BONANNO--Diane C., (nee Mary Diane Cassetta) passed away on the 27th October 2010, at the age of 74. She bravely fought cancer over a number of years, and finally succumbed in peace and comfort, in the company of her family, at her home in Chappaqua, New York. Diane was born on 29th August 1936 in Elmira, New York to parents Elizabeth (nee LeMark) and Paul Cassetta She was an only child who enjoyed her friends, music, reading and the cinema. As a young adult she moved to Albany, where she worked as a medical secretary. There she met Philip Bonanno at the time a student at Albany Medical College. Diane and Philip married in 1963, lived in Brooklyn and Westbury before relocating to Chappaqua in 1970. Diane dedicated much of her adult life to raising their three children and giving generously of her time and her heart to her community and numerous charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society. Diane also dutifully served as a member of the New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct. Among her many endearing qualities, Diane will be remembered for her caring and compassion, her grace and elegance, her positive outlook and selfless approach to life. In modern parlance, Diane was a "giver", someone who routinely put others before herself; in that way she remains an inspiration to all who had the privilege to know her. All her tender qualities were complemented by a lust for a life, a keen wit, sharp sense of humor and a well-honed pragmatic view of the world. Diane lived a remarkable life and is survived by a grateful family, including her devoted husband Philip, her three children and their spouses, Dominique and Mark (Mannix) of Pleasantville, Peter and Jennifer of Pleasantville and Philip Jr and Louise Georgeson of Melbourne, Australia and her five glorious grandchildren who were the pride of her life, Sarah, Caroline, Matthew, Philip III and Max. The family will receive friends at the Beecher Funeral Home, in Pleasantville, today, Friday from 5-8pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday at 10am at Holy Innocents Roman Catholic Church in Pleasantville. Diane's immediate family wishes to thank her doctors, hospice for all of their care and all their friends and family who provided her and the entire family with great support throughout. Diane left this life the way she lived it; surrounded by love and family, and full of grace and dignity. In lieu of flowers kindly make donations in Diane's name to Northern Westchester Breast Institute, 400 East Main Street, Mount Kisco, NY 10549.
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Published in The New York Times on Oct. 29, 2010