February 14, 1943 – October 26, 2018
Diana “Diane” Pearl (McGraw) Arnold, 75, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 26, 2018 at McGraw Center, Mayo West Campus after her long, courageous battle with lung cancer. Diane was born on Valentine's Day, 1943 in Chattanooga, Tennessee and then lived near the new Pentagon where her Army Engineer father served. Postwar, the family lived in Chattanooga, Omaha, Houston, and Dayton. With her degree in education from Miami University (Ohio), Diane taught and coached at K-12 Dayton area schools while starting her family.
Relocating for her husband’s US Air Force assignments, Diane, John (Special Operations pilot), and daughters Lori and Lisa enjoyed beach, desert, mountain, and jungle military family life in CA, WA, FL, AR, Africa and the DC area until 9/11, when Diane lost friends and decided to retire.
Diane was a force of nature, able to juggle family, moving, and a career. With every move, she maximized her contribution to the community. While in Ft. Walton Beach, Diane set-up and ran recreation programs in the Cuban-Haitian Task-Force Marielitos Camp and took her programs to Ft. Smith, AR for HHS. As personnel officer and Ambassador's special projects officer at the American Embassy, Kinshasa, she helped the secret service on VP Bush's visit, led the TASOK School Board invigoration, and escorted Diplomatic Pouch material to Embassy N'Djamena, Chad during the Libyan crisis. While in Chad, she was trapped by a Haboob storm and took refuge with French Foreign Legion! Everywhere she lived, Diane rose to the top and became a leader.
Diane was funny, smart, fiercely protective of all those she loved, driven, sober, competitive, loyal, loving, loved, stubborn, classy, musical, a teacher and a leader. She was a good friend to many. Diane is preceded in death by her parents C.C. (Mac) and Ruth McGraw and her brothers Charles, Lee, and Edwin. Diane is lovingly remembered by her husband of 44 years, John; two daughters, Lori (Preston) Garraghty of Bloomington, IN, and Lisa Garnjost of Burke, VA; and four grandchildren, Andrew Garnjost (20), Christopher Garnjost (18), EmmaLynn Garnjost (16), and Kendall Kelly (13).
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 3, 2018 with time to visit with the family from 10 a.m. until time of service and a reception to follow from noon until 2 p.m. all at HARDAGE-GIDDENS FUNERAL HOME, 1701 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Diane to the Jones Academy Foundation (EIN 26-0084734) endowment, where all gifts will be matched by the Choctaw Nation.
- John Arnold, Husband
- Lori Garraghty (Preston), Daughter
- Lisa Garnjost, Daughter
- Four grandchildren, Andrew Garnjost (20), Christopher Garnjost (18), EmmaLynn Garnjost (16), and Kendall Kelly (13).
- Jones Academy Foundation
- Time to Visit with Family Saturday, November 3, 2018
- Celebration of Life Service Saturday, November 3, 2018
- Reception Saturday, November 3, 2018
November 3, 2018
November 3, 2018
Diane was a big part of our salon family. Here she is at Serie’s baby shower. We all love you Diane.
November 3, 2018
My sincere condolences to Dianne's family and friends. After Dianne hired me I asked her for some career advice. She told me "credibility is your currency in this building." That was just who she was. I still follow that lesson and I pass on to the new guys what Dianne passed on to me. She was one of the best bosses I ever had. Although I am sad to hear of her passing, I am glad she had many years of retirement to enjoy with family and friends after a life of dedication and service to her country. Treasure the memories of the good times.
November 2, 2018
Diane was one of the kindest sweetest women I've ever met. When I kept trying to come in and out she was always there for me. And who else but Diane Arnold could handle the board of directors at Al Pablo. She will be missed