Dianne Anderson O'Connell: 1945-2018

Jun 20, 2018

Dianne Anderson O'Connell died Monday, June 11, 2018, at her home in Brier, Washington. She was an Alaskan resident from the summer of 1967 through the summer of 2011.

She is survived by son Jeff Anderson and his partner Marisa Godbee; her daughters and son-in-law Jennifer (Jenna) and Michael Goff and Jessica (Jessye) O'Connell Schmitz; her step-daughter Shannon O'Connell and her partner Laura Koppang; her stepson and daughter-in-law John and Charity O'Connell; granddaughters Alexandra (Alei) Natasia Marie O'Connell, Tristan Lee Anderson, Myah Mathilda Schmitz, Delaney Colleen Koppang-O'Connell and Lillian Grace Goff; grandsons Charles Carter Koppang-O'Connell and Logan O'Connell Goff; and great-granddaughter Dahlia Raine Anderson-Browne.

Dianne was preceded in death by her husband of 34 years, Charles Lewis O'Connell, in February 2011, her stepdaughter Catherine Colleen O'Connell in February 1981 and her infant daughter, Alice Katherine Anderson, in November 1964.

The former Dianne Bartelle Shullaw was born August 14, 1945 at Gotham Hospital, New York City, New York. She was the daughter of Wayne and Ellen (Bartelle) Shullaw.

Dianne received a bachelor of science degree in communications from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

She and her first husband, Lt. Robert W. Anderson, drove to Alaska in the summer of 1967, where their son Jeffrey Lee Anderson was born the following spring, at Elmendorf AFB Hospital. Dianne and Bob were divorced in 1972.

Dianne married Chuck O'Connell May 24, 1977. They became the parents of Jennifer Ellen and Jessica Dianne O'Connell, both born at Providence Alaska Medical Center.

Dianne worked as a reporter for both the Anchorage Daily News and Anchorage Daily Times and as field staff for the National Education Association/Alaska. Dianne graduated from San Francisco Theological Seminary in May 1986 and was ordained a Presbyterian Minister Nov. 15, 1986.

She served as a hospital chaplain at Providence Alaska Medical Center for 10 years before assuming the position of labor program director for the Alaska Nurses Association in May 1999. She retired from the Nurses' Association as executive director in October 2007.

She served First Congregational Church, Anchorage, as interim senior minister, from September 2010 through June 2011. Following relocation to Edmonds, she was called as the intentional transitional minister for First Congregational Church of Maltby April 2013-April 2015. Dianne became a member of the Edmonds United Methodist Church in the spring of 2016.

Dianne valued the friends she made through the Alaska Democratic Party; Out North Theater (serving as board chair from 2000 to 2008); the Col. John Mitchell chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution; the Anchorage Women Writers Group; Anchorage Professional Communicators; the Pioneers of Alaska, Igloo 4; Daybreak, Inc.; the Yukon Presbytery (honorable retired 2008); Immanuel Presbyterian Church; and the First Congregational churches in Anchorage and Maltby.

In Washington, she met wonderful people through her work with the Friends of the Edmonds Library, EPIC Writers Group and, of course, her church communities.

A local memorial service will be conducted at noon Saturday, June 16, at the First Congregational Church of Maltby, 21111 86th Ave. SE, Snohomish. The family will also conduct a memorial service at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Anchorage at a later date. Ashes will be interred at the family memorial at the Pioneer section of the Anchorage Memorial Cemetery.

Please share memories at www.beckstributecenter.com.

 

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