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I first heard of Dianna before I met her, and it was her enticing reputation that led me to find her. I heard that there was this relative newcomer to Newport who was petitioning at the Stop & Shop.

I just had to find out who this wonderful woman was for, you see, she was gathering signatures to promote a universal breakfast for our Newport schoolchildren. This cause had been my passion for several years.

Without even meeting your Mom, I was in awe of someone so "out there" and emboldened. And when she invited me to her home for tea and strategy, it only confirmed that I was in the presence of a true activist.


There was a very short window of opportunity as the School Committee was meeting shortly and whether to offer a pilot universal breakfast program was an agenda item.

The hundreds of signatures that Dianna gathered seriously helped to convince the School Committee that public opinion favored universal breakfast. She was also in the audience to be counted.

She must have been quite ill as she carried on late last summer, but, aside from saying she took long naps, I knew little more of her health.


This year a universal breakfast program is in place at Sullivan School and many children are eating a nutritious and filling breakfast...hopefully the program will continue and possible expanded to other Newport schools.


Joe, I hope this window onto your Mom's actions in the support for our children, and the success of her activism, will help ease the pain of her loss. My thoughts have been with you.


Warmly,   Judith
Becky, John, and John Moran

One of our favorite memories with you mom was this one specific evening at the beach. It was a full moon and the sky was full of stars. It was so bright you didn't need any other lights. There was a group of us sitting on the back deck with the warm wind blowing in our face. We stayed up until all hours just enjoying each other's company. Laughing and talking the night away.

Some of our other favorite memories with your mom: our long walks on the beach, watching the sunset, cooking up the fresh fish that Ron gave us, picnics on the back porch, picking up sea shells and sponges, watching the fireworks from the back deck, riding out the hurricanes, and our long conversations. We always enjoyed the company, friendship, and the time we got to spend with her.

Sue -Joe's other mom

Dear Joe,
My heart will always remember your mom as such a loving, giving and
caring friend. The first time I heard her voice we talked for a long
time, she and I talked about you, this was a miracle happening with
many more to come. Meeting her and experiencing her energy was
beautiful. I could never be able to thank her enough, her gift of
sharing and love was more than words could ever say, she will be in my
heart and thoughts forever,
Love, mom

Kathy (Donohue) Mayerski

Joe asked me to contribute my memories of his mother. Tall order. They encompass a friendship of over 60 years and the metamorphosis of Patty, Patricia, and then Trisha into Diana, reminding me of an emerging butterfly. I like that analogy. A beautiful delicate creature, yet strong enough to endure a 3000 mile migration to find its winter home.

Patty- brings memories of roller skates (with keys), pogo sticks and hoops, playing 45’s interminably, and never ending telephone calls to TAlmadge 2-2408. Walking arm-in-arm in the rain in our yellow slickers and boots, belting out “Singing in the Rain” at the top of our lungs. Later, sharing homework, dances at St. Helena’s, and The Villa Senior Prom.

Patricia- brings into focus a serious young woman feeling the need to answer a calling to devote her life to the Church , but determined to have a last fling by learning to drive a car--an early manifestation of “spunk.”  I remember the overnight train trip that her folks took me and our friend Louise on to attend her induction into the novitiate near Chicago. I was kind of in shock that she was actually becoming a nun because she never discussed it with me, her best friend.

Trisha - now is the professor, film critic, and aspiring author. Trés avant garde. Especially when she came to California to research her book, “Financing Your Film: A Guide for Independent Filmmakers and Producers.” Brandishing press credentials and dressed as a sophisticate in an ultra chic Norma Kamali outfit with a wide-brimmed navy straw hat and dark glasses, with me and my mother in tow, she trolled a posh Hollywood party looking for contacts. She made a couple, but my mother said “Watch out for these Hollywood types--they’re just looking for sex!” On that trip it was also mandatory that she visit the famous Polo Lounge and she insisted on having a waiter bring a phone to our table so that she could make a call like the rich and famous. We giggled ourselves silly in the lobby.

Diana- the final incarnation. The unconventional, Free Spirit, New Ager dabbling in the mystical. No, she NEVER dabbled; she DELVED, combined with the practical real estate investor, still seeking her true “home base“ but anchored only by her love for Joe.

She was truly a unique and complex individual and one I will always carry in my heart.

Georganne Hansen
What you have written above says so much. It is nice to see a lovely picture of the two of you smiling. My memories are imbedded in my mind. Just a few: I remember how proud she was of the job she did renovating the house in OG. She invited me for dinner a few times. The room with the huge windows where we listened to beautiful music and toasted to life. It was snowing that night and so very beautiful. Your Mom had an infectious smile. I remember when we went sailing together many times. She was very serious about her sailing abilities. I remember how hard it was for her to give up teaching. She thought about it for a long time and finally gave it up. I used to love to talk to her about movies and how they were made. When she moved to Florida, she made sure I had my pick of several books on the subject. We lost touch for awhile when she moved to Florida. One morning I woke up to find a tent in my backyard. I had no idea she had arrived in the late hours of the evening and didn't want to disturb me so she pitched a tent and slept outside. We spent a few days together before she had to leave again. She seemed to move a lot in the next few years and it was hard to keep up with her especially after she had changed her name. I had a picture of her somewhere, but I think it is in storage until I find a place to live permanently. I will miss her Joe. Please keep in touch.
Total Memories: 6
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