Diane Mae Zoeller
Diane Mae Lawrence Zoeller died Jan. 17, 2021 at a hospice in Clovis, CaliF. She was born Feb. 6, 1945, the third of six children of Dale and Naomi Lucille Kenton Lawrence. Diane was born at the Sunflower Kansas ordnance plant during World War II where Dale made nitroglycerin. She graduated from Gardner High School in 1963. Her great great-grandparents settled on what is now the Prairie Center Nature Preserve west of Olathe.
She met her husband and love of her life, Vietnam-veteran Mark Zoeller, at Kansas State University in Manhattan. They married in 1968, and they often held hands as they walked the trails of life together for 52 years not only as companions and partners in marriage but as each other’s best friend. She graduated from K-State in 1969 as a history major.
They and infant son, John, moved to Los Angeles where Mark went to work at United California Bank. Two years later, daughter Lara joined the family. Diane was a homemaker in their early years of marriage but later worked as a secretary at an industrial company, a church, and a pre-school. They lived 26 years in the western part of the San Fernando Valley.
In 1995 she and her husband moved to the Washington, DC area for his work. Six years later they drove a rental truck with all their belongings and two cats back to California to Yosemite Lakes Park in the Sierra foothills north of Fresno where they built their retirement home.
She maintained a life-long love of reading history, and she loved nature as God’s cathedral. She became highly knowledgeable about local wildflowers and was thrilled when she could show rare ones to friends. She loved watching the birds at her home; she loved being in the Sierras—particularly Yosemite National Park—and loved being in snow in winter and kayaking in summer whether in local lakes or in the high Rockies with her brother and sister. She was partial to John Denver music, sewing cloth Christmas-ornaments for the church’s Christmas sale, and piecing together jigsaw puzzles. Besides history, she enjoyed reading Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and Tony Hillerman or watching videos of their works, although she was always and always the loving wife, mother, and grandmother. On Sundays, she looked forward to church and then to lunch with friends. She was also active with her husband in a weekly Bible study.
Her parents and youngest brother, Brent, preceded her in death. She is survived by her husband, Mark, by brothers Roger and Larry Lawrence and by sisters Kay Saville and Jean Greenfield. She is also survived by son John (Janet Guillory) Zoeller of San Antonio, TX; daughter Lara Carpenter (Andy) of Simi Valley, Calif.; grandson Cpt. Jason Zoeller (Milena) of Camp Zama Japan; grandchildren Lindsay, Kent, Claire, and Zoey Carpenter of Simi Valley, Calif.; and great-grandson, James Zoeller of Camp Zama, Japan.
A memorial service will be held March 27, 2021. Inurnment this summer will be at the Kansas Veterans Cemetery near Manhattan, Kansas.
Her family and friends will greatly miss her as she “has slipped the surly bonds of earth and is touching the face of God.”