Diane Elizabeth Rockwell McQueen, 80, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 12 surrounded by her children, their spouses, her grandchildren, and close friends as she finished the race well, fighting the good fight until the end.
Visitation will be at Searcy’s Funeral home Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. with a public graveside to follow at Meadowlawn Cemetery at noon. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to: Enterprise Youth Camp, 623 County Road 602, Enterprise, AL 36330.
Born Oct. 28, 1938 in Weston, Mass. to a military family, Diane grew up all over the world. The stories of her childhood read like an adventure novel. From learning to dance the hula at a young age, to attending the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, to riding elephants in Thailand, …the world was Diane’s playground. Grandma/Grammy always had amazing stories that surprised and enthralled her family. Their travels carried them to the Tidewater area of Virginia where Diane graduated from Hampton High School in 1957. From there she moved on to attend William and Mary College.
It was while working a summer job in the Washington D.C. post of Fort Belvoir that she met a handsome young army officer named Jim McQueen. After a whirlwind courtship, she and Jim were married in 1959, and Diane immediately began her life as a military spouse. Her strength and character flourished as she cared for her husband and raised a family through 23 moves in 26 years. Her family will never forget the courage and fortitude she displayed after Jim was wounded in combat in Vietnam and was hospitalized for months in Fort Gordon, Ga., while the family was in Greenville, S.C. The way she lovingly cared for her children, managed their home, and drove back and forth hundreds of miles to be with her husband, all while preparing the family for the next move, made an indelible impression on her children.
In 1977, Jim’s retirement from the Army brought the McQueen family permanently back to Enterprise. One last move and they were settled in to their final home there up the steep driveway at 103 Oakwood Drive. Diane jumped into life, becoming involved in her children’s activities, her church, and organizations that allowed her to use her sweet spirit, her smile and concern for others to make a difference in her hometown.
As grandchildren came along, she became even more enthusiastic in her love and passion for her family. Grandparents Day at elementary school was treated as a sacred holiday. Her grandchildren were the most talented, beautiful, exceptional kids on the planet. Every single one of them. If you didn’t believe it, you could just ask her! She would always make sure that they were well supplied with her homemade cookies, and would write individual names on each bag. These expressions of love were what Grandma/Grammy used to fill her grandchildren’s “Heart Pocket”.
Losing her husband of 45 years in 2004 brought her sadness, but not brokenness. Diane continued her journey of loving others with joy and humility. She continued to exercise her gift of hospitality by hosting meals in her home for young military couples who visited her church while stationed at Fort Rucker. She loved to go and visit the residents at the nursing home to brighten their day. She would always say, while in her 70’s, “old folks are so cute!” It was never too much trouble to stop by and visit someone, drop off food, or share a word of encouragement. She will be remembered for her quick wit, dazzling smile, her enthusiasm for life and her quirky sense of humor. Diane was well known, and loved, by cashiers, servers, secretaries, nurses and the people in life she encountered because she made them feel special and important to her – because they were. She earned the descriptive title awarded to her – “The Oldest Teenager in Enterprise” – because of her joyful approach to serving the Lord by serving others.
Diane McQueen finished this life as the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman.
Diane was preceded in death by her loving husband, James Thomas “Jim” McQueen; parents, Donald Edward and Helen Spofford Rockwell; brother, Donald Edward Rockwell; and grandson, Parker Benjamin McQueen.
Survivors include two sons Mark McQueen (Karen) of Panama City, Fla., and Michael McQueen (Pam) of Enterprise; two daughters Beth McQueen Jones (Frazier) of Auburn and Tori McQueen Andrade (Jay) of Atlanta, Ga.; 10 grandchildren, Nicholas McQueen (Hannah) of Birmingham, Alex McQueen (Rebecca) of Huntsville, Mitchell McQueen (Breanna) of Enterprise, Taylor McQueen of Auburn, Lauren Jones Jordan (Albert) of Atlanta, Thomas McQueen of Panama City, Brooks and Garrett Jones, both of Auburn and Joshua and Macy Beth Andrade, both of Atlanta; one great grandson James Parker McQueen of Enterprise. The family waits in great anticipation for the arrival in June of Diane’s second great-grandchild Charlotte Elizabeth McQueen. Diane is also survived by one brother Richard Bruce “Dick” Rockwell (Annette); numerous nephews, nieces; and great-nephews and nieces.
Serving their grandmother as pallbearers are Nicholas McQueen, Alex McQueen, Mitchell McQueen, Thomas McQueen, Brooks Jones, Garrett Jones and Joshua Andrade.
To sign the register book or to send condolences to the family, please visit our website at www.searcyfuneralhome.com.
Searcy Funeral Home and Crematory, 1301 Neal Metcalf Rd., Hwy. 167 N., Enterprise, AL 36330, (334) 393-2273