Diane Ecklund

07/07/1950

04/04/2024

Memorial Contributions:

Wounded Warrior Project

P.O. Box 758517

Topeka, Kansas 66675

Diane Norma Ecklund (Nocera) passed peacefully in her home in Grand Rapids, MI into the arms of her Heavenly Father on Thursday, April 4, 2024. She will be forever missed and always remembered by her husband of 50 years, Thomas Ecklund; their sons, David (Angie) and Dean (Brenda); her cherished grandchildren, Amelia (5), Beau (4), Sophia (3), and Dylan (2); sister, Nancy Schuyten; brother, Robert Nocera (BJ); and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. Diane was preceeded in death by her mother, Margaret Nocera (Kolenbrander); father, Armando (Norm) Nocera; and cousins, Ron & Ellen Hoffius.

Diane was raised in the hospitality industry where she lived in various states but most significantly lived in and graduated, in 1968, from Rockford, MI, where her father managed Blythefield Country Club.

Diane and Tom met at Michigan State University, their junior year of college and wed in November of 1973. While living in Flint they started their family, having son David, and later building their forever home when they settled in Grand Rapids, MI, where Dean was then born. Diane played a pivotal role in the growth of the Parkinson’s Educational Program of West Michigan.

Diane dedicated so much of her life to lovingly raising her sons to know the Lord with the love of her life, Tom, while planning trips, collecting mementos, and ensuring an abundantly memorable childhood for Dean and Dave. She’s described by their friends as wise and sweet, a presence in whom they found comfort. This carried into her later years where she poured herself into reconnecting with members of the Rockford class of 1968 and spent time monthly with this group of friends. She loved to talk about, and beam with pride over, her beautiful grandchildren.

Diane was strong in her faith and was a voracious reader of her collection of philosophy and faith-based books. She also enjoyed joining Tom in the kitchen in preparing her father’s Italian recipes.

Diane loved her family fiercely and prioritized any time she could with them. She was the kind of mom who was around for everything and the kind of grandma who was on the floor playing with all the kids from strumming musical instruments and dress up, to building train sets and playing with cars. There wasn’t a thing she wouldn’t do to create great memories for her grand babies. She will be greatly missed.

Family will meet with friends and relatives from 9:30-11am on Thursday, April 11, 2024, at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Funeral Home, 3980 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49546, with memorial services starting at 11am. Rev. Tom Woudstra officiating. Interment Fairplains Cemetery. Memorial Contributions can be made to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516.

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4 Responses

  1. I enjoyed getting reacquainted with Diane over plans for the 50th reunion for the class of ’68 class reunion. She wrote wonderful stories that were very enjoyable. I will miss her quick wit and cheerful personality.

  2. I am so happy I re-connected with Diane and many of our other classmates. She had a wonderful wit and always cheerful. I will miss her and our monthly calls with her and Tom.

  3. I too am so glad I got reacquainted with Diane. What a precious and beautiful lady she was! We had such good times planning the 50 th class reunion. She worked so hard making that event so special to everyone who was able to attend. What a treasure she was to all who were able to get to know her! She will truly be missed by all!

  4. I am so glad that I reconnected with Diane at the 50th class reunion. She was so fun and her quick sense of humor was special. I will miss seeing her at the luncheon and reading her posts. She had such a way with words and could always get a smile out her posts. I thought she should write a book. I am so sorry for your loss Tom. She will be greatly missed.

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