Diane Stephen

Obituary of Diane Gail Stephen

December 6, 1944 – Vulcan, Alberta

September 5, 2023 – Calgary, Alberta


Diane was a remarkable woman who will be forever cherished in the memories of those whose lives she touched.


Every relationship she nurtured received the gift of her warmth, sense of humour, and gentle spirit. She loved with her whole heart and was a devoted daughter, sister, mother and grandmother, a loyal friend, and a gifted teacher. Diane was generous with her time, unfailingly present, and kind to those she held close and everyone she crossed paths with, regardless of the circumstances. 


Dedicated, passionate, and playful, Diane devoted her decades-long teaching career to her beloved students, connecting to and caring for them at schools in Bearspaw, Cochrane, and Springbank. In retirement, she continued to inspire young minds as a volunteer, helping kids learn to read.


In 2016, Diane was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. In her resilient, fearless fashion, she immediately signed up for boxing classes, while continuing to hike, bike, golf, ski, snowshoe, and travel with her community of dear friends. But life is not fair and her diagnosis soon changed to one of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). As more than one doctor told us, “MSA only seems to happen to amazing people.”


“As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.”

- John Muir.


Diane was a teacher until the end. She taught us how to live with grace and gratitude, no matter what floods, storms or avalanches life throws your way. She loved travelling to glaciers and wild gardens around the world with her friends, taking it all in with an open mind and sense of adventure. She always said ‘The mountains are my church’ and she got as near the heart of the world as she could in the time she had. Diane will be so missed, by so many.


Diane is survived by her son Douglas, her daughter Susan, her son Mark (Diana Logan), grandsons Connor and Liam, her brother David Geldreich (Wendy) and nephews Ray and Linden; as well as numerous treasured friends and former students.

Following Diane’s wishes, there will be no funeral service. A celebration in honour of Diane’s life for family and friends will take place at a later date.


The Advanced Care Team (ACT) for Parkinson’s (a new program for people living with Parkinsonism and their care partners) was instrumental in helping Diane and her family navigate the last few years. In memory of Diane, donations may be made to the Hotchkiss Brain Institute - Parkinson's/Movement Disorders (ACT for Parkinson’s may be included in comments) at https://hbi.ucalgary.ca/donate.


In living memory of Diane Gail Stephen, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 Centre Street North, Calgary, AB T2E 2V6, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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