DIANA MILDRED CRAFT
Diana Mildred Craft, 80, of Sun City West, AZ, died at Banner University Hospital, Phoenix, AZ, on March 22, 2023, of complications following back surgery.
Diana was born October 3, 1942, in Upper Moreland Township, Montgomery County, PA, to Stanley R. Craft Sr., and Anna Wallace Craft. She was the youngest of seven children and was the last of her family to die. She never married. Her siblings were: Stanley Raymond Jr., Dorothy (Bishop), Marjorie (Burke), Wallace, Edwin, and Robert. Diana was baptized at the Willow Grove (PA) Methodist Church.
After her father retired, the family moved to Florida. Diana graduated from Hialeah (FL) High School in 1960. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami. She then moved to California where she got her master’s degree in special education from the University of San Diego in 1972. She was hired by the San Ysidro, CA, school district and taught at Smythe Elementary School her entire career. She was a special education teacher for many years then transitioned to first grade. She retired from teaching in June, 2004.
Diana lived in Chula Vista, CA, from the mid-1970s until 2014 when she moved to Durham, NC, to be near family. But the cold, rainy winters proved to be too much for a woman who grew up and lived in warm climates most of her life. In 2019, she moved to Sun City West, AZ, with her dog, Maggie.
In 1961, she pledged and became a member of the Beta Sigma Phi International Sorority. She had been a proud member for 62 years and was an active member of the Beta Delta Master chapter in Sun City West when she died. She embraced the goals and ideals of Beta Sigma Phi throughout her life.
Diana was famous for her cooking and gardening skills. Friends and family received many a care package that could contain anything she made, from scones, to homemade mustard. When she cooked for friends her “simple” meals meant the table was covered with dishes of things to eat. In Chula Vista, she had a large rose garden that was the envy of her neighborhood. She took road trips to many parts of the country including multiple trips to Titusville, FL, after her parents moved there. She also traveled to a lot of casinos. She was a generous, warm, gracious, happy lady who lifted the spirits of those around her.
Diana is survived by nephews James (Andrea) Burke, Clarksville, VA, Gregory (Eleanor) Burke, Bridgeport, PA, niece Joyanne Craft, Titusville, FL, and sister-in-law Barbara (Edwin) Craft, Harleysville, PA.
Services will be held at Desert Palms Presbyterian Church, 13459 W. Stardust Blvd., Sun City West, AZ 85375, on Saturday, May 6th, 2023, at 11:00 am. A reception will follow in the church hall. Her ashes will be interred at the Bridgeboro, NJ, Methodist Church Cemetery alongside many of her family. Burial arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers please send a donation to her Desert Palms Presbyterian Church, Salvation Army, Special Olympics, Alzheimer’s Research, or St. Mary’s Food Bank.
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