Your wings were ready, but our hearts were not
Diana K Crisp (Grammy), 71, died on Sunday, September 29, 2019, at Providence Hospital in Everett, Washington, due to complications related to her ongoing battle with lymphoma. She was first diagnosed with cancer in 2001, was in remission for a decade, and bravely fought multiple diagnoses since 2010. What was believed to be a tumor was discovered on her brain in June 2019; her health rapidly deteriorated after that time. She remained a warrior until her final day.
Diana credited her courage and strength to God. While not active in the church later in life, she walked forever in faith.
Diana was born in Flagler, Colorado on September 16, 1948; the third child and first daughter to O.L. and Dorothy Crisp. Diana, with her family, also lived in Springfield and Pritchet, Colorado before finally settling in Valdez, Alaska where her father took a job as the butcher at Gilson’s Grocery Store just after the great earthquake of 1964.
As a child, Diana participated in 4-H, but spent most of her time helping her family. She spent time helping at the store and learned to cook at a young age to help her mother after her younger sister Carol was born. Diana was named Valedictorian of the first graduating class in the newly rebuilt community of Valdez in 1966. After graduation, she attended Western Washington State College to study education. She stayed for one year before her journey brought her back to Valdez. Although most of her adult life was spent in Valdez, her adventurous spirit led her to live outside of Alaska for short periods three other times; twice in Washington State, and once in Oregon.
Diana’s first job was at the movie theatre in the Eagle’s Hall in Valdez. She also worked for the Valdez Community Hospital. The earlier part of her career was with the State of Alaska Department of Transportation, and she retired from the City of Valdez, after working for almost 20 years at the Harbormaster’s Office. She continued to work after retirement as a bookkeeper for various nonprofit organizations, including the Valdez Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the Elks Lodge.
When not working Diana loved to read, cook, bake, and crochet. She had a passion for trying new recipes out on family and friends, and was rarely seen sitting without needles and a skein of yarn in her lap or at her feet. She loved plants and flowers and everything Christmas; setting up her village and decorating, the twinkle of lights, cooking and making candies, gift giving, and wrapping every single present with beautiful precision and
care. Later in life she took up quilting, playing games with her friends at the Senior Center, and enjoyed walking all over town.
Her greatest love, however, was her family. Diana raised her two daughters, Kim and Sharon, and played an active role in the lives of her grandchildren Christina, Jaimie, Jacob, and Jordan, and great-granddaughter Piper. She joined them on adventures and spent many years in the kitchen teaching them to cook and bake, and on the bleachers enjoying concerts, sports, and activities. She filled their life with love, happiness, and an overwhelming sense of family. She was abundantly selfless, often happily putting her own desires on hold to support the success of those she loved.
She was known for her generosity; always baking for bake sales, making donations, buying raffle tickets, and supporting community events and fundraisers. She was a member of the Pioneers of Alaska and volunteered with many local organizations over the years, including the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Food Bank, Elks Lodge, Relay for Life, CVEA Community Foundation, and the Valdez Senior Center, to name a few.
Diana will be remembered for her incredible courage, strength, honesty, kindness, silent belly laughs and big beautiful smile. She loved and cared for her friends and never knew a stranger. She gave unconditional support to anyone in need, and it always included a hug and a prayer.
Diana was survived by her daughters Kim (Mike) Crisp and Sharon (Eric) Scheidt, grandchildren Christina Trimmer, Jacob (Jory) and Jordan Perez, Jaimie Crisp, and Erin (Micah) Bailey, great grandchildren Piper Trimmer, and Alex, Jacob, and Reagan Davison, and siblings Jerre (Sharon), Bill (Cleta), and Carol (Laura) Crisp. She is preceded in death by her mother Dorothy and father Othie Leo Crisp.
The family invites friends to join them for a Christmas inspired celebration of her beautiful life on Saturday, December 28, at 2 pm, at the Valdez Civic Center. Desserts will be provided, but please feel free to bring a sweet treat to share.
Festive attire is encouraged, and please bring your favorite memories and stories.
In lieu of flowers, Diana’s family and friends are accepting donations for the Valdez Senior Center Activity Program and the Valdez Relay for Life. Both of these organizations were important and special to her in life; we would like to give them something special in her memory.
On behalf of the entire family, we thank you all for your support during this difficult time, and most importantly, we thank you for allowing her to be a part of your life.