Diana O’Toole lost her fight with glioblastoma brain cancer on Thursday, June 7, 2018, after only eight weeks of being diagnosed. She lost the fight to cancer, but she is a winner. The Lord welcomed her to heaven with open arms.
Diana was born in Luverne, Minnesota, to Joyce and Arlo Matthiesen. They were blessed with six daughters, of which she was the oldest, who all grew up working on the family farm. Arlo had a lot of stories about the girls working on the farm. He said Diana was great in the kitchen, and “so so” in the dairy barn. Arlo was right, Diana turned out to be a great cook and very talented seamstress.
She graduated with honors from Luverne High School class of 1971. She attended Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota, for a few semesters. Diana met Jim while living in Marshall. This turned out to be the classic traveling salesman/farmer’s daughter story. Jim and Diana were married in 1974 and resided in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They later became the proud parents of their daughter, Shaney.
The family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1976, then to Madison, their current home. Diana joined Burke Lutheran, a small country church on the edge of Madison. She immediately became involved in the church, first joining the choir, then teaching Sunday school, and Vacation Bible School. Diana served on various committees, the council, board and was the church secretary for a couple of years. She was always active with different church functions, including making lefse, lutefisk and ham dinners, garage sales, and help running concessions to raise money for local charities. Diana always enjoyed the Ladies of the Dorcas circle and the quilting crew. She was always willing to help church members, whether it was providing a ride or helping with church projects, Diana was always there for you.
As life dictates, Diana had to work in addition to being a full-time mom. She held various temporary jobs prior to her employment at WPS where she worked her way up to become a supervisor. One of her great achievements was earning her BA in computer science from Lakeland College. She accomplished this by taking courses in addition to working full time at WPS. Diana was a strong-willed, hard-working lady with a very infectious smile and giggly laugh.
She will be truly missed by her husband, Jim O’Toole; daughter Shaney (Victor) Iturbide; granddaughter Abby Harris; sisters Cindy (Dave) Hubbling of Alexandria, Minnesota, Kathy (Kevin) Van Westen of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Linda (Duane) Hamann of Brandon, South Dakota, Brenda (Todd) Teal of Luverne, Minnesota, and Beth (TJ) Travis of Lenexa, Kansas; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.
Diana’s philosophy at life was simple: “Life is like a mirror; Smile at it and it will smile back.”
Funeral services will be held at Burke Lutheran Church, 5720 Portage Road, Madison, Wisconsin, at 12 noon on Friday, June 15, 2018, with a luncheon to follow. Visitation will be held at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Friday.
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
God Bless and Goodbye!
Gunderson East Funeral and Cremation Care.