In Loving Memory of
March 15, 1958 - March 11, 2007
Eulogy by Kristina Smith
My mom has been many things to many people: My dadís soul mate, a mother to my brother and me, a daughter, a sister, a best friend, a nurse, an angel. But no matter whose life she has touched she has always done it with a positive attitude, grace, and that glorious grin of hers. It was never difficult for anyone to see the zeal and the love she had for life.
From a young age my mom instilled in both me and my brother a yearning to help others, a belief that my mom shaped her career around. As a Registered Nurse she fulfilled her passion to lend a hand to others and even after a long day at work she came home with a tired smile and reminded us that to give is better than to receive. On Saturday nights at Macaroni Grill with the family we would dream of the future, and what Brian and I would become. But my mom was always the quiet voice who nudged us into a direction of service, knowing that we would overflow with happiness, just as she had.
As I got older and experienced the typical teenage hardships she was the one holding me in her arms rocking me and whispering in my ear how much she wished she could take away the pain. She was my secret keeper, my guardian, my best friend.
And as my brother started to develop as an All Star baseball player, my mom was rooting in the stands, being his number one fan, and supporting him with every fiber of her being. And as her progressed in Boy Scouts she was there guiding him with enthusiasm to achieve to his fullest potential.
And as my mom and dad aged together, their love grew, and my mom was there to be my dadís confidant, his support, his best friend.
But my mom was also the positive light of the family; the equilibrium in mine and my dadís cynicism. The glass was at least half full and without her positive voice our family would not have the faith and hope that we have now, to get us through this time. Most importantly, was my momís life motto, that everyday is a gift that must be lived to the fullest. Anytime the family heard of some devastation, my mom was there, emphasizing the point that life must be lived to its utmost extent, squeezing out all that is has to offer, and soaking it up. Fortunately, my mom did live a full forty-eight years that way, through the way she dressed with exuberant floral prints that exuded an almost tangible feeling of joy, through her view that the glass is half full and persevering in times of trial, through always flashing her gorgeous smile and nourishing everybody that surrounded us with her love.
So to preserve her positive attitude that we all cherish, we must realize that she is NOT gone. Though her body is not present her spirit is surrounding us, enveloping our lives and cradling them with a love that is Divine. When we feel lost we must look around. We must look to our hearts that hold the memories of her and though they will fade and tarnish, we will have the undying love she has planted in our souls, and grown with her laughter. We must look all around us, for she is the bright blooms of spring, and the golden rays of summer, the turning leaves of fall, and the singing wind of winter. She is the angel that will be watching over all of our lives, lives in which I urge you to cherish just as our angel did.
KrissAndDiana.wmv - 16MB, 4 minutes. Kriss sings the song "You're Every Night in My Dreams," backed by his band Mokelumne, with a montage of Diana & Kriss pictures. This played at the memorial service, bringing 400 people to tears.
DianaFamilyAndFriends.wmv - 62MB, 22 minutes. This played at the wake.
Remembrances - by Kriss, Dad, Mom, Emma, etc: http://welovediana.blogspot.com/. Click on "comments" to view the posts or to post your special memories of Diana. You can publish anonymously via Blogger, so you don't have to go thru the hassle of obtaining an account, just be sure to sign your name on your blog post.
Diana Raney Smith of El Dorado passed away March 11, 2007 at the age of 48. She was born on March 15, 1958 in Los Angeles and raised in Palo Alto, graduating from Palo Alto High School in 1976. She was a lifeguard and swim instructor for five years at Palo Altoís Rinconada Pool. Diana attended the University of California at Davis where she met Kriss, her husband of 23 great and memorable years. In 1982, she graduated from California State University at Bakersfield with a degree in nursing. She and Kriss were married the following year. Diana worked as a registered nurse at University of California Davis Medical Center her entire professional career. For 24 years she cared for many patients in her capacity as a cardiac intensive care nurse, coordinator for cardiac surgery, heart transplant coordinator, and coordinator of the cardiac rehab and reversal program. She devoted her entire personal and professional life to helping other people: her family, friends, coworkers, and patients.
Diana was actively involved in every aspect of her children's lives, including being a scout leader and a Little League mom. She was a member of the California Nurses Association and the Faith Episcopal Church in Cameron Park. Diana loved, and was loved by, many people during her life. Her husband, Kriss, has lost his best friend and the love of his life. Kristina and Brian, their two children, have lost a mother who will never be replaced but who will always be remembered. Diana is also survived by her loving parents, Lew and Shirley Raney of Palo Alto, her brother Steve Raney and sister-in-law Janis Hom of Palo Alto and their daughter Emma, her great uncle Robert E. Gilbert and great aunt Beverly Gilbert and their family from Oakdale, her sister-in-law Randie Northrip and her husband Michael Northrip of Stockton, and her brother-in-law Kim Smith and his wife Jennifer Smith of Ione. She is also survived by her nephews Michael Smalley of Lodi, Matthew Smith of San Francisco, Jeff Leino of Cool, and niece Mindy Hall of Scottís Valley. Diana shared her life, love and friendship with many others, and, as an organ donor, will continue to give to and help others even after her death. (see Letter from California Transplant Donor Network).
Funeral services were held on March 17, 2007 at Faith Episcopal Church, Cameron Park, CA. http://www.faithec.org/, with internment at Green Valley Cemetery, http://www.greenvalleymortuary.com/.
Friends have established a college benevolent account, ďFor Benefit of Kristina Smith and Brian Smith,Ē at Washington Mutual Bank, 2900 Standiford Ave., Modesto, CA 95350. Donation checks can be made out to that account and mailed to the Modesto branch. Donations in Diana's memory may also be made to any charity of the donor's choice.
15 pictures below:
Diana, mother Shirley, brother Steve, grandmother Floye, grandfather Pops Ted Stone
From Palo Alto High School Class of 1976 Yearbook:
I think you might see
A great ship up in the sky
Like an Eagle
Like a Stallion
Let you know you can fly ...
- Jefferson Starship