Obituary: Diane Dieman Paterson

May 3, 1946 – Sept. 2, 2023

Diane Dieman Paterson, Sturgeon Bay’s first Girls’ State Championship team coach died Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023 at the Horton Skilled Nursing Center in Sturgeon Bay where she was lovingly cared for by staff, Unity Hospice and her devoted family and friends.

She was born May 3, 1946 in Waukesha, WI, to Paul Kenneth and Violet Zephonia (Dieman) Dumbleton. On July 14, 1973, she exchanged wedding vows with James S. Paterson in Waukesha. The couple recently was honored at a 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration.

Following graduation from Waukesha High School in 1964 Diane attended Wisconsin State College Oshkosh and competed on the college volleyball and tennis teams. Diane was hired as the women’s physical education teacher by Sturgeon Bay schools in 1968, prior to the advent of Title 9.

Miss D, as she was called started women’s athletics coaching basketball, volleyball and track. In the course of her volleyball coaching career she won seven conference titles, three regional titles and in 1973 placed third in the WIAA State Tournament. Diane and her teams went on to win three Packerland Conference basketball titles. Her track teams earned six conference titles, two WIAA regional championships, three sectional championships in addition to the 1972 State Track title. Diane was inducted into the first Sturgeon Bay Clipper Athletic Hall of Fame Class Sept. 1, 2017. Even after retirement she could be found on the bleachers cheering on her Clipper teams as well as the children of family and friends.

Following retirement in 2001 Diane continued to remain active in the Door County community serving as president of the Door County Humane Society, where she was known for her work on the benefit called Animeal. Her love for her human and furry friends will shine on forever. She was a charter member of PEO Chapter DQ, served as a volunteer in the early days at the Door County Maritime Museum and also played saxophone with the Door County Symphonic Band for many years.

Well traveled, she and her husband made many trips to the East Coast, Florida, Canada and Mexico. She also toured Europe, Scotland and Ireland. She and Jim were known for traveling with their many Schnauzers.

Though slowed down by Parkinson’s Disease, Diane was always ready for a “top down day” in one of her convertibles. When asked how she would like to be remembered Diane replied, “Say she loved tennis, girls’ sports, fast cars and animals!”

Besides her husband Jim, she is survived by her sister-in-law Susan Dumbleton, nieces and nephews Danika Robbins (Matt) Seitzinger, Susan (Edward) Krenz, Stephen (Corinne) Stariha, Scott (LouAnn) Stariha, Sara (Rodney) Ellison and Shawn (Kimberly) Stariha.

Further surviving are 20 great nieces and nephews, 36 great-great-nieces and nephews and many special loving friends.

Preceding her in death was her brother, David Dumbleton, parents Paul K. and Violet Z. Dumbleton and in-laws James S. Paterson, Catherine Dorothy (Emmert) Paterson and Marilyn and George Stariha.

Memorial services will be held at the United Methodist Church, Sturgeon Bay, Saturday, Sept. 9 at 1 pm with the Rev. Kenneth Boettcher officiating. Friends may call at the church Saturday from 11:30 until 1 pm.

Memorials may be made in Diane’s name to the Wisconsin Humane Society Door County Campus or Unity Hospice.

The Forbes Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.