Diana Silvius Gits, age 81, died peacefully January 22, 2016, in her Old Town, Chicago home. Diana was the only child born July 28, 1934 in Detroit, MI to Dr. G. Harold Silvius and Josephine Silvius (née Edinger). She attended Cass Technical High School, Michigan State University (BA '56), and attended graduate studies at Mexico City College '55, Wayne State University 57-58, Michigan State Summer program in Leland MI 1953, 54, 55 and Chicago Art Institute 1957. Recipient of the Ford Foundation Grant and numerous awards for her art. She was the Art instructor at The Gross Point University School 1956-1958. Diana married Gerald B. Gits in 1958. They were married for 36 years. They had four children. Linda born, 1959, Jeanine born, 1961, Matilda born, 1964 and Baby Diana Johanna born, 1970. In 1963 Diana and Gerry opened the Gerald Bernard Art Gallery at 205 West North Ave. The Gerald Bernard Gallery grew to become Up Down Cigar, still in business at 1550 N. Wells, Chicago. In 1991 she was elected as the first female president of the tobacco industry's retail organization RTDA. Diana and the Up Down received numerous industry awards over the 50 plus years in business. Diana is predeceased by Gerald, 2007, Jeanine 1999, and Baby Diana 1971. Diana is survived by her daughters Linda Cecile Gits (Charles Albin) and Matilda Josephine Gits (John Gilding). Diana was the very much loved Grandmother to James David Dattalo, Michael Patrick Gilding and Stephen James Gilding. She was a loving Godmother to her namesake, Diana Silvius Lyons of California. She is a fondly remembered aunt to 30 nieces and nephews. Throughout her life Diana inspired and motivated those around her. A very special thank you to the gentlemen and women of Up Down (past and present) and to the fellow merchants of Old Town for friendship, support and care. A kind mention and thank you to all of Diana's friends and associates in the tobacco industry especially to the members of the IPCPR and the TAA. Visitation, Wednesday, January 27 from 12:30 p.m. until the time of the 2:00 p.m. Funeral Mass at St. Michael's Church in Old Town, 1633 N. Cleveland Ave. Chicago, IL 60614. Memorial contributions may be directed to Iowa State University Foundation for the Silvius-Wolansky Graduate Fellowship Fund, 2505 University Blvd., Ames, IA 50010 which was established to honor the work of Diana's father, Dr. G. Harold Silvius. For further info please call 312-421-0936 or sign guestbook at www.michalikfuneralhome.com
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Published by Chicago Tribune from Jan. 24 to Jan. 25, 2016.