Diane Williams, age 64, of Madison, passed away on Friday, June 16th, 2017 at home, surrounded by family. She was born on February 23rd, 1953 in San Antonio, Texas, the daughter of Richard and Betty Ward. She grew up in Bethlehem, PA, and came to Madison to attend and graduate from the UW Madison. She married Daniel J. Williams on June 12th, 1982 in Madison, WI.
Diane was an absolute renaissance woman; she was a trained electrician and could knit, sew, paint, draw and garden with the best of them. She attacked every new endeavor with incredible tenacity, and never backed down from a challenge - be it an art project, a puzzle, or the cancer that she was diagnosed with. In the 1980's, Diane was a union Journeyman electrician which at the time was a feat rarely accomplished by a woman. Diane's hard work and perseverance while working as an electrician was greatly admired by her two young daughters. She loved nature and the out of doors, her garden was one of her particular passions. At the time of her death, Diane was employed at Madison West High School helping students with special needs integrate into society. Diane took them to work, helped them perform the tasks they were given, showed them how to ride the bus, and showed them how to shop for groceries. In her personal time she knit goods for those in need: mittens for soldiers, hats and blankets for newborns, and birds' nests for the Humane Society. In addition to her dedication to her work and charity, Diane was an incredible grandmother. She routinely picked up her grandson from daycare, spent countless hours playing with him, and essentially converted two rooms in her home to play rooms. She said her biggest regret, was not being able to meet her future grandchildren. Diane was dealt a bad hand, but she never once felt sorry for herself. In her final days she was selflessly thinking of how others would be affected by her departure, and even took the time leave instructions for the humane society on how to keep knitting the birds' nests. Diane was a dedicated, driven, passionate, creative, and strong woman. Her contributions to her family, and to society will be sorely missed. Donations in her name can be made to Research at the UW Carbone Cancer Center.
Diane is survived by her husband, Daniel Williams; their daughters, Kathryn (Christopher) Halverson and Christine (Antoine) Simmons; her grandson, Evan; her mother, Betty B. Ward; her mother-in-law, Carol Williams; her brother, James (Linda) Ward; her brother and sister-in-law, John (Alexandra) and Jane Williams; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her father; Richard A. Ward; and her father-in law, David Williams.
At Diane's request, a funeral service will not be held. Please take a moment to reflect on, and celebrate Diane's life and then also take some time to celebrate your own life and acknowledge your family and friends. Diane would have loved that.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison
Sometimes we don't always understand our impact on others. I was the art teacher at Cherokee for 10 years while Diane was there working as a teacher's aide. I always enjoyed having her in my class, she did an amazing job with some very tough kids, and had a great quick wit about her that I enjoyed. Recently she stopped by my studio to visit and seemed very happy at West. I just wanted you to know that she made a difference to me and to the kids she worked with. I hope that you and your family can find peace through her passing. Thank you Amy Mietzel-Art Teacher, Bare Knuckle Arts
My heart is heavy for the loss of a friend. Diane was a wonderful lady! I always enjoyed chatting with her, such a happy interesting person.
Dan so sorry for your loss
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