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Diana M. Henstell


1936 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Diana M. Henstell Obituary
December 23, 1936 - July 11, 2017 Diana Henstell passed away on Tuesday, July 11th, at the age of 80, peacefully in her home in Woodland Hills. While small in stature, Diana was larger than life. Incredibly smart, curious, and accomplished, she loved the arts, literature, and creatures of all shapes and sizes. She was known for rescuing dogs, cats, and yes bunnies, as well as many people. Her house was always full of noise and laughter and she was first person to offer her couch to a friend in need or a meal to someone who was hungry. Diana started her life in Forest City, PA, where she was raised by her loving parents, Dr. Philip Henstell and her mother Sadie. After college and travels domestically and abroad, she moved to NYC where she lived with her son Joshua, her daughter Abigail, and her faithful companions Ginger, Turnpike, and Rosebud. In NYC she had an esteemed career in publishing, which culminated with her being Editor-in-Chief of NAL/Signet Books. After guiding the careers of many well-known authors, she departed publishing when she sold the first of five novels, The Other Side. As much as she loved to be surrounded by family and friends, she was often most comfortable when surrounded by her many characters, including Piggy the protagonist of her second novel, Friend. When Friend was made into a movie by Wes Craven (Deadly Friend), she and her family relocated to Los Angeles, where she lived her remaining years. In Los Angeles, she met the great love of her life and ultimately her husband of ~30 years, Walter Silber. Diana and Walter had a full life of children, grandchildren, animals, and friends. Diana spent her final days, enjoying Walt's companionship, reading endlessly (as many as 7 books a week), delighting in her grandchildren, entertaining friends, and swallowing life in big heaping gulps. While her death was unexpected, she leaves the world with no regrets (except for maybe leaving the party before telling one more great story to a rapt audience who were taking in every word). She tackled challenges, moved mountains, overcame adversity, loved tirelessly, and in return was loved immensely. In addition to Walt and her 2 children, she is survived by her stepmother Doreen, her four grandchildren: Devon, Matthew, Griffin and Ryan, her faithful companions Curry and Jackson, and her dearly loved stepchildren, friends, and extended family. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations and contributions be made in her memory to her favorite causes including the Humane Society and the ASPCA. An open house and celebration of life will be held on Saturday, July 15 from 2-6 p.m. at a private residence, 2817 Tilden Ave., Los Angeles, CA.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on July 14, 2017
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