Dianne Lawson Strassner died at her home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on January 2nd, 2021, surrounded by love and family. Dianne was extremely bright, curious, and creative. She overcame economic and health struggles to build a remarkable life and loving family. She worked for NASA, the nonprofit Refugees International, and the House of Representatives; appeared on two TV game shows; put herself through law school; and raised two children. She loved international travel, dancing, dogs, old movies, and being a mom.
Dianne was born on December 20th, 1953, in Millersburg, Ohio, and grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, where she performed in musicals with Ft. Lauderdale Children's Theatre, an experience she spoke fondly of throughout her life (her favorite roles were Peter Pan and Queen Brangomar). She studied theater at Northwestern and Florida Atlantic University, and worked as an air traffic reporter for a Ft. Lauderdale radio station under the name "Penny Piper." She later lived in Washington, DC and St. Louis, Missouri with her family, although Ft. Lauderdale was always home.
Dianne was preceded in death by her mother, Janet Virginia Mark; father, William Lawson; and her beloved Uncle Will. She is survived by her loving husband of 34 years, Peter Stark Strassner; children, Thomas (Rosalind) and Elizabeth, a.k.a. "Lily"; cousins, Janet Mark and Jim Cantleberry (Challise), and niece, Amy Schneider Carter (Larry). In lieu of flowers, please donate to Refugees International at refugeesinternational.org