Dianne L. Monson
1934 - 2020
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Dianne L. Monson

Dianne Monson, age 85, of St. Paul, Professor Emerita of the College of Education, University of Minnesota, passed away peacefully March 18, 2020. Preceded in death by parents Albert and Iona Monson and beloved cat, Sophie. Survived by loving sister Gratia (Tom) Lee, nephew Jon (Jill) Lee, nieces Andrea (Stephen) Quist and Allison (Kevin) Denesen, one great-niece, six great-nephews, special friend Dr. Sam Sebesta and many, many other cherished friends.

Dianne earned a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Education from the University of Minnesota. After graduating in 1966, she became a professor at the University of Washington, achieving full professorship in 1974. She returned to the University of Minnesota in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in 1982 and retired in 1997. She received the Arbuthnot Award in 1993 and was inducted into the International Reading Association Hall of Fame in 1997. In addition to many scholarly articles, her publications include contributions to EXPERIENCING CHILDREN'S LITERATURE and co-authorship of the 6th edition of CHILDREN AND BOOKS. Dianne's love of teaching and mentoring young teachers led her to serve several professional organizations, such as the Caldecott and Newbery Award Committees, committees of the National Council of Teachers of English and the U.S. Board on Books for Young People.

Dianne treasured her relationships with friends, former students and colleagues around the world. She was a world traveler who loved opera and classical music. Not having children of her own, she was considered a surrogate parent by her nieces and nephew. They loved to make her laugh and she shared her love of reading with them and their children. Her family will miss her wonderful sense of humor that kept her vibrant to the end.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Neighbors, Inc. or Luther Memorial Church ELCA, both in S. St. Paul, MN, or to Compass Housing Alliance, Seattle, WA.

Celebration of Life will be held when conditions permit. Notice will be posted at a later date.

Morris Nilsen Chapel

612 869-3226


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Published in The Seattle Times on Mar. 22, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by The Family
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3 entries
April 20, 2020
April 19, 2020

Remembering Dianne

Dianne's spirit of life was vibrant. It was a definitive gateway to mystery within mystery. Through children's literature and one's inner response her influence is the seed of yin and the spark of yang, always elusively inviting and endlessly present. Literacy embraces the nuances on life's panorama, creating visions that make response endlessly available and refreshing.

Dianne taught me the power of books. All genres enrich life experiences by reaching out to all as they focus on an individual's depth. Art is the dynamics through which we grow and transform.

The journey has reached its destination. We are now compelled to return to quietude as we reflect on the goodness that is left behind.

Thank you for modeling and guiding us to the Star.

Daisy T. Lu
Your UW Student and Academic Advisee
March 29, 2020
Dianne blessed our church for far to few years. She was a part of our book club and brought so much of interesting facts and knowledge about a subject she loved.
Carol Bidwell
March 22, 2020
Dianne Monson and Sam Sebesta were advisors to me when I did my graduate work at the U of W. The two of them were so dynamic, so caring, and so bright. I have the fondest of memories from the time I spent with Dianne, and have thought of her many times throughout the years.
It was with pleasure that I read about the wonderful life she had.
I send my condolences to all who loved her so much.
Jeanne Mazzoni
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