We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Drinkwine Family Mortuary, Inc.
Diane Marie Richards - also known as Diane, Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma - was born on November 19, 1939 in Burtrum, Minnesota to Elmo and Ernest. She was the 3rd youngest of their 12 children. She had 2 brothers and 9 sisters, all of who preceded her in death. At a very young age, Diane's family moved to California where her older sister, Arlene, lovingly cursed her whenever she pushed her around in the stroller - Arlene had thought the 9 children their Mom and Dad had was plenty. Diane graduated from Anehiem High School and went on to receive her Masters in Physical Education from Long Beach State, preparing to teach High School P.E. for the long term. Then, Del Mlady came along, messing with those all too known well laid plans...
Diane was married to Del almost 60 years... (married on November 17, 1962). He was the spark in her life to becoming the best wife and mom she could be. Diane was faithful to a T, always putting family first, always mindful of other's needs above her own. She encouraged each of her children (Michele, Kathy, Jeff and Gary) to pursue things that brought them joy. She was involved as a coach for softball, baseball, football and basketball... the boys on the baseball team needed a little convincing that a "girl" be a good coach. When Diane went out to hit some fly balls for practice, the outfielders came in a bit to make sure they could catch what she would hit to them. Lo and behold, she tossed up the baseball and hit it right over their heads! Diane's coaching didn't stop on the field outside.... She was fierce at Chutes and Ladders, checkers and ping-pong... just ask her grandchildren (Denise, Paige, Alex, Max and Evan). They would say Grandma never let them win, yet she just wanted them to try their best to beat her. Her great grandchildren (Wiley, Maya and Hadley) might now have an easier time learning to play games. And don't even mention trying to beat her at double solitaire!
Never having idle hands, Diane crocheted afghan blankets of all sizes, read crime novels, watched war movies, put puzzles together (never attempting to do one upside-down for a bigger challenge, like one of her sister's had done). The vegetable garden Del would plant provided hours of weeding time for Diane before harvesting, cleaning, cooking and freezing all of the zucchini, beans, corn, zucchini, squash, rhubarb, zucchini, carrots, and more zucchini.
Diane had been a cigarette smoker until she was diagnosed with COPD. At that point, she quit cold turkey and it wasn't until about 10 years ago that her breathing became a hinderance to activities she enjoyed doing. Even when it became more difficult to breath, she persevered through what had to be a struggle. In 2018 she broke one of her hips. Although she was never able to get around without a walker after that, it didn't stop her from enjoying the last four years with her family.
On May 6th, 2022, Diane passed peacefully at home.