Obituary of J. Diane Crenshaw
J. Diane (Coffman) Crenshaw, age 77, departed this life on March 30th, 2023, in Methodist Hospital with her husband and children by her side.
Diane was born to Jerry Mickel Cardinell and Ella Dean Coffman on July 31st, 1945, Long Beach, California. She attended high school in Midwest City, Oklahoma, and graduated in 1963.
She met her husband while driving a 1956 Chevy. Ray Crenshaw was working at his drive-in when he noticed a ‘cool girl driving a cool car.’ Their first date was a picnic at Spring Lake Park on Easter Sunday. Diane was frightened of the amusement park’s roller coasters but kept a brave face on for the rides. They went bowling after (which she enjoyed much more). Diane and Ray were married six months later, on August 25th, 1963, in Oklahoma City.
Diane decided that Minnesota would be her home for the rest of her life while living in Minneapolis, where her husband was stationed. In 1968, her first child was born, and the couple moved to Crystal, Minnesota to raise their new family. Her second child joined the household in 1972.
While living in Crystal, Diane worked as an office manager of the University of Minnesota’s campus bookstore, where she would open her home to students who couldn’t be with family during the holidays. She was always looking for a chance to give to others.
In retirement, Diane moved to Cass County to live in her dream house, which she had designed to be a second home for her friends and family. Everyone always had a bed and enough to eat under her care. She later moved to Savage to be closer to family.
Diane was preceded in death by her mother, Ella Dean Coffman; her father, Jerry Mickel Cardinell; and her half-sister, Barbara Smallwood. She is survived by her half-sister, Deborah Smallwood; her cousin, Beverly (David) McElroy; her husband, Ray Crenshaw; her children, Mark (Holly) Crenshaw, and Dia (Earl) Blake; her three grandchildren; and one great grandchild.
She will be remembered as an avid gardener. Nurturing came easily to Diane, and plants thrived under her care. Her tomato plants were the envy of her family, and she shared them with her loved ones. She was generous with her time, her love, and everything else she had to give.
A memorial service will be held at the Cremation Society of Minnesota in Edina, on Friday, April 28th. The visitation will be held at 2:00pm, the service at 3:00pm, and the reception to follow.