Diana M. Gunther was born the youngest of six children to Italian immigrants Giovanni Michelon and Olympia Rosetto Michelon on May 24, 1940. She passed away at home after a long and courageous battle with cancer on July 8, 2020 at the age of 80.
Born and raised in the logging town of Hilt Ca, she completed her high school in Yreka, California and went on to attend Chico State University. She completed her education at Sacramento State University with a teaching credential and a Masters degree in Education. She taught in the dual immersion program at Napa Valley Language academy working with Spanish speaking children. Her love for children and her experience as an English language learner gave her special abilities in this capacity.
She was known for her indomitable spirit and was often seen riding through the Napa Valley on her iconic yellow bike. If not riding to work or to the grocery store, she was riding to volunteer work at McPherson Elementary School, Ridgeview Jr. High School, Napa High School, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Meals on Wheels, Foster Parenting, Church Women United, Brown Bag, Community Projects, Napa Family Bike Club, or Eagle Cycle Club. Many will remember Diana as the Spanish-speaking Italian lady who would knock on your door if you had a fig or persimmon tree and ask if she could help you harvest the crop. An avid gardener, fruit grower, and lover of fresh food from the garden, Diana had a huge appreciation for the fresh food God would provide from the ground.
She and her husband spent many vacations riding bikes, hiking, traveling abroad and cruising. They also loved to square dance and play Boochie ball. Fiercely devoted to her family she worked hard to raise her two children, keep up with her siblings and stay involved with grandchildren, nieces and nephews and their children. She taught many children how to ride a bike and loved to share adventures on the bike trail to Yountville with any aspiring cyclist. Diana was often found making her famous ‘Nona cookies.’ We will miss her dearly along with her happy smile and positive attitude.
She is preceded in death by her parents and brothers Mario Michelon and Attilio Michelon. She is survived by her husband Chester Gunther, sisters Eva Mullin and Ines Carrell, brother Gino Michelon, children Gabrielle Lawson and Dan Warren, and grandchildren Autumn Winston, Elizabeth Lawson, Daniel Lawson, John Lawson, Jenny Lawson and Matthew Lawson.
Diana attended the First Presbyterian church along with her husband Chet. A memorial service will be announced later. Memorial donations can be made to “Hospice by the Bay” in Sonoma, Calif.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven, A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.” Ecclesiates 3:1—4 (NLT)
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