At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Diane Zellers was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. A lover of all people, she lived her life selflessly giving to others over the years. She had an exceptional ability to listen and tend to others, treating each and every person she met as uniquely special. Active throughout her life, Diane never passed up an opportunity to travel, entertain, or attend a special event of one of her grandchildren. Her warm personality will surely be missed by her many special friends and loved ones.
The 1950s were the grand era of television and the silver screen, bringing American legends such as James Dean and Elvis’ rock and roll into living rooms worldwide. In the midst of this decade known as the baby boom, Ray and Emma ( Block) Schweighofer welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Diane, into their loving arms on July 22, 1950, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Joining her older siblings, her birth brought great joy into the family home.
Growing up in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Diane collected many happy childhood memories. Her father worked for the railroad and her mother was a homemaker. She shared many fond, yet cold, days of fishing with her dad at a young age. Diane graduated with the Class of 1969 from Cathedral High School. With a desire to become a nurse since her brother was struck by a car when she was a young girl, she made her dreams a reality at Crookston School of Nursing. With Diane’s compassion and willingness to help others nursing was a the perfect choice for her career choice.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of the love of her life, Ron Zellers. It was 1970 and he was stationed at the local Air Force base. Ron knew almost instantly on their first meeting that she was the one! Despite her protests against the war efforts, the two of them hit it off right from the start! Within two weeks, they were engaged to be married. With reservations from Diane’s Catholic Priest and a Protestant Minister, they saw a Lutheran pastor who saw that they were truly in love and would agree to marry them. On December 29, 1970 they exchanged vows and for the next 49 years they would be inseparable as husband and wife.
Eventually, Ron was discharged from the Air Force, yet a few years later when jobs were scarce he decided to re-enlist with the United States Army. During the course of Ron’s military career, they welcomed home three wonderful children. They traveled throughout the United States and the world and lived in various places including California, Colorado, and Germany. Diane relished in her role as a mother to her sons; Jeremy, Josh, and Ben. Due to the fact that they moved often with the military, they became a close-knit family relying on one another for entertainment and support. Once the boys were all in school, Diane went to work as a pediatric nurse. A natural with young children, it was the perfect fit for her!
As a mom, the boys knew their limit with her. Although she was mostly easy-going about boyhood mischief, she knew where to draw the line. For example, if they were past their curfew, one may find her up waiting for them in the driveway wearing her purple nightgown ready to give the wrath to the violator. By 1990, Ron retired from the military and they moved to Oklahoma. Although they enjoyed their pool and home there, Oklahoma never felt like a place to call home. By 1999, they relocated to Kalamazoo and never left! During her many years as a nurse at Pro Med Pediatrics on Westnedge Ave and later in Richland, she watched many of her patients grow from newborns into young adults. A favored nurse over the years she made many lasting bonds with her clients as well as her co-workers.
Diane also held a wide variety of special interests. She was an avid reader and mostly enjoyed murder mysteries or anything by Stephen King. She considered herself old fashioned as she preferred to hold a book versus reading on an I-Pad or Kindle. Diane also enjoyed traveling. Although she had been all over the world, her favorite destination was Scenic State Park in Minnesota because it reminded her of her childhood days. A fabulous baker with a sweet tooth, she would often bake homemade cookies and treats and made every holiday special for her family! She was an animal lover throughout her life, yet had a very special bond with her dog, Shelby who passed away just a couple of weeks before her own death.
She was absolutely thrilled to welcome her daughters-in-law into their family! Diane treated each of them as if they were her own! She was so very happy to share in her sons’ many successes and celebrate their unions. She felt blessed when her sweet grandchildren arrived! Diane spoiled them at every opportunity! They reunited her positive energy and spirit for getting right down on the floor and playing with them just as she had done with her own children. Diane was always there for her family. Sincere, generous, and an amazing listener, there is no doubt that she will be deeply missed by her many special friends and loved ones. Gone too soon, may her family honor her spirit by always sharing her special kindness and her heartfelt gift of accepting others without judgment in the years to come.
Diane Zellers, age 69, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, died on Friday, June 19, 2020 at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo due to a brain aneurysm that inflicted her on the previous Sunday. Members of her family include her husband, Ron; her three children; Jeremy (Katie), Josh (Kendra), and Ben (Courtney); her six grandchildren; Leah, Lola, Nora, Mason, Greyson, and Mackenzie; her three siblings; Mark Schweighofer, Jeanette Ollig, and Maryterese Synstelien. Private services to celebrate her life will be held at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, (269) 375-2900. Her cremated remains will be placed at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Please visit her personal memory page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.