Diana M. Neitzel

August 6, 1943February 11, 2021

Diana Merle Neitzel, passed away peacefully at home on Feb 11th, 2021 surrounded by her children. She was born on August 6, 1943 in Houston, Texas and adopted by her loving parents Margaret Elizabeth Derby and George William Derby. She and her brother, Terrance Derby were raised as the Prince and Princess of the Derby household. Diana was married for over 50 years to Thomas Desmond Neitzel, II (Tom) who preceded her in death in 2014. Diana grew up in Houston, TX before moving to Dallas, TX where she attended Highland Park High School. She met and fell in love with her husband Tom in the early 1960’s and they eloped to Mexico to marry. Three children soon followed. Diana’s marriage to Tom was a beautiful partnership. They loved nothing more than spending time with their large extended family including JoAnn and Dan O’Malley, Jim and Anna Neitzel, Mike and Wende Neitzel, and Donny and Linda Ryan. The memories they shared as a family meant the world to Diana. She enjoyed crafting of every kind and was always willing to apply those skills to help with PTA programs, as a Team Mom, or anything she could do to help her children or grandchildren. Diana enjoyed sewing, making dolls, and woodworking, a skill she learned from her father. Diana was such a talented seamstress that she handmade both of her daughter’s wedding dresses. She also earned her cosmetology certificate and loved to practice new hair styles on her daughters (which made for some very funny memories).

In 2019, after taking a 23&Me DNA test to learn about her heritage, Diana unexpectedly discovered her half-sister, Judy Scott of Dewey, OK. They were able to meet in early 2020 and it brought Diana so much joy to find her maternal half-sister. She was thrilled to have Judy call her “Big Sis.” For over 10 years, Diana loved visiting Cristina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant for lunch with Tom every Monday and Thursday, a tradition that she and her children and grandchildren kept alive after Tom’s passing. Diana and Tom were known to Cristina’s employees as the “Happy Monday” couple and that nickname lives on today. The Neitzel family extends deep gratitude to Cristina’s (Lewisville) Manager, George Velazquez for personally bringing Diana lunch to her home during the last weeks of her life, and to the entire Cristina’s staff for taking such good care of our family over the years. Diana was preceded in death by her husband Tom, parents Bill and DeDe Derby, and her beloved brother Terry Derby. She is survived by her children Katherine Skorvaga (Terrell), Robin Michalski, and Tommy Neitzel (Jen); Sister Judy Scott (David), her beloved seven grandchildren Mandi Michalski, Tori Ferguson (Mike), Desiree Skorvaga, Katie Cox, Cooper Cox, Taylor Neitzel, and Matthew Neitzel, her Goddaughter, Shannon Ryan and her life-long best friend, Joan Jacobsen, as well as a host of nieces, nephews and extended family. In lieu of flowers, the Neitzel family requests that donations be made to help give care and support, as well as fund research for Alzheimer’s disease.

Information regarding her funeral will be announced in the coming weeks.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Diana M. Neitzel

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