Diann Ruth Peterson


February 20, 195 1 –  October 26, 2022


Diann was born in Seattle on Feb. 20, 1951 with a gift. She had an endless and boundless love of all animals. She used this gift her entire life in the service of  animal welfare.  She volunteered at numerous shelters and rescue/rehab centers, including PAWS, Wolfhaven and Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, while attending The University of Washington where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Science.  She then went to the Houston Zoo as an apprentice keeper working with big cats before returning to Seattle and the Woodland Park Zoo as a keeper working with many different species until her retirement.

Diann will be forever loved and missed by her family, many friends, and the countless creatures she benefitted along the way.  She passed away suddenly on Oct. 26, 2022 of natural causes at the home she loved on a farm in Snohomish, WA. with her beloved dog “Buddy” by her side. Diann not only had a gift, Diann was a gift.

She is survived by: her sisters Loraine and Karen, her brother John, nieces Fauna and Robin, nephew Elliot, grandnephew Ronan, her best friend since childhood Rena, and “Buddy”.

4 Responses to “Diann Ruth Peterson”

  • Ressina says:

    Dear ones,
    What a beautiful tribute to Diann. I can remember her laugh and smile so vividly. She was a dedicated friend to the animals she loved so much. I will always be fond of the memories. I was so amazed of her rescued squirrels she kept in her home, giving them her hooded sweatshirt to nest in 🙂 She wanted them to be warm.
    I know the special memories of Diann will be of comfort to you. Gone too soon but always in our heart.

  • Laura says:

    What a Beautiful tribute for a Beautiful Heart! May your many memories sustain the Love you have for her forevermore.

  • S.M. Selby says:

    Diann was a beautiful soul. I loved growing up next door to the Peterson’s. I know how close you all were to each other. My heart goes out to you all. May her memory be a blessing.

    “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.” Washington Irving

  • Summer Berry says:

    Gracious words can only touch a tiny bit of what Diann was to me. I remember we were all excited when we moved into the house next door to the Peterson’s because they had kids close to our ages. Diann and I became fast friends and shared many adventures and stories. She thought we were a bit exotic because our mother was all Italian. She honored me with a pasta machine as a wedding gift and a beautiful full color Italian cookbook for my birthday one year. I think of her every time I make ravioli and turn the pages to explore a country I have yet to see.
    As a teenager I struggled with having curly hair, so she helped me out by ironing my hair on the ironing board before school. Pretty sure she never touched my scalp. We could talk for hours about important things and hours about just stuff. We slept under the stars in my back yard during the summer and baked our bodies in the sun during the afternoons. We listened to albums and shared lemonades.
    Her care for animals was deep and strong. I was so proud of her and took my daughters to meet Diann when she was working at the zoo. Her smile will always be a treasure in my heart.
    As Karen, John, and Loraine grieve the loss of this bright light may their memories always be of the great moments Diann brought to their lives for they will be my memories as well. My dear friend Diann, may you be at peace. Much love, Summer

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