Diane Jean (Robar) Wiedenbeck, age 80, of Madison, was embraced by the loving arms of Jesus on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, after passing away from complications of leukemia.
She was visiting her brother and sister-in-law in South Carolina when she fell ill. While her death came unexpectedly, those who had the pleasure of knowing Diane will affirm that she lived a life full of love and service to her family and community.
Diane was born in Madison, on Aug. 19, 1937, to Bertram D. and Emma L. (Peterson) Robar. She met her husband and love of her life William Gene Wiedenbeck at East High School in Madison. Bill and Diane ended up in the same math class when he was a senior and she was a sophomore. Some might call it a scheduling fluke, but looking back they saw it as God’s plan. They were married in Madison on Sept. 15, 1956, and shared more than 61 years together.
Bill and Diane had four children in as many years. She was a hands-on Mom, and served as leader of her three daughters’ Girl Scout troops for more than a decade, mentoring and teaching life skills to numerous young women. Their camping trips and New York City adventures were legendary. Diane considered service her life’s work.
Both Bill and Diane have been active members of Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison for nearly sixty years. Diane volunteered her time for many organizations including: State of Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long Term Care, East Madison/Monona Coalition of the Aging, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Dane County, Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Group, Wisconsin State Triad, Cottage Grove Triad, Dementia Friendly Cottage Grove and Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce. She served the Village of Cottage Grove as a trustee for seven years and as president for four years. Even with all her commitments, Diane cherished and prioritized time with her family.
Diane is survived by her husband, William “Bill” Wiedenbeck of Cottage Grove; her four children, Diane Kay (Randy) Veale, Debra (Paul) Whitmore, Cheryl (Karl) Dietmeyer, and Robert (special friend, Lisa Hergenrother); grandchildren, Laura (Evan) Ferree, Lauren (Matthew) Hill, Karla (Gavin) Colahan, and John (Nicole) Whitmore; great-granddaughter, Caroline Joy Ferree; her brother, James (Cynthia) Robar; and many loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; and by her infant sister, Betty Jane Robar.
A celebration of Diane’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, at BETHEL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 312 Wisconsin Ave., Madison, with the Rev. John Swanson officiating. Visitation will be held at the church from 9 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday. A private interment ceremony will be held later that day.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bethel Horizons Scholarship Fund; Agrace Hospice and Palliative Care of Madison; the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups; or the East Madison/Monona Coalition of the Aging. Diane would be pleased if you were to gather your family and friends and play a game of cards or dominoes in her memory. She will be greatly missed at the game table and everywhere else by those who knew and loved her.
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