Diana Darin
Diana Darin

Obituary of Diana Darin

Diana Darin, maiden name Schmad, was born on May 2, 1932 in Omaha, Nebraska to Eldon and Clara (Clare) Schmad.  She was raised along with older sister Betty Jean “Skipper” in the wide open spaces of Nebraska with Eskimo Spitz dogs as companions. Their house was a converted chicken coop that had been added onto for the family to live in, alongside a barn for the dairy goats her Dad raised.

At age 11, Diana’s Dad sought out new career opportunities.  He piled the family of four into a Willys-Overland car, each taking only one personal item, and moved them to the Pacific Northwest, settling in Seattle.  Diana knew as soon as she was greeted by the refreshing marine air and the beautiful mountains, that she was home.

World War II was in full swing following the Great Depression.  Her Dad worked two jobs, at a Bank during the day and Boeing at night, and Clare was baking and selling bread and worked a sales job too.  Diana and Skipper learned how to be independent and self-sufficient. 

When Diana was age 12, her sister Sandi was born.  Before long, Diana started high school at Lincoln in Seattle, then transferred to Roosevelt High School.  There she met great friends with whom she stayed in touch for the rest of her life.  She graduated high school in 1950.

Diana met her first husband, Bruce McCann, at Roosevelt, and they married after his return from duty in the Korean Conflict.  Bruce worked while attending the University of Washington. Diana worked in the home and at the University of Washington.  Although the marriage did not endure, they loved their two daughters, Deborah and Cynthia.

Diana most wanted two things in life, a family and an education.  She worked most of her career at the University of Washington (UW), in University Administration.  While working full time and being a single Mom, she also pursued her education, taking one class per quarter at the UW graduating with a BA in 1979.

She loved the mountains that surrounded her and at age 37, she accepted an invitation to go hiking. A first-time experience for a Nebraska girl, she had no idea what to wear and she arrived to hike wearing a lovely dress and sandals.  She went on the hike, although her sandals were changed to a conveniently borrowed ill-fitting pair of boots.  Still, she was thrilled with the experience and took on hiking as her passion.  In the early 1970’s she joined the Mountaineers.  In 1975 she tackled climbing her beloved Mt. Rainier, her interests having grown to technical mountain climbing.  She preferred ice climbing over rock climbing.  She went on to achieve her 6 Peak Pin, summitting major West Coast mountains.  Hiking, and being out in the fresh mountain air was her place of solace and her love for the outdoors lasted her whole life long.

Diana worked at the University of Washington for over three decades, working as an administrative assistant, an administrator in the University Grants Office, and serving for many years in the position she retired from at age 55: as Director of the Human Subjects Office for the University. Diana had a hand in the development of informed consent for human subjects, and in protections for humans as well primates in the arena of research & experimental studies. She was a pioneer in her field.

From age 55 to 65, pivoting after her University career, Diana went in a new direction and became a fashion model, both print and runway.  She was, as always, a dedicated professional, but allowed for the occasional wink at the little children who looked her way. 

Diana married George Farwell, and while married, together they enjoyed their families, as well as traveling to many adventurous places in the world and many hikes and climbs together.

Diana really enjoyed Arizona too and spent a good deal of time in Mesa Arizona over 50 years.  She made many friends there, and she participated in the hiking group, game nights, the community choir, and scholarship charity work.

Diana loved her family and friends. Mom was always happy to expand the scope of her family which already included her sister “Skipper” (deceased), beloved sister Sandi and brother-in-law Duane, her nearby nephew David and her other nephews and their families, her step-children, cousins, and her daughters. Diana considered her friends to be part of her family. She enthusiastically embraced and welcomed into the fold her daughters’ husbands Noble Crompton (Deborah) and Chris Blattner (Cindy). She also enjoyed beloved relationships with her daughters’ half-sisters and their families: Monique, (husband Len, and son Christopher), and Christa, (husband Todd, daughters Maddison and Annalisa, and son Wyatt). 

Becoming “Grama Ana” to her grandsons Brent and Nick was a huge joy for Diana. She was a dedicated Grama from the first moment.  She also became “Soccer Grama” to her grandsons’ soccer teams as they grew up.  Although she lived in a variety of places including Seattle and Arizona, she would make the trek to Portland to attend dozens and dozens of games over the years.  When her grandsons were in high school, Diana lived with Cindy and Chris for 3 months each year so she could be part of the boys’ fall soccer seasons.  Her dedicated presence and interest led to friendships even with her grandkids’ friends and their families too, as well as friends of her daughters and sons-in-law.  

When grandson Brent married Julia and grandson Nick married Monique, Diana was filled with joy. She accepted every invitation to participate in family gatherings.  And especially, for the last eight years, Diana has been smitten with her great-grandchildren Ella, Charlie, Luke, and Henry.  She was able to carry on her tradition of attending soccer games, now as Great Grama Ana, of the 3 oldest kiddos.  She vowed to live to 105 so that she could see them all graduate from High school, even though Henry, the youngest, is just 3.  While that dream is not to be realized, she enjoyed and embraced them all to the end.

Diana Darin lived an extraordinary life.

You are welcome to join our gathering to celebrate Diana Darin’s life.

When:  Sunday, October 22, 2023

Time:   1 pm to 4pm

Where:  Eastmoreland Golf Course

2425 SE Bybee Blvd

Portland, Oregon 97202

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