On Wednesday, June 27, 2018, an extremely strong, loving, selfless woman went into the arms of the Angels and ended her battle with lung cancer. Dianne fought to the very end and her family had to reassure her, it was time and okay to go home. She was greeted at the Heavenly gates by her parents, Henry J. “Red” LeGrand, Jr. and Catherine L. “Kitty” Heasley LeGrand, her husband Robert E. Neal, her sister Eunice “Rusty”, whom was just met by the Angels herself on June 4th, and her husband Paul Brown, her sister-in-law Judy LeGrand, her brothers-in-law Robert D. Kepple, Sr. and Richard Meissner and her special in-laws John A. Bopp, Sr. and Grace V. Brothers Bopp. What a welcoming party it must have been.
Dianne was born in Butler on November 03, 1957. She was the eighth of nine children and the baby girl. Her sisters and brothers, Lorraine (Ron) Cottage of Butler, Larry G. LeGrand, Sr., of Butler, the late Eunice “Rusty” Brown, Henry J. “Hank” (Barb) LeGrand of Renfrew, Beverly (Howard) Undercuffler of Fenelton, Bernice Meissner of Butler, Theresa Kepple of Butler, and Richard E. (Lynn) LeGrand of Butler, all meant the world to her. She had such wonderful stories to tell of growing up with the most caring family. She always said how happy she was they all got along and how they were always there for each other. This was shown again, when she became sick. They all helped in their own way, whether it was a sleep over with hotdogs, hanging out at “the Ponderosa”, going to the T-Bar to drink a Mountain Dew, or a sisters day at the casino, they all wanted to make sure their baby girl was happy and comfortable. Rusty even provided “adult sisters” daycare services to her the last few months so her daughters didn’t have to worry about her all day. She would want it said here, she loved them in this world and loves them even more in the next.
Dianne had a second set of siblings in which she had known since she was a teenager when she met her first husband Raymond “Jasper” Bopp. Charles “Butch” (Betty) Bopp, Kathy (Jim) Campbell, Barb (Joe) Yadesky, John (Sharon) Bopp, Jr., Paul Bopp, Lucy Niggel, Grace Merrill, and Tammy (Ed) Desmond. They all meant something different to her and she held them all in a special place in her heart. Butch, she would want it said she is sorry she can’t make the trip to Graceland, but she is proud of you and your continued fight. Go and enjoy and think of her smiling.
Dianne shares two daughters with Jasper. Paula J. (Jeff) Painter and Stacy M. (Joseph) Bowser. She always put her girls first and everyone knew, she was a true momma bear. She would always say, “you can mess with me but don’t mess with my girls.” Her daughters will always cherish everything she did for them, especially all their “adventures”. She always tried to make her girls laugh and enjoy even the little things in life. A couple of her favorite adventures was making a circle around Pittsburgh and seeing the Hampton Inn over and over and over again or the white out she drove through to IUP to have pizza with Paula. They would belt out Patsy Cline songs, like they were Patsy themselves and then laugh at how ridiculous they sounded. She even had the Doctors give her a “pass” to leave the hospital so she wouldn’t miss Stacy’s wedding this past Memorial Day.
Her grandchildren truly were her heart. She was beyond proud of everyone of them and there are many. Sarahlea Humes and her children, Devon, Blaze and Ava, Bill Scott and his children, Jayme Morrison, Elijah and Zoey, Dylan Neal, Camron Neal, Joella Neal, Destiny Parker and her son, Carson, Shianne Painter, Blayde Painter, Averi Riding, Bishop Riding, Layden Painter and Jaylynn Geibel. She tried to attend everything these kids would participate in. Even if it was hours away. She wanted to make sure they knew how much she loved them and how much she wanted them to thrive.
Dianne met her husband Bob in August 1997. He really did steal her heart when they met and went to the farm show. He accepted her daughters as if they were his own and he shared his sons, James Neal and John (Mary Jo) Neal and daughter with her. They had a lifetime of fun in just 19 short years, when he was taken tragically from her on June 30, 2016. They traveled, watched grandkids and just really enjoyed being together. Their love and devotion cannot be completely explained in words on paper. Now they will have eternity to enjoy the dance.
Dianne had many special friends, but her best friends, other than her sisters, were her cousin Velma Green and her high school friend Debi Sacco. Oh my the stories they could tell. Laughter always was heard when those stories would be revealed. Debi you did so much for her in the last few months and she would want you to know she cherished everything, especially all the desserts. You truly were a sister to her and she was very lucky to have such a true friend.
There are quite a few people that meant something to her that haven’t been mentioned, but know you touched her heart as well. She cared full heartedly for people and she would do anything for anyone, whether they asked or not.
When Dianne wasn’t enjoying the most important things life could offer, she worked mostly in food service, which she had an Associates Decree in Dietary Management and many certifications. She was a nurses aide and then in food service at Concordia Lutheran home, where she met life time friends. She worked at Big Lots for a little extra money. She was at Sunnyview Nursing Home until they changed hands. Here she had a wonderful group of “kids” that worked for her. She always talked highly of them and cared for each of them. They were part of her family. After she left Sunnyview, she worked at Slippery Rock High School. This was a joy because she could see her grandkids. She then worked at Autumn Grove Nursing home in Harrisville. She moved from there to work at Butler Catholic School. She was very excited about this because again she could be with her grandkids every day. Unfortunately, after a week, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She tried so hard to get better so she could go back to the cafeteria line, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
Friends will be received at the Hile Funeral Home of Chicora, 339 Chicora Fenelton Rd., Chicora, from 1 – 3 and 6 – 8 p.m. Sunday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Monday at St. Wendelin Roman Catholic Church, 210 St. Wendelin Rd., Butler, with the Rev. Matt McClain, church pastor, officiating. Interment will be at St. Mary Cemetery, Herman. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association at www.lung.org. For additional information or to send a condolence, please visit www.hilefh.com.