Dr. Diane I. Sax Levande Ph.D.

May 18, 1938July 26, 2014
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Passed away July 26, 2014 at the age of 76. Diane was born May 18, 1938 in Fort Wayne, IN to Wilbert and Dorothy (Thullen) Sax. She received her BS degree at Purdue University in 1960, MA degree at Michigan State University in 1968 and her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1971. She was a Professor Emeritus of Social Work, College of Social Science, Michigan State University. Diane enjoyed the out-of-doors; spending time at the lake cottage and on the lake in northern Indiana; hiking in any natural environment; travel, and making friends with any and every dog she encountered. She was a life-long piano player and recently took up playing the ukulele that she left behind after undergraduate school. Her achievements include teaching Human Behavior and Social Environment (HBSE) Theory in MSU’s School of Social Work MSW Program; serving as Acting Director of MSU’s School of Social Work; as visiting professor at Northern Michigan University in 1971; fellow of the Gerentological Society of America; doing major research in the care and treatment of older adults; delivering presentations at state and national conferences; publishing numerous papers and a textbook on HBSE; establishing and supporting the Diane Levande Endowed Fund for Work with Older Adults, School of Social Work, College of Social Science, Michigan State University; past member of the City of East Lansing’s Senior Commission and being an advocate for women’s rights and women’s studies education. She is survived by her husband of 49 years, James S. Levande, Ph.D. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, August 1, 2014, 10:00 am at St. John Church and Student Center, 327 MAC Avenue, East Lansing. The family will receive friends Thursday, July 31, 2014, 2-4 and 6-8 pm at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 1730 East Grand River Avenue, East Lansing, MI. Rosary will be prayed at 7:30 pm. Contributions may be made to: Diane Levande Endowed Fund for Work with Older Adults, School of Social Work, College of Social Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823, Capital Area Humane Society, 7095 W. Grand River Ave., Lansing, MI 48906, Greater Lansing Food Bank, P. O. Box 16224, Lansing, MI 48901, or Prime Time Seniors’ Program, Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Rd., East Lansing, MI 48823, The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing. On line condolences may be made at


  • Visitation Thursday, July 31, 2014
  • Visitation Thursday, July 31, 2014
  • Rosary Thursday, July 31, 2014
  • Memorial Mass Friday, August 1, 2014

Dr. Diane I. Sax Levande Ph.D.

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Elaine Hoogeboom

May 20, 2015

Jim, My name is Elaine Hoogeboom. I was one of Diane's student. I am so sorry to hear of her death. It was in a news letter I happened to be reading. She meant so much to me. So sorry to hear this.

Lori Strom

August 4, 2014

I was shocked and saddened to read about our loss of Diane. Her passing will leave a great void in this community. Diane was my professor in the 1970s and was one of the few faculty members who was passionate about the need to respect and care for the dignity of our elders.... which led me to my pursuit of a degree in Gerontology. It is an honor for me to serve on the LaVande Board in the School of Social Work to carry on her desire to educate SW professionals, and honor her legacy. She was spirited and full of life. We are better people because we had her in our lives, and I was fortunate to have her as a mentor.

Edgar Palmer

July 31, 2014

I am so sorry to hear this news. Diane and Tom were leaders in our ukulele group, the PT Strummers. They were skilled players, lively and full of fun. She will be missed! Condolences to Tom. I look forward to seeing you when you return.

Kelly Arndt

July 31, 2014

Jim, Diane was not only a dear friend but also a mentor. I will miss our coffee club - and our lively political conversations. I will also miss her honesty and her great sense of humor. I can still hear her laugh. She always had a great laugh.

Roberta Glaser Carlsen

July 31, 2014

Jim, l
. Give yourself all the time you need to grieve the loss of your best friend and the love of your life. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Allison Kaye

July 31, 2014

Diane leaves an indelible impression on our hearts, minds, and souls. Her legacy lives on in the areas of gerontology, familial caregiving, & social justice as generations she taught carry her values forward. Together, we mourn with you Jim as an integral part of your extended family. The world has lost a gentle giant whose spirit shines through all who knew and loved her and countless others' whom we teach and reach in the spirit of Diane's name~

July 30, 2014

Jim, sorry to hear about Diane's death. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you in this time of need. A new firefly is twinkling in your back yard to give you peace.
Howard & Ellen Stob

Sid Holodnick

July 30, 2014

Jim, You and Diane have been an inspiration to me the hundreds of others, whose lives you have touched. I feel so lucky to have known Diane and to see her beautiful smile. Thanks, carry on, Jim. We love you.

Karen Ostermiller

July 30, 2014

Jim, my deepest sympathies are with you at the passing of Diane. I cherish my memories of living next door to such wonderful neighbors.

David Lowe

July 29, 2014

Thirty years ago, Diane Levande was my professor in the School of Social Work. I remember her as having delivered the best lectures of any in my college experiences. I also remember looking forward to writing her "famous" take-home three-day weekend essay exams. Very creative applications of the content. Thanks so much, Diane. All the best to you, Jim.