Diane (Crowell) CrowellJuly 23, 2015
West Springfield- Diane Crowell, 76, passed away Thursday, surrounded by her loving family in the comfort of her home. She was born in Springfield to the late Rebecca (Hubbard) and Ralph Crowell and was a lifelong resident of West Springfield. Diane was a graduate of West Springfield High School and Bates College in Lewiston, Maine where she earned her degree in English. After graduation, Diane was a school librarian at Our Lady of Providence Children’s Center and a kindergarten teacher at Bowie School at Westover Air Base. She later was the Activities Director at the Holyoke Geriatric Center. These jobs prepared Diane for her true passion and that was service to her community and others. Over the years, she has been involved in numerous charities, community organizations, local political roles and other activities, of which hopefully none will be forgotten here. Diane has always been passionate about the Merrick Section of West Springfield. She was one of the founders and the first Director of the West Springfield/Agawam Open Pantry where she served for ten years. She was a founder of the Merrick section’s Revive the Pride annual cleanup and block party. She was a Town Meeting Member for eleven years, was part of the Town’s Charter Commission and served as District One’s city councilor on the initial City Council. Diane was the Chair for Precinct One and Two Neighborhood Committee, a member of the Community Preservation Committee, West Springfield Environmental Committee and the West Springfield Tree & Urban Forest Committee, Earth Day Fair and Clean up Day, Friends of the West Springfield Library, Friends of Mittineague Park, West Springfield Disability Commission and Fair Housing Committee. She was a member of the West Springfield Parish Association and was involved with Helping Hands for years. After the June 1st tornado that ravaged the Merrick Section, Diane along with several other volunteers formed Raising Hope Together, in an effort to meet the needs of those affected by the tornado. Diane received many recognitions for her community involvement and was always very humbled and grateful. She was an enthusiastic outdoors woman who hiked, kayaked and traveled throughout the world and made many dear friends along the way. She often remarked some of her most enjoyable hikes were right here in her beloved Bear Hole Watershed and Mittineague Park. You would rarely see her without her hiking companion Pokey. What a team! Diane was predeceased by her beloved husband, Patrick Kearney. She leaves her loving children, Cindy Nolan of Northampton, Kent Theobald of Saratoga, NY, Douglas Theobald and his wife Cory of W. Spfld., Dr. Timothy Theobald and his wife Debbie of Lyman, ME and her adored grandchildren, Joshua Corey, Breauna, Alexis, Chelsea, Dana, Cameron, Abigail and Emily Theobald, her sister, Jane Nasti and her husband Angelo of Naples, Italy as well as several nieces and nephews. Diane’s funeral was Wednesday at First Baptist Church, 337 Piper Road, W. Spfld., followed by burial in the Ashleyville Cemetery. Calling hours were Tuesday at the TOOMEY-O'BRIEN FUNERAL HOME, 1043 Westfield St. W. Spfld. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the West Springfield Environmental Committee, PO Box 388, West Springfield, MA 01090.