Life Story / Obituary
Fun-loving and joyful, Diane Field-Nowicki lived a life rich in family and friends. A naturally happy woman, Diane genuinely loved people and made friends with everyone. She was a classy lady and a happy person who inspired smiles, laughter, and good times. With great style and attention to detail, Diane was always dressed well, matching from head to toe, including shoes and purses. In her good company, hope was always on the horizon, and simple pleasures were cause for celebration. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, Diane's bright and beautiful spirit inspired all who were blessed to know her.
As the strains of the Great Depression began to ease, Americans' incomes grew, fueling the economy. This optimism inspired the making of several classic movies, including "Gone With the Wind" and the "Great Dictator." At the same time, the refreshing sounds of Benny Goodman and Count Basie's Jazz filled our homes with hope. Despite the ominous winds of change blowing in from Europe, the foundation of hope and generosity our nation had firmly rooted itself. It was within this overwhelming feeling of fortitude, generosity, and hope that Franklin and Wilma (Martin) Field welcomed their daughter Diane Kay into their hearts and lives on a sunny day, October 15, 1941, at Sparrow Hospital.
The oldest of three, Diane was a proud and loving big sister to her younger brothers, Frank and Brent. She grew up in the Lansing area, where she took piano and dance lessons and enjoyed toe dancing. Diane played piano throughout her life and also learned to play the organ. Following her parents paths, she attended Pattengill Junior High School and then graduated from Eastern High School in 1959.
During her school years, Diane was in many church and school plays and programs because she was always the piano player. She also would play for vocal concerts and high school assemblies. She did have a chance to be an actress and musician in “Around the World in 8 Days”. Some of her proudest moments were recalled from those days.
Though she also broadened her interests, participating on volleyball and basketball teams. She loved to attend high school football games and even participated in the Powder Puff game as a senior. Growing up in Lansing, she was drawn to Sparty, attending many MSU games as well. She also enjoyed her dance recitals and productions, with her mom making all of her costumes. Through all this, she was most interested in people. She would talk to anyone and found friends wherever she went.
Diane’s working career began at Michigan Bell in Lansing and then North Central Airlines in Minneapolis as a flight attendant in the early 60s. She moved to Grand Rapids in 1963 and was a secretary in the area for many years. As jobs came with better pay, she would change jobs and worked many different positions over the years. After retiring, she worked part-time for her parish office and as an administrative assistant for the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation.
Diane married and was blessed with two children, Glen and Joann. Though the marriage ended, she was fiercely independent and did everything she could to raise her children in a loving and supportive home. One of the many gifts she gave her children was her deep relationship with her parents. She drove to see them almost every weekend. She loved going to dinner with them and lovingly tended to their needs as they aged.
While working at Lear Siegler, Diane found love with her coworker, Joseph "Joe" Nowicki. Blessed with a wonderful companionship, the couple married on December 30, 1995, at St. Anthony Church. Diane and Joe were perfect for one another. They both loved people, dressed well, and were musically talented. They enjoyed socializing with friends and family and traveling. For a few years, they wintered in Florida and took many trips to famous historical sites. They would live in various condos throughout their marriage. They enjoyed playing music together, with Diane played the piano while Joe played the accordion. Diane kept a clean, well-organized home and grew to share Joe's love of old cars, fondly calling her car "My little buggy." Her go-to breakfast was oatmeal made on the stove with some toast, and she and Joe liked to go out to eat.
Without a doubt, one of Diane's greatest joys was her grandchildren. A very active grandma, she saw them often and was always cheering them on. She never missed a special event and cherished every moment they shared. Every Friday, she greeted them after school with ice cream sandwiches or popsicles. She loved to take them to the beach, and even though she never swam, she delighted in their sandy adventures. Pizza at Mancino's became a tradition, and she and Joe also took them to many outdoor concerts.
Sadly, in her 50s, Diane began to show significant forgetfulness. As the memory challenges persisted, she began to require more care and needed to retire. For many years, Joe was able to tend to her needs and keep her at home with him. When he passed away in 2012 from cancer, it was clear that she needed more help, and she moved into an assisted living home. Over the years, she lived in several different care facilities that provided her with the support she needed. For the last several years, her vibrant spirit all but disappeared, leaving just her shell.
As we say our final goodbyes, may we find comfort in reminiscing treasured memories of Diane's joy and delight. With each walk on the beach, concert, ice cream sandwich, pizza, and belly laugh, we celebrate the many ways she gifted our lives and inspired us to wholeheartedly embrace each and every moment.
Diane Kay Field-Nowicki, age 80, best friend and beloved wife of Joe, loving daughter, mother, grandmother, and sister, passed away June 6, 2022, in Grand Rapids, MI. A devoted daughter, Diane lovingly helped care for her mother, Wilma through a long illness until her death in 1992, and her beloved father, Franklin D. Field, preceded her in death on February 6, 1999. She is survived by her son, Glen (Carol) Webb and daughter, Joann (Bob) De Glopper. Her joy in life were her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Jennifer & Mark Rubick (Johanna, Kaden, Lincoln, Beckham), Nicole De Glopper (Silas Cronheim), Melissa De Glopper, Cameron De Glopper, Travis & Mercedes Webb (Ainsley, Adeline), Tara & Doug Dutcher (Kayne, Trayton, Henley, Emalynn). Interment will take place in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Lansing. To share a favorite memory of Diane with her family and to sign her online guest book, please visit her personal web page at www.heritsgelifestory.com.