Leslie Diane Lillard | June 11, 1954 – Dec. 16, 2020

Leslie Diane Lillard

June 11, 1954 – Dec. 16, 2020

Leslie Diane Lillard went to heaven on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, at 3:47 p.m. due to a fast, aggressive and painful cancer.

Diane, as most of us knew her, was born to Don and Erma Ware at Mission Hospital in Huntington Park, Calif., on Friday, June 11, 1954, at 11:27 p.m. She was immediately transferred by ambulance to White Memorial in Los Angeles for a blood transfusion. With her dad being a merchant marine, he was gone on the ship, and her uncle, Shorty, was by her side on the way there.

Diane grew up in Walnut Park and Southgate, Calif., and attended schools in Southgate, the first being Liberty Elementary. That is where on one day in the third grade a new girl named Carol would show up, and a friendship would spark that lasted for 57 years. From there Diane attended Southgate Junior High and Southgate High School.

Growing up for Diane was hard. Kids were mean back then and made fun of her name, her glasses and what she wore. Albeit that was hard on her, she would try to find strength in God and her family, and it never changed who she was or how she acted. It made her stronger, and she would use that to try and help other people and build them up and help encourage them for the rest of her life.

Many of us have heard these words, “When you turn 18, you can move out and do whatever you want.” Well, when Diane turned 18 she moved out and eventually married her first husband, Murray Wyman, on Sept. 30, 1972, which just happened to be his birthday. With this union there were no children, and it was a short-lived marriage, lasting less than two years.

Then one day while working at Winchell’s Donut House she met a guy named Rob, and a first date to the movies to see “The Trial of Billy Jack” would lead to a son being born a year and a half later and a marriage on April 16, 1977. That would bring another son named Ryan. This marriage would last only 12 years, but they remained friends to the end.

Diane never learned how to drive and always took a bus or walked where she was going. She was a hard worker and worked many odd jobs in the food service industry. Her last two were her favorite, serving and preparing food for the Los Angeles Unified School District and serving ice cream.

In 2008, after spending most her life in the same city, Diane was convinced to move to Buckeye, Ariz., and move in with her aunt, Dixie, who had just lost her husband of many years. Diane really had a hard time adjusting to Arizona, but once she did she enjoyed walking everywhere and meeting new friends . 

Diane enjoyed spending time with family and close family friends Jose and Martha, and really getting to know her Aunt Dixie. She would look back at those years as being some of the best of her life and would really cherish those moments with Aunt Dixie.

In 2015, while having some health issues, being struck by a Mack truck while walking and  a few other factors, Wyoming would become Diane’s new home. She enjoyed her last five years, spending time with her family, walking to her grandkids’ events and getting outside and walking and talking to all the friendly people here. Diane was always trying to be helpful and

truly had a good heart toward all people and animals. And she loved the Lord with all of her heart.

There were many that inspired Diane: God, her grandparents, parents,  aunts and uncles, brother and sisters, niece, both of her husbands, sons, daughter and all her friends – Mabel, Virginia, CJ, Ernie, Don, Marianne, Lori, Barbara, Carol, Jose, Martha, Kurt, Shelby, Stephanie, Kat, Sara, Mario, Nancy, Elizabeth, Sharon, Judy, Dotty, Dale, Trish, Pam, Chelsea and many others.

Diane was preceded in death by her grandparents, parents, uncle Junior, aunt Virginia, uncle Shorty, aunt Dorothy and her beloved kitty cats, especially Baby, Sassy and Squeaker.

She is survived by her aunt, Dixie, brother Wes, sisters Sharon and Susan (Charles), cousins John and Jim, niece Darlene, nephews Josh (Betcy) and Matt (Nicole), great-nephew Chris, sons Ryan and Steve, daughter Lucy, grandkids Will, Amanda and Garrett, ex-husband Rob (Alejandra), many friends and her precious kitty cat Brandi.

Thank you to all the good people here who interacted with Diane and were kind to her and did what you could do to help her. And thank you to all her friends who called, sent messages and came by many times to see her in her last days. It was such a comfort to her to know that she wasn’t alone. 

A final thank you goes out to Stillwater Hospice for helping to make her last days as  comfortable as possible, Five Springs Health and Wellness Center for always treating Diane like a million bucks, North Big Horn Hospital and the Cancer Center in Cody and Diane’s church family. Thank you for all the prayers from everybody, Pastor Kurt and the Lovell

Bible Church, and to my wife, who was by my side the whole time. 

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, at 11 a.m. at the Lovell Bible Church, followed by a lunch. In lieu of flowers, please just do a random act of kindness toward someone or an animal.