Donald A. Diani|
Sept 4, 1932-Dec 16, 2013
Resident of El Cerrito
Donald Angelo Diani passed on peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, on December 16, 2013. He was a native and lifelong resident of Albany and El Cerrito. Born September 4, 1932 to Angelo and Elena Diani, he lived his entire joyous life close to his parents, his beloved brother, Jim Diani, sister, Francis Diani-Cowan and his extended family. Many in the community knew Don as "Coach", Mentor, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Friend, Community Volunteer and much, much more. After graduating from Albany High School in 1950, he started working at the Oakland Tribune at the age of 17 until he joined the U.S. Army and served his country for 2 years. Upon returning home he married his love, Dulcie J. Stalman. Dulcie and Don welcomed two children, into their lives, Mark Angelo Diani and Denise Louise Diani. The family shared a full life as Don continued to work in the Print Room at the Oakland Tribune and retired after 41 years of service as a Press Foreman. Don's claim to fame at the Tribune was their favorite marketing line, he left his finger "in the Trib", and he forever greeted us all with his 3 1/2 finger salute. Don was a 50 year member and past President/Board Member of the Richmond Galileo Club and was known for his big heart, boisterous laugh, easy charm, great smile and a gift for quick one-liners. Don spent many years coaching E.C. youth baseball, Albany Pop Warner football, high school football and baseball at St. Mary's High School in Berkeley. He was a friend, father and an inspirational mentor to many young adults and athletes who fondly called him "Coach", as did nearly everyone he greeted ("What time is practice?....3:30, with the customary hand raised). Don's simple passions included loving his grandchildren, family & friends, chicken, broccoli, chocolate, ESPN 1, 2, and every other sports channel in existence. He was truly the #1 fan of Bay Area sports. After his treasured wife, Dulcie passed away in 1989, Don was blessed again with love in his life, and married Diane R. Wheatley on June 12, 1997. Diane has three children of her own, Greg, Mark and Jennifer Wheatley. Don was happiest with his beautiful bride of 16 years at his side, surrounded by their loving blended Italian family in their home and especially in his kitchen, "Mangia Bene!"
Don is survived by: his wife, Diane R. Diani, son, Mark A. Diani (Gina), daughter, Denise L. Diani, stepson Greg Wheatley (Sabrina), Mark Wheatley (deceased) & stepdaughter Jennifer Panasik (Sasha). Grandchildren; Joshua Diani-Friedman, Nathan Diani-Friedman, Darien Fields, Weston & Brooks Wheatley, and Mikah & Noa Panasik. He was predeceased in death by his brother, Jim Diani and survived by his sister, Frances Cowan (Mitch) and his sister-in-law, Marieluise Diani. Don was a proud Uncle of; Renee, Maureen, Julie, Teri, Tracy & JJ.
Contributions: St. Vincent De Paul, at St. Jerome's Catholic Church in El Cerrito and The Richmond Galileo Club.
Services: Fri, Dec 27, Rosary/Vigil at 7pm
Sat, Dec 28 Memorial Mass at 10am
Services at St Jerome's Church, 308 Carmel Ave. El Cerrito, 94530. Luncheon & Celebration of his Life to follow the Memorial.
Published in Contra Costa Times on Dec. 22, 2013