Diana was born August 12, 1944, to parents Charles and Mae Austin of Illinois. The eldest of four children, Diana and her siblings were raised in Skokie, Illinois. After earning her B.A. in Education from Northern Illinois University, she began her career as a teacher in the Highland Park school system. A few years later, Diana and two friends answered a call for qualified teachers in California. With Diana’s passion for cross-country travel and her fourteen year-old brother, Jack, she packed up her ‘66 Chevy named Dotty and headed west.
After settling in Tustin, California, Diana began her thirty-five year career at McFadden Intermediate School in Santa Ana. During her teaching career she continued on with her studies and in 1987 attained her Master's Degree from National University. As a part of the language arts faculty and department co-chair, she not only had a tremendous impact upon her students but also developed life-long friendships with her colleagues. Diana and her associates lead McFadden to many successful Pentathlon championships. Diana conducted several class trips to explore historic east coast sites including Washington, DC; the Amish Community in Lancaster, PA; New York City, NY; and Boston, MA. An avid reader, she was a twenty-two year member of the “Ladies of the Club,” a lively group of women who meet monthly for Book Club and conversation. She had a fondness for theater and held season tickets to Musical Theater West, which she attended regularly with girlfriends.
Diana is survived by her three loving brothers: James and wife, Judy; Jack and wife, Judy; and by Brian and his partner, Tim. Diana is also survived by niece Elizabeth and husband, Kyle; nephew Jeffrey and wife, Danielle; by nephew Ryan and by niece Kirsten. Diana was a Great Aunt to niece Erica and nephews Kevin, Drew, Patrick and Callen. Diana will be missed by her many close friends and family.
Over the years, Diana enjoyed the companionship of her dear cats, Muffin and Tigger, and she is survived by her beloved Smoki. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to one of Diana’s favorite charitable organizations, Best Friends Animal Society:https://secure.bestfriends.org/page/contribute/memory
A memorial service will be held at Fairhaven Memorial Services Chapel, 27856 Center Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92692. Date yet to be determined