Obituary of Dianna Lynn Lanpher
For over eighty-one years we had the love, optimism, resilience and beauty of having Dianna in our lives. Dianna Lynn (Larson) Lanpher began her life on July 11, 1942, in Minot, North Dakota and passed away peacefully on January 4, 2024 outside Denver, Colorado. In between was a fulfilling and beautiful life.
Dianna and her brother, Darrel, grew up in Colton, South Dakota with their parents, Bud and Ruby. They loved the simple life of a small town and took part in everything it had to offer. Dianna was a cheerleader and partook in the usual teenage shenanigans such as cruising down main street. In pursuit of a teaching profession, she attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls and, later, Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa where she earned a degree in elementary education. She began her teaching career in Minnesota and truly found her passion. Combining her creativity and love for children, she was exemplary at her craft.
It was at a bowling alley in Minnesota, that she met her life partner, John Lanpher. John “swept her off her feet” and after only one year of dating they began what would be, a 57-year marriage on June 18th, 1966. They were a perfect complement to each other and built a beautiful life and family together.
Dianna and John enjoyed early married life in Minnesota and soon welcomed their son, Brad, in 1969 and daughter, Keri, in 1973. As much as they loved their home and friends there, the family relocated to the dryer climate of Colorado to care for Brad’s burdening asthma.
Building a family and expanding a network of friends helped make Colorado their forever home. Dianna made every moment count with her community while maintaining strong ties to her Minnesota and South Dakota roots with countless visits. In her spare time, she loved spending time with Brad and Keri, sewing costumes, making themed birthday cakes and getting together with friends. They loved camping and had numerous adventures across Colorado and many other states. She enjoyed playing cards with couples as well as ladies and belonged to a book club and a Knit-n-Sip group.
Mostly, Dianna thrived as mom to Brad and Keri. Dianna was dedicated to her children in every way, deeply involved in their activities, celebrating and supporting their growth. She was the resident expert advisor with English papers and enjoyed helping with school projects. Her dedication increased with the news of Brad’s Melanoma in 2004. She spent invaluable time with him working in his garden, caring for his needs and being a champion to the family. Her heart was broken at his passing at the tender age of 35. But, her commitment and love endured as she turned grief to action. She and her family became advocates for Melanoma education with an annual Melanoma Awareness campaign at Sunlight Mountain Resort, providing free skin screening and fundraising for research.
One of Dianna’s greatest joys was being a grandma to Cooper and Abby. She spent time with them weekly after school and attended every sporting event, dance and piano recital they had. They will specifically remember her pride as they enjoyed their college years, wearing Wyoming Cowboy and CSU Ram gear as a self-acclaimed cheerleader for their respective schools – even wearing shirts from both teams when they played each other! Over the years, Dianna and John took the grandkids on many “field trips” to explore places like Tiny Town, museums, and Christmas lights around the city. She soaked in every moment of fun camping trips with the family as well as vacations to places like Mt. Rushmore, Disneyland, Legoland and San Diego.
Dianna’s life was beautiful and pure, but she endured more health challenges than most. From a pacemaker, to A-fib, two open heart surgeries, breast cancer, a double mastectomy, two hip replacements and a stroke. Yet through it all, she remained determined, optimistic and resilient. She saw the good in life, even on difficult days. As her conditions worsened in recent weeks, she found a way to smile and laugh – reminiscing with family and cracking jokes – giving her loved ones the example of hope and strength. Dianna will be remembered for her kindness, generosity, unselfish acts and love for so many.
Dianna is survived by her loving husband John, her daughter Keri (Lanpher) Reisbeck, son-in-law Ben Reisbeck, grandchildren, Cooper and Abby, brother Darrel Larson and sister-in-law Barbara. She was preceded in death by her parents, Everett and Ruby Larson and her son Brad.
Please join us for a celebration of life at Bethany Lutheran Church on Friday, February 16, 2024 at 10:00 am.