Diana Wetmore, 89, of Kinderhook, NY, and formerly of Ridgewood, NJ, departed comfortably from her Earthly body on May 4, 2022, into the welcoming arms of the Lord. Much like her spiritual model Pope John Paul II, she accepted and greeted her own mortality with dignity and without fear. Diana is predeceased by her husband, Richard Wetmore, and her sister Jean Snyder. She is survived by her sister, Countessa Marilyn Gaetani Dell'Aquilla D'Aragona; by her son, James and his wife Connie Wang of Minneapolis, and by her son Robert and his wife Rosamaria of Ballston Lake, and their daughters Olivia and Veronica.
Providentially born on Easter in 1933, Diana's life was a triumph of internal strength of character and Faith over childhood deprivation. From humble beginnings in Hornell, NY, she excelled in all respects and attended Cornell University where she was ranked #1 in a pre-law class. Diana went on to attain a Master's Degree in History from NYU in one year while working full time in Manhattan. She spent time as a history teacher and then as a manager and officer of several companies in Manhattan.
A classical pianist, loving especially Bach and Chopin, Diana moved twelve times in Manhattan, each time requiring a roof-mounted crane to lower her grand piano. She got to know nearly every noted Russian and Polish pianist of her era, including Horowitz, Rubinstein, and Gilels, as well as the conductors Toscanini, Reiner, Ormandy, and Bernstein. But her most abiding musical love was opera, with Swedish tenor Jussi Bjoerling her favorite.
Of powerful and wide-ranging intellect, Diana continued to read on average two to three books per week throughout her entire life, including Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gogol, Checkov, Nabokov, Trollope, Emily Dickinson, Ibsen, Beckett, Martin Amis, and innumerable others. She read Edward Gibbon's six-volume, 4000-page, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire three times and was conversant in its main narratives covering nearly two millennia of political and cultural history. And very late in life she began to re-teach herself Latin.
Diana was an energetic conversationalist, tremendous entertainer, and fantastic cook, particularly of French and Italian foods, and was for a time the best bread baker in the neighborhood. Unknown to many, she was also extraordinarily physically fit, mowing an acre property with a hand mower into her late 70's, walking at least an hour a day into her early 80's, and every day completing a routine of Royal Canadian Air Force exercises, a program which predated and presaged the modern fitness craze.
Most of all, Diana was a generous and loving grandmother, mother, wife, sibling, and neighbor. She would often promise to "kiss the curls out of her granddaughters' hair." As an extremely altruistic and selfless person, she also spent 15 years as a hospice volunteer, and donated substantial time, efforts, and financial support to Cradle Beach for special needs children, Smile Train, Unbound child sponsorship, Heifer International, and to third world housing initiatives. Her remarkable, generous, selfless, and humble faith very much resembled her main spiritual guides, St. Luke the Evangelist, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and Pope John Paul II.
Diana will be missed by all who knew her and even those who unknowingly benefitted from her altruism; and yet the family wishes for this to be a time of acceptance and joy over a life lived to its fullest and over her entry into the deserved peace of Heaven.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, May 12th, 2022 at 10:30am from the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Glenville NY. Burial will follow at St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Valatie NY.
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In Loving Memory
1933 - 2022
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