Diane Waters Shelton, 61, passed peacefully in her own bed next to her beloved husband shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday, October 17, 2020, after a long and fierce battle with a rare cancer. Her birth on July 17, 1959, in Seattle, Washington, was the last time she did anything in a manner that could be considered normal.
From an early age, she was the adventurous, humor and curiosity-driven bright light in every situation. Graced by the universe with striking beauty, she nonetheless remained self-deprecating, humble, and brilliantly silly, thrilled at any opportunity to break into dance, song, public displays of affection, funny faces, or any other act that might challenge the bounds of embarrassment for anyone else.
As a teen, she lived in Germany for several years where she would meet her best friend, Kathrin... a sister not of blood but of mind and soul. And though Diane didn’t study German, she quickly adopted the language and spoke it fluently (with a teen vocabulary) for the rest of her life. Comedian Kevin Nealon, who had a similar upbringing, discovered Diane with delight in a crowd of dozens of clamoring conversations backstage at the Kennedy Center, and tuned out all the rest to speak with her in “teen” German.
She attended McClean High School and the University of Virginia, where she joined Alpha Delta Pi, enjoying to her last days the love and friendship of her sisters. From UVA, she gained a degree in psychology, which would have saved her a great deal of trouble in the middle third of her life had she paid more attention in class. No doubt, the missing time had been spent planning adventures on far shores. Never shrinking from a challenge and eternally hungry for new knowledge, she excelled in areas not typically associated with a woman of her generation. Realtor, contractor, landscaper, stone builder, and carpenter are a few of the professions she made a living at over the years. Then, after virtually starting her life over from scratch in her early 40s, she charged headlong into her creative universe, drawing into her orbit anyone from whom she could learn pottery, weaving, spinning, knitting, sewing, felting, farming, chicken rearing, painting, pastels, and even some sculpture.
She precedes her inconsolable husband, author S.L. Shelton, who is quite aware he married up by many orders of magnitude; their children, Megan, Lauren, and Alex (Mike); her parents, Wayne and Margaret; her brother, Mike; and her sister from another mother, Kathrin. Also, in the wake of her passing are the many thousands of lives she touched with her shining soul and bright smile. Few who she met could regard her as anything but likable, lovable, compassionate, and funny. Her light still shines but from afar.