Diane Ann Liberty - b. February 14 1947, d. January 3, 2022
Diane Ann Liberty was born February 14, 1947 in Stamford, CT. She was the daughter of Capt. Harold F. Liberty, U.S.N. (SEABEES) and Margaret C. Pearson, both originally of Brockton, MA.
Because of her Father’s career in the U.S. Navy, Diane grew up “everywhere.” The Liberty family left Stamford, CT and moved to Imperial Beach/Coronado, CA. This is where Diane’s lifelong love for the beach and the ocean began. Bermuda was the next duty station and she attended the original Sandys Grammar School. While there, her aunt gave the Liberty family their first purebred Springer Spaniel and that began her lifelong love for the breed.
The family moved to Fairfax, VA, Point Dume in Malibu, CA, N.A.S. Jacksonville, FL, and Philadelphia where Diane graduated from Philadelphia High School for Girls. Diane attended the perfect university to “study beaches,” the Univ. of Hawaii in Manoa. Her final residence associated with her father’s Navy career was Charlestown, MA.
In 1967 Diane moved to the Maryland suburbs to work as an Executive Secretary for the American Bankers Assoc. in Washington, D.C. She wound up meeting her Best Friend Forever when she joined Geri Casteel’s carpool. Geri’s family embraced Diane as one of their own.
In the early 1970s Diane moved to Ventura, CA to be near her parents with whom she was always close. She worked in management for the Ojai Valley Inn, at Falcon Plastics, and briefly owned a kite store named Go Fly A Kite located in The Courtyard on Main St. in Ventura.
Diane was small in stature at 4 ft. 11-in., had a twinkle in her eye, and filled the room with her incandescent personality and laughter. She was also fierce, determined, stubborn, and immovable.
An excellent cook, Diane was known for her tasty curry and her “Drunkin Pumpkin Pies'' that she made for Thanksgiving, her absolute favorite holiday. She loved Valentine’s Day because it made her own birthday all that more special. At Christmastime she gave meaningful tree ornaments to those she loved. Diane sang silly songs by Stanley Holloway and other great singers from Sinatra to Billy Joel. Diane’s favorite flower was the Tuberose because of its opulent scent.
As a kid, Diane learned how to mix martinis that were served at her parent’s parties. Every person who drank one will tell you that they packed a wallop. Her personal cocktail stirrer was the tip of her finger that had been bitten off by a car fan belt.
Diane was kind, generous, compassionate, and empathetic. Throughout her life she was a caregiver to many people who found themselves in difficult circumstances. Because of her open heartedness, there were times when these virtues were terribly exploited by those to whom she had lent a helping hand.
A breast cancer survivor, Diane had recently been treated for lung cancer. She was a lifelong smoker and accepted the risks that came with that including losing her teeth. Diane also experienced the normal frailties that come with age.
In the 1980s, Diane realized her dream of living practically on the beach when she moved to the Hollywood Beach Seaside neighborhood in Oxnard, CA where she resided for the next 40 years. Diane said, “They say that you are never too old to live happily ever after! I live a block from Hollywood Beach and Channel Islands Harbor. Charter member of the Sitting, Staring and Rocking Club.”
Diane A. Liberty died at home in the early morning hours on January 3, 2022. Diane’s ashes will be scattered in the Pacific at a future date.
Diane never married and is survived by her two brothers, Jean C. Liberty and his wife Sandra Kollender of Crossville, TN; Dennis Liberty and his wife Mary Lou “Lou” Suddath of Los Ranchos, NM; her nieces Merlyn F. Liberty of Belmont, MA and Nicole W. Liberty and husband Tom Hollomon of Lacey, WA; her nephew Shawn C. Liberty and wife Michelle Lapworth of Newport Beach, CA; She is also survived by Geri Casteel and Valerie Casteel-Lowe of Bowie, MD, Terry Casteel of Brandywine, MD, and Frank Lowe of Essex, MD; Diane will be remembered by her many, many friends.
Funeral arrangements are difficult to traverse during the best of times. The COVID-19 pandemic made these preparations even more challenging. Diane’s family wish to express their gratitude to the staff at Guardian Memorial Funeral Directors & Crematory and the Mount Holyoke College siblinghood for helping them navigate the steps to care for Diane’s mortal remains.
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Guardian Memorial
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