life in the same neighborhood in Atascocita, she shared lots of laughter and cultivated deep friendships with a wide network of neighbors and friends. She was active in the Atascocita Women's Friday Bowling League, the Atascocita Country Club Women's Golf League, Golfers for Cancer, the Humble High School Booster Clubs for baseball and theatre, and the Atascocita United Methodist Church.
Diane, who truly possessed a servant's heart, could not turn away a person or animal in need. She gave hundreds of volunteer hours to local homeless shelters and to pet rescue and animal shelter groups. For her efforts, the National Charity League honored her and Taryn with the Mother-Daughter Modellette Award. At the time of her death, she had five rescue pets at home - three cats and two dogs.
She not only had a big heart, but a courageous one. When she developed cancer in 2009, she faced it head-on and vowed to fight relentlessly. Her doctors marveled at her strength and fortitude to withstand difficult treatments. Her strong will to live never wavered. Her determination enabled her to dance and revel in a cherished day of Taryn's life, when she married the love of her life - nearly 36 years after Diane and Bob had exchanged their vows.
In her final days, in a tribute to her legacy of giving, Diane was surrounded by her beloved pets, family and friends who lovingly provided meals, comfort and many gestures of support. After all, it's what Diane would have done.
Survivors include: her mother, Gloria Poling, of Mentor-on-the Lake, Ohio; husband, Bob, of Atascocita; son, Derek, of Humble, TX; daughter, Taryn Triola and her husband, Paul, of Kingwood, TX; brothers Ronald Poling, of Eastlake, Ohio, Dr. Tim Poling of Fincastle, VA. and sister, Jacqueline Poling, of Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio; three nephews and six nieces.
She was preceded in death by her father Raymond.
Funeral services were held on Saturday July 6th, 4pm at Atascocita United Methodist Church, Humble, TX. A private viewing for family will preceded the funeral and burial will follow in Magnolia, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:
MD Anderson Cancer Center
P.O. Box 4486
Houston, TX 77210-4486