We Remember

KOOISTRA, Diane (Barbara)

June 24, 1940 — September 29, 2018

It is with great sadness that the family of Diane Kooistra (Neely) announce her passing at the Kelowna General Hospital on September 29, 2018 at the age of 78.

A loving wife, mother and grandmother, Diane will be dearly missed by John, her husband of 57 years, her extensive family and many dear friends.

Predeceased by her parents Byron and Doris Neely, only brother Kent Neely, and cherished grandson Eric Robertson, Diane’s legacy will live on in her beloved children Jeanette Robertson (Gary Odd), Byron Kooistra and Richard Kooistra (Michelle) and treasured grandchildren Janelle, Lauren, Carlyn, Avery and Chloe.

Born in Indian Head Saskatchewan, Diane moved with her young family to British Columbia in 1968, embracing her position of strength and support as wife and mother, looking after her family with tremendous heart, sense of humor and true-to-form Irish stubbornness and wit. Diane’s love and pride in her family was evident in everything she did; by making sure that no holiday, birthday, anniversary, or chance for a family get-together was missed, and in the simple things, such as always remembering favorite snacks and treats, carefully prepared meals and care packages, regular telephone calls to find out how an event or task fared, overfilled stockings at Christmas, and never forgetting to make and bring the ‘pink-stuff’ — a very special holiday treat that became synonymous with her devotion.

Annual camping trips were a staple of summertime with her young family and became a fond backdrop to many stories and milestones throughout the years. The memories of event-filled summer trips with — and visits from — her grandkids were a source of great joy.

Blessed to be able to raise her family as a stay-at-home Mom, Diane also found a creative outlet outside of the home in the form of her many years of volunteer work for the Salmon Arm Queen’s Committee — an ambassador program for young women to teach them skills of presentation, civic responsibility and leadership — where she took on all manner of tasks. Her commitment and pride in performing in the head role of the organization was highly appreciated by the young women who participated, and many long-term friendships resulted. Diane was formally recognized for her long and dedicated work in this capacity by the sponsors and the village of Salmon Arm.

Although fearful of air travel in her younger years, she eventually was able to conquer that fear and experience many wonderful adventures. Across Canada and the west coast of the U.S., and in such far off places as Rarotonga, Hawaii, Europe, Alaska, and Mexico, she appreciated and enjoyed any opportunity to travel with family for vacations.

Her love of animals became more pronounced in her later years, and any chance to introduce herself to a new canine friend was always taken — with gusto! She especially adored – and loved sharing her life with – her own pup Doodles (Dude), for the last 14 years.

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at the Kelowna Cottonwoods Care Centre for making the last two years of Diane’s life as full and rich as was possible; your care and concern will always be fondly remembered. We would also include in our thanks the staff at Mountain View, and the nurses and doctors at Kelowna General Hospital for their consideration and care.

A celebration of Diane’s life will be set for a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Diane’s name to the Canadian Diabetes Association.

If you wish to send a fond memory, condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”

We are forever grateful to have loved and been loved by her.

A celebration of Diane’s life will be set for a future date.

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In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Diane’s name to the Canadian Diabetes Association.


Service Information

Service Details

The service for KOOISTRA, Diane (Barbara) is scheduled for A celebration of Diane’s life will be set for a future date. . Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

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  • Barbara & Jim Thornicrost says:

    It is never easy to lose a family member. Our Deepest sympathy comes from Strathroy, Ontario to all of her family. Words just aren’t enough to express our feelings & love for her. May you rest in peace Diane.

  • MF Robertson says:

    Please note —Sent message through other Springfield site. M.

  • Jackie says:

    Jeannette and Family – I am sorry to hear of your loss of your Mom.. My sincere condolences to you and your family. I remember your Mom and Dad coming to the girls volleyball games and cheering them on. She was very proud of her grandchildren. Take care.

  • Kari Pearson says:

    Jeannette and family I am so sorry for the loss of your Mother and Grandmother. Sending my deepest condolences at this difficult time, May God hold you all close to his heart and help you to remember all the good times and great memories of your time together.

  • Shawn Neely says:

    Sending condolences and love. I feel fortunate to have spoken with Aunt Diane on the phone just a few weeks ago. She was always curious about what project I was working on, and I’ll miss our chats. Hugs to all the Kooistra family.. xo

  • Bill Peckham and Lynn Vaughan says:

    John and family our thoughts and hearts are with you through this sad time. Know we are thinking of you. Bill and Lynn

  • otto pfannschmidt says:

    Thoughts and love to you all. – Otto

  • Linda Dalb y says:

    Richard, Michelle & Family, May you be comforted by the any warm thoughts of those who care. Our hearts go out to you. Linda Dalby & Carl Guenther

  • Jane Mujcin says:

    I am so sorry about the loss of your wife, Mr. Kooistra. I just saw the post in The Observer and all of a sudden I was back in school and you were introducing yourself as “The real McCoy”. Much love and respect to you and your family. Jane Mujcin and family

  • David Wood says:

    John and family. Please accept my sincere condolences on your loss. God bless you all.

  • Diane Ambil says:

    John and family, My deepest condolences to you as Diane leaves you. She was always such a determined character, sure of herself and what she intended no matter what curveballs she was thrown by fate. She’ll always be “Diane # 1” in my memory!
    Sincerely, Diane (#2) Ambil

  • Joanne Purves Ruhland says:

    Dearest Jeanette & Family,
    I just heard about your mum tonight.
    You are in my thoughts & prayers.
    I hold you in my heart … as I remember the best bedtime snacks your mum made us!
    She needed to go check on Eric.
    I love you,
    Joanne xox

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