Diana G. Lapham
December 20, 1931 – February 13, 2019
Diana Glenn (Nickerson) Lapham, 87, died Wednesday, February 13, at the Liberty Commons Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center, N. Chatham, MA. She was the wife of the late Paul Harwood Lapham, Sr., for 68 years. A Cape Cod native, Diana was born on December 20, 1931 at the Cape Cod Hospital, the last child of the late Theodore Watson and Lillian Mae (O’Brien) Nickerson.
She is predeceased by three siblings: Theodora Lillian, wife of Sherman “Pink” L. Burson, Jr.; Edmund Joseph, husband of Janice G. Lapham; and Kenneth Watson, husband of Janice N. Cave and later Brenda M. Rivers. Diana fondly remembered riding her ponies growing up at her parents’ Mill Hill farm at S.Chatham with her best friend, the late Irene M. Cahoon, wife of Ralph R. (Eph) Crowell. Among her many other friends from Chatham were the late Robert L. Long and his wife Marge. Surviving are her sister-in-law Janice (Lapham) Nickerson and four children: Paul Jr. and Linda (Boczanowski) of S. Chatham, MA; Glenn (Lapham) Wilkinson and Ben of Port Charlotte, FL; John and Stephanie (Higgins) of Gettysburg, PA; and Mary (Lapham) Jepsen and Chris of S. Chatham, MA. She is also survived by nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren who knew her as “Grandma or Grandma Di:” Patti (Herald) Hekking, Jeff and daughter Hanna of Port Charlotte, FL; Jennifer (Lapham) McClung, Shawn and daughters Kaitlyn, Kelsey and husband Rickie, and Kylie of Frederick, MD; Jessica Lapham of Brewster, MA, and sons Bradley and Brandon Perkins of Largo, FL; Amanda (Jepsen) Vargas, Marlon and daughter Chloe of Simpsonville, SC; Julie (Lapham) Swafford and Jonathan, son Jackson and daughters Jette and Josie of Walkersville, MD; Stephanie Jepsen of S. Chatham, MA; JoAnn Lapham, daughter Alyssa and son Aidyn Tomalewski of Thurmont, MD; Kaitlin Lapham and husband Reese Hayes of S. Yarmouth, MA; and Nicholas Lapham of Scituate, MA. As importantly, she was “Sister-Woman” to her sister-in-law Janice as well as “Aunt Di” to her many nieces and nephews, their children and children of close friends, all of whom she loved as dearly as her immediate family. Diana stalwartly supported her husband's military career of over twenty-years establishing new households every few years at multiple locations in the U.S. and overseas at Kyushu, Japan; Machinato, Okinawa; and Tien Mou, Taiwan. As a mother with three young children, she traveled by airplane and troop ship from Cape Cod to Japan to join her husband soon after the Korean War. Continuing in her military roots, she actively supported the 2-71 Army Air Defense Battalion (Taiwan) Association for many years in its recognition of the sacrifices made by her husband and fellow soldiers during the Second Taiwan Strait Incident (1958-59).
Soon after Army retirement in 1971, Diana and Paul rebuilt the Bearse-Nickerson homestead at S. Chatham, and afterwards they began annual treks to Florida as snowbirds. They moved permanently to Florida in 1980: first living at Bonita Springs taking care of Diana's mother Lillian, later settling at Port Charlotte, and finally moving to The Springs at South Biscayne in North Port. After Paul’s death, Diana remained in assisted living at North Port until a year ago when she relocated to Liberty Commons in Chatham.
Diana was a Cub Scout Den Mother in the late 1950s and 1960s, as well as a long-time advocate for the Girl Scouts. She was also a talented crafter until her health made it impossible. In addition to knitting, crocheting and needlepoint, among others, she was prolific in Japanese Bunka Shishu, a needle punch embroidery. An avid bowler with her husband, she was the President of the Woman’s Auxiliary Noncommissioned Officer’s Club in Taiwan.
Visiting hours for Diana will be held at the Nickerson Funeral Home in Chatham, MA, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. on March 31st. Inurnment is April 16th, 12:30 p.m., at the National Military Cemetery, Sarasota, FL.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Diana’s name to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproj.org\donate. Feel free to share your online remembrances and condolences at www.nickersonfunerals.com.
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Nickerson Funeral Home
87 Crowell Road