Diane Marie Colquhoun

Diane Marie Colquhoun

Diane Marie Colquhoun

Diane Marie Colquhoun, 72, of Redmond, Washington, passed away on August 6, 2016 in Kirkland, Washington.

Funeral services were held at Bear Creek United Methodist Church in Woodinville, Washington on August 14, 2016 at 1:00PM with Reverend Brook McBride officiating.

Diane was born in Monroe, Louisiana to Forrest and Lillian Garthwaite on February 14, 1944. She went to high school in Reseda, CA and graduated in 1962. She was active in the Methodist Church and was a Stephen’s Minister. She enjoyed gardening (ornamental and vegetable) and was an avid bird watcher with a special eye to birds of prey.

Her Mother, Lillian A. Garthwaite and father, Forrest Garthwaite, precede Diane in death.

Her husband, Jim Colquhoun of Redmond, WA, child Scott M. Neal, grandchildren, Amelia and Desmond of Portland, OR, and sisters, Gloria Neu of San Marcos, CA and Connie Robles of Moorpark, CA, survive Diane.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation, https://tourdefox.michaeljfox.org/pacificnorthwest/Team/View/25353/Ride-for-Diane, or via mail at:

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
Grand Central Station
PO Box 4777
New York, NY 10163.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Overlake Hospital, Evergreen Hospice, and Bear Creek United Methodist Church.


Tribute to Diane

How do we celebrate a life? What makes a person special, unique to us, and endearing? There are some many aspects of the person we know and how we choose to remember. Each of us remembers things that stand out as a part of our relationship with the person we know.

So, here is a glimpse of woman who shared her life with me. Adventure was a part of the life we shared. Diane, always up for something new. When it came to music or travel, life provided opportunities to surprise. Over the years we had the chance to travel as a part of my work. Each trip was a chance for Diane to discover new places and people. She never feared in the face of barriers of language or culture. In Greece, she conquered the public transportation system, busses and trains to discover the history of an ancient culture. She loved the chance to go new places that included South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. One of the more profound experiences we shared was a mission trip to South Dakota to the reservation of the Lakota people. It left a lasting mark on her that deepened her faith and added to her commitment to those in need.

When we were young (and much more flexible), we would go camping. No motor-home, but a small tent and sleeping bags on the ground. We covered the western US with a focus on the Sierra Nevada Mountains and roaming as far north as British Columbia coast and east to the Rockies.

Humor carried us along. Her quick wit always challenged us all. She loved Kliban and Calvin and Hobbs cartoons. Diane always greeted the day with a smile. Life was a joy.

Of those things that made Diane happiest, it was to be with nature. Gardening became a lifelong passion. Flowers, ornamental plants and in particular vegetable gardening brought her such joy. Given any space, Diane could easily fill it with a garden. To see if there was a limit to the size of a vegetable garden, I gave up when I had tilled over 8000 square feet of ground. Diane in true gardener fashion ran out of space. She was the one to point to a branch on a fruit tree expecting me to prune. With an orchard of 30 trees, for her it was a labor of love.

Music was the backdrop to life for Diane. While some may think of the Classical music that she loved, it was far from the only music that scored her life. I first knew her as a hard driving rocker from the 60s and 70s. Our first concert together was John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra. Followed by Jethro Tull, John Denver and the Blues Brothers. Not to be forgotten is the ever-present Country music that has always been near the top of favorites. So, for her to listen to music, it was always a blend of Rolling Stones, Al di Meola and Handel’s Messiah. It always made sense.

Family was her life. Diane was the rock for us all. Filling so many roles; mother, daughter, wife and grandmother. She was always the one that seemed to know when we needed help or encouragement and she took joy, giving support to each of us.

As a mother, Diane created hand-made Halloween costumes, cheered at soccer games, and nursed the bangs and bruises of life. Diane was also a patient teacher, passing along her skills in the kitchen to an eager young man who now can hold his own when it comes to creating Italian and Mexican cuisines.

Throughout her life, Diane was always helping others beyond the family. Her gift of compassion has always been shared with friends who needed someone to listen. With the encouragement of a pastor in Colorado, she took on the role of a Stephen’s Minister*. To do so, was to accept the burdens of others in a very personal way.

Diane devoted so much of her time as a daughter and caregiver to her mother, who shared our home for over 27 years. In the face her own fight with Parkinson’s she assumed the role of a full-time caregiver until her mother’s passing in 2010. There was not a day in her life that she was not actively trying to help those around her in whatever way she could.

Parkinson’s became a part of our lives. Diane met that challenge with the same attitude as anything else in her life. While it slowed her down, she was never deterred. She met the health challenges on her terms and never gave up.

Lest you get the idea that Diane was only at home and caring for others, she had a long and varied career until she retired to care for her mother full-time. When I met her, she was a librarian. From there she took on challenging opportunities in a wide variety of fields from commercial real estate title research to manufacturing customer service to shipping traffic management. Never one to back away from a challenge, she worked in heavy industry earning the respect of all with whom she worked and did so with such grace.

Diane was always so very encouraging to me. As with so many careers, mine was a long and varied road to where we finally ended up in Washington State. Diane is an inspiration to me. She met each day with a smile and always gave to those of us who were fortunate to be a part of her life.

Her gift to us has always been to encourage and to challenge us to live every day.

* “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, NRSV).”

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