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Barbara Diane Whiteley

November 18, 1940 May 31, 2019
Barbara Diane Whiteley
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Obituary for Barbara Diane Whiteley

Barbara Diane Whiteley passed away peacefully on May 31, 2019. Diane was comfortable and had wonderful hospice care from her group of caregivers and husband Jim. She did not have any pain until the last few days of her life. She remained fairly lucid and cognizant, able to have family and friends visit her right up to her last day, and Jim was with her at the end.

Diane was born in New York City on November 18, 1940 to Harold and Barbara Silver. Diane’s parents moved her and her sisters Virginia and Carole to Nashua, NH where they spent their early years and then moved to Palo Alto, California in 1952. Diane attended Palo Alto H.S. and after graduation enrolled in Mills College finishing first in her Nursing class and becoming a registered nurse. Diane’s adventurous side had her leave California to work as a nurse at Queen’s Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. There Diane met her future husband through Dr. Chris Kidder. Dr. Kidder was learning to fly from Jim Whiteley, and one day when Jim was looking for Dr. Kidder at the hospital he saw Diane, noted her nametag and asked Dr. Kidder to introduce him to her. After five weeks of dating Jim and Diane married on the island of Kauai in 1962. Jim used one of his company’s airplanes to fly them over for the wedding and honeymoon. (They were reunited with this same aircraft, a Howard DGA, fifty years later when Jim was asked to fly a Howard DGA back to Oshkosh.) The newlyweds began their life together in Honolulu, Jim working as a pilot and Diane as a nurse. In March of 1962 Jim took a job with an aerial mapping company in Santa Barbara, California. The Whiteleys moved to Isla Vista, and in April they had their son Cliff. (Jim had been married once before and had six children Jimmy, Kathleen, John, Richard, Laura, and Mele.) Diane continued to work as a nurse, and Jim was hired by United Airlines one year after the birth of his son Cliff. The next move was to Denver. Sharing parenting duties, Jim attended new hire school and Diane worked nights at the local hospital. After Jim earned his wings the family moved back to southern California settling in Thousand Oaks where the family developed their love for tennis. There, Diane again worked as a nurse in the local hospital and loved being a mom and stepmom when the other children would visit. In 1975 the Whiteleys moved to Olympic Valley, California (Squaw Valley) where the family fell in love with the Lake Tahoe area and pursued their love of skiing. Although Diane no longer worked as a nurse she continued to keep her certification current and tend to the injuries the family received on the ski slopes. She enjoyed training with the Masters ski racing program and competed in several events even qualifying for the Nastar national finals. Diane formed strong bonds with the other ski families in Squaw Valley, and these friendships continued to her last day. The next move came when Jim transferred to Cleveland, and Cliff attended Burke Mountain Academy, so the family moved to East Burke, Vermont. The Whiteleys spent their school year in Burke and the summers in Squaw. Diane used her nursing and nurturing skills to tend to many of the boarding students at Burke. After Cliff graduated from Burke the family said goodbye to Vermont, and Jim transferred back to San Francisco. After 15 plus years in Olympic Valley and being empty nesters, Jim and Diane moved back to Honolulu, Hawaii where Jim finished his career with United at the Honolulu domicile. Jim and Diane lived in several areas on Oahu before buying a sailboat. Their love of the sea and sailing (more Jim than Diane) was the reason for the sailboat, and they planned on traveling the pacific after Jim retired. Although the sea journeys never happened, they continued to use the sailboat (Sandor) for interisland sailing and as a floating home, splitting their time between Squaw Valley and the Waikiki Yacht Club. While in Hawaii they enjoyed tennis and the island lifestyle. In 2000 Jim and Diane made their last move to Reno, Nevada.

Diane was tough, adventurous, and competitive. She enjoyed many sports but her favorites were skiing and tennis. Diane also loved to traveling the world with Jim and being with family.

Diane is preceded in death by her parents Harold and Barbara Silver. Her remaining family members are her sisters Carole, Virginia, Marilyn, Jennifer and Ellen, husband Jim, son Cliff, stepchildren John, Richard, and Mele, grandchildren Kalie, Alex, Karina, Kiana, Dylan, Kathleen, and Sadie.

A celebration of Diane’s life will be held at the family residence on September 7, 2019 from 11am - 3pm.

The family asks that any charitable donations be made to the Catholic Charities.

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Memorial Service




11:00 AM 9/7/2019 11:00:00 AM - 3:00 PM 9/7/2019 3:00:00 PM
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A celebration of Diane’s life will be held at the family residence on September 7, 2019 from 11am - 3pm.

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