75, passed away peacefully at home on March 18, 2012, surrounded by loved ones. Diane was born on March 9, 1937, in Sayre, Pa., and lived her first few years in Waverly, N.Y., before moving with her family to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Diane attended school in Poughkeepsie and graduated from Pough-keepsie High School in 1955. After graduation, she worked as a bank teller, but after a few years, adventure called and she decided to move to California. In 1962, Diane met the love of her life “Walter Coy Brown“ at a Tip Topper€¯ event (a club for tall people). The 6'6"¯ Walt, son of Big Bear Constable Coy Brown, caught the eye of the 5'10" Diane with his handsome looks and kind personality, and the two were married on March 16, 1963. They settled in Anaheim, and after a few years decided to adopt their first son, Matthew, in March 1967.
Shortly after adopting Matt, Diane and Walt moved to Big Bear Lake, Calif., Walt's childhood home, and she became pregnant with their son Mark, who was born March 31, 1968. She and Walt enjoyed their time in Big Bear Lake raising their sons, and Diane occupied herself by taking care of the boys while Walt worked at the Fire Department, helping out at the local School District, and running the family's two bike shops in Big Bear and Yucca Valley. She made many dear friends in Big Bear, including her Thursday bridge group who assembled every Thursday for cards and friendship. Diane and Walt moved to Sun City West, Ariz., in 1994 to enjoy their well-deserved retirement in the warm Arizona climate.
Diane enjoyed playing golf, bocce, pickleball, mah jong and bridge with the many new friends she made in Sun City West, and she and her husband were instrumental in the founding and construction of Grace Community Church. Diane became a grandmother in 1997, and Nana spent much of her time and energy doting on her four treasures.
After Walt passed away in 2003, Diane continued to live in Sun City West, and as was her habit all through her life, she continued to win over close friends with her bright smile, positive outlook, and fierce loyalty to those closest to her.
Diane is survived by her sons Matthew (Amy) of Portland, Ore., and Mark (Kim) of Colorado Springs, Colo.; her grandchildren Jacob Coy Brown, (14), Troy Roland Brown (12), Benjamin Walker Brown (11), and Brooklyn Louise Brown (9); her sister Shirley Ann Condella of Penn Yan, N.Y. and her brother Charles Ellis Lofstrom of Atlanta, Ga.; and several nieces and nephews, all of whom were her favorites.
A memorial service celebrating her life will be held on Saturday, April 28, 11 a.m. at Grace Community Church, 16165 West Mountain View Boulevard, Surprise, AZ. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be directed to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014, or Grace Community Church.
"Big Bear Grizzly" Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 12:13 pm