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Diane Ruth Thomas


1931 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Diane Ruth Thomas Obituary
1931 - 2016 Diane Ruth Thomas passed away on January 13 due to cancer at the age of 84. She was born in Long Beach, California, in 1931, the first of three children of Ruth Luella Fast and Cameron McCulloch. She spent her childhood in Hollywood, graduating from Hollywood High School in 1949. She met the love of her life, William Gordon Thomas, in the 3rd grade. He was the class clown; she was the teacher's pet. She later tamed him. Both attended Occidental College for their freshman years. Bill entered the U.S. Navy during the Korean War; they married in 1951, and Diane joined him in the San Francisco Bay Area. For three years, she worked as a secretary for Marsh & McLennan Insurance Company. After his discharge and during the early years of their marriage, Bill earned a bachelor's degree from UCLA and worked for Desilu Studios; Diane continued to add to and raise the family. Bill became a university administrator and faculty member. Education was very important to Diane as she raised her husband and four boys. She was always present to provide support, discuss ideas, organize disorganized boys, and edit papers. She was a natural leader. People gravitated to her soft, yet savvy approaches to building both families and communities. She was selfless and tireless when it came to helping others, whether it was as president of the PTA or organizing events and fundraisers. She viewed politics as a way to improve the world and was active in the League of Woman Voters, the American Association of University Woman and, later, after moving to San Clemente, the Assistance League of Capistrano Valley. While the kids were off to school, she pursued her own learning activities, earning a BA in psychology and an MPH in Public Health. Besides her various educational and employment pursuits, family travels included two years living in Germany and further European travel, and the U.S, Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Alaska. Diane loved babies so much she could not get enough of them. Once her kids were grown, she served as a public health worker for the State of California, monitoring the development of and services delivered to "at risk" infants from birth to 18 months. Next, she joined a Cal State Northridge program delivering medicine, nutrition, education, occupational, and physical therapy to children aged zero to five. Over the following 15 years, she co-directed KIDS (Kolchins/Thomas infant Development Services) which grew to serving 400 "special need" babies annually in their homes for the Regional Center in the San Fernando Valley. She also loved and encouraged the lives, educational and vocational careers, and social involvements of her four sons and their spouses: MD Gregory (Mary), JD Mark (MD Meghan), Scott (Chayree), and Christopher (Amanda), as well as her eight grandchildren: PhD Jennifer (PHD ,Noah Shamosh), Ian, Erin, Zander, Summer, River, Christopher and Abby. Diane was predeceased by her parents, Ruth and Cam McCulloch and her beloved siblings, Nancy and John McCulloch. Donations may be made in Diane's name to a universally assessable playground and sensory garden, a special San Clemente park for both able and disabled children at courtneyssandcastle.com. Memorial services will be held at the San Clemente Municipal Golf Course at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 31. For further information, call (949) 388-3301.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 19, 2016
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