Diane Thomas passed away on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at Brandon Woods Nursing Home. A memorial service is planned for a later date yet to be determined.
Diane Marie Rebel was born in Kansas City, MO on December 3, 1952 to John Henry “Jack” and Sherry Lee (McFaddin) Rebel. The second of eleven children, Diane graduated from Oak Park High School in 1971 and subsequently joined the U.S. Air Force, serving in the ground radio division until 1977. After leaving the military Diane spent several years living in Alaska and Washington, earning her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in 1984.
After moving back to the Midwest, Diane began working as a technical writer for three Kansas City-area companies. In 1989 she married Lawrence native Kirk Thomas, and the couple relocated to St. Louis in 1998 with their two children. They divorced in 2008, after which Diane returned to Lawrence. Diane worked with local archaeology firm R. Christopher Goodwin for several years before retiring in 2018.
A fiercely independent and self-reliant person, Diane was an avid traveler and a lifelong lover of the outdoors, pursuing a course in Environmental Studies from the University of Kansas from 2009 to 2012. Diane spent several years as a dog trainer and a dog park advocate, and many of her happiest times in her life were spent with her beloved dogs. Music was important to Diane throughout her life: having sung with rock bands in her youth, she spent the last years of her life in the Lawrence music scene, studying voice, guitar, and ukulele at Americana Music Academy.
Diane is predeceased by her parents and her brothers Brian and Gregory. She is survived by her daughter Jenn (m. Harry Althoff), son Alan (Ana Hernandez), and siblings John Rebel, Janis Boman, Bruce Rebel, Mary Ogden, Philip Rebel, David Rebel, Barbara Rebel, and Paul Rebel. In lieu of flowers, Diane’s family requests donations in Diane’s name to Americana Music Academy or the Lawrence Humane Society, sent in care of the funeral home.
Messages & Condolences
Diane and I worked together as editors in the 1990s. She was knowledgeable, creative, and passionate about her work, and a pleasure to work with. Her other passion was her family, and we talked often about the ups and down in our family lives. I was sorry to lose her as a colleague and am very sorry to learn of her death. My condolences to all who loved her.
I would like to express my sorrow for the loss of Diane. She must have been a wonderful woman who you will all miss very much. Our thoughts will be with your family.
To Diane’s family – I am so sorry for your loss. What a woman she was! I went to grade school with her at St. Charles and she was a brilliant person. I admired her. I wish for you peace and comfort and happy memories.
To Diane’s family, you have my deepest sympathy. What an extraordinary woman she was! You all are in my thoughts and prayers.
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