Patricia Dianne McLean Schuster, 80, passed away peacefully from complications of COPD on April 25, 2020, at her home in Clermont, Florida with her son Mitch by her side. Diane was born on September 10, 1939 in Gainesville, Florida, the beloved first child of William Benjamin McLean, Sr. and Hazele Doke McLean. She grew up in Central Florida and was the cherished first grandchild of her maternal grandparents, Carl and Daisy Doke of Alachua, Florida and paternal grandmother, Annie Shelton McLean of Bartow, Florida.
She graduated from Clermont High School in 1957 and married Burnell Myron Schuster (Skeets) on July 5, 1958. She and Skeets lived on Air Force bases in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Goldsboro, North Carolina, Spangdahlem, Germany, Homestead, Florida and Victorville, California before settling permanently back in Clermont, Florida in 1971. They welcomed their son Burnell Mitchell (Mitch) Schuster on September 22, 1960.
Dianne then worked for Citizen's Bank (which ultimately became Bank of America) in Clermont for 27 years as a Customer Service Representative. The perfect job for Dianne's love for people, she called customers by name and continued to give the small town community feel to the bank as it went through major changes.
Her keen and determined mind found great satisfaction in researching family genealogy long before online research made details more accessible. She wrote hundreds of letters, visited courthouses, searched for documents, scoured old census records and traced almost illegible documents so she could decipher the handwriting. Her work resulted in certificates as Florida Pioneer Descendants for her father, Ben McLean and herself. She helped found the Pastfinders of South Lake County Genealogy Society to help others research and preserve their family history. As she always did, she made friends along her genealogical journey, sharing generously both her time and knowledge and trying to get other (more lazy and less detail-oriented) family members to join her search.
"Avid" doesn't begin to describe Dianne's love for books. She read voraciously and ultimately had to keep a log of books by favorite authors, so she wouldn't start a book she'd already read. She especially enjoyed the Outlander series, which described places and events in Scotland, part of her McLean heritage. After she retired from the bank, she worked at Ocoee Book Rack, a used bookstore, where she shared her passion and knowledge with other bookworms. Her hands were as active as her mind and she was an accomplished seamstress, making almost all of her own clothing. She enjoyed crocheting and made beautiful baby blankets and afghans. She and Skeets spent many weekends with Mitch at their cabin in the Ocala National Forest where Dianne tended plants and flowering bushes. Her porch at home was full of blooming lilies and Christmas cactuses she propagated and her yard full of azaleas she planted.
Dianne was predeceased by her mother Hazele Doke McLean, her husband of 39 years Skeets Schuster, her granddaughter Audrey Schuster, her father William Benjamin McLean and stepmother Monta McLean. She is survived by her son Mitch of Gainesville, Florida, her grandson Michael Radford (Clancy) of Hampton, Florida, and seven siblings: William Benjamin McLean, Jr. (Susan) and Barbara Vitter of Clermont, Florida, Mark McLean (Doreen) and John McLean (Caroline) of Sebring, Florida, Jeff McLean (Jamie) of Merritt Island, Florida, Scott McLean (Tina) of Lake Placid, Florida and Mary Hix (Mark) of Lewisville, North Carolina, and many McLean and Doke nieces and nephews. She was also part of the great clan of Doke cousins who reinforced her love of family, laughter and good stories.
A private internment will take place a Oak Hill Cemetery in Clermont, Florida where she will be laid to rest next to her husband Skeets. A memorial will be held at a later date to celebrate Dianne and her upbeat, determined, productive and loving life. Online condolences may be made to Becker Funeral Home at www.beckerfamilyfuneral.com.