Diane Deyoe Obituary (1948 – 2022) – Tucson, AZ

Diane Lee Deyoe of Tucson, Arizona, passed away peacefully at home on August 8, 2022, at the age of 74 after a heroic discourse with pancreatic cancer. She is survived by her spouse of 30 years, Connie Stapleton, many beloved friends and family. She was a strong, caring and compassionate woman who was intensely loyal to those who surrounded her. Diane was born July 25, 1948, in Niskayuna, New York. She lived in Rotterdam, New York for seven years with her grandparents Cornelia Wright Vitch and Philip Vitch and her parents. In 1959, the Deyoes moved to Tucson. At the time Speedway was one lane east and one lane west. Diane attended Rincon High School and graduated in 1966. She loved the band and was the first alto saxophonist. In 1967, as a member of the University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band, Diane played in the half-time show for the first Super Bowl at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. She liked to remind people that she played in Super Bowl I. This was the beginning of a lifetime of performance, first with her own band, The Fairer Sax, and later with the Arizona Symphonic Winds, where she was principal saxophonist for 20 years. In 1973, Diane graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in English Education. She went to work for the Anaconda Mining Company as a heavy equipment operator. She was a pioneer in the Arizona mining industry as one of the first women to hold a job previously restricted to men. In 1976, she began teaching in the Tucson Unified School District and spent the next 30 years teaching critical thinking skills to more than 5000 students. Her sense of humor brightened her classroom and helped her connect to her children. Diane earned her Master of Education degree in 1986. She was also co-chair of the Tucson chapter of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) for 15 years. Although she had been all over the world, in 2017 she went by herself on the adventure of a lifetime to Antarctica on the National Geographic Explorer, a transformational experience she cherished the rest of her life. Diane leaves us as an infinite being of light, merely changing dimensions as she continues her journey. A memorial service will be held at a future date. Arrangements by Neptune Society.

Published by Arizona Daily Star on Aug. 14, 2022.

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