Former Chesterton-area resident Diana Eleanor Dahl died Wednesday, Dec. 16,
2009 in Aurora, Ohio. She was 86.
Born in Penang Province, Malaya, in 1923, she was the daughter of Henry and
Elsie Parry. Henry was a British Port Authority Director. At an early age,
Diana was sent to England to be educated in boarding school. Although
lonely, she adopted a sense of self-sufficiency that would serve her well
later in life.
In the 1930ís, Diana and her family moved to Trinidad, where her father was
posted as Port-of-Spain harbormaster. When war loomed on the horizon, Diana
returned to England and joined the British Army, serving in the Auxiliary
Territorial Service. She worked as an aide in a hospital treating wounded
RAF pilots and as a clerk and a driver. She also manned an anti-aircraft gun
on the Dover coast. In 1946, she met Ole Dahl, a Danish man who had spent
most of the war in the Danish Resistance. While stationed in post-war
Germany, Ole and Diana deepened their relationship by mail and were married
in 1947 in Copenhagen.
Diana and Ole Dahl immigrated to the United States in 1949 and settled in
Chicago, where Ole worked as a violinmaker. In 1955, they bought a rambling
home and small farm near Chesterton. Their three children, Peter, Christian,
and Rebecca, thrived there, enjoying a river, a pond, and lots of animals.
In the 1960ís, Diana went back to school and earned her masterís degree in
teaching while also completing all the course work for a PhD degree. In
1967, Ole opened a violin shop in Bloomington, Ind., and the Dahl family
moved there. For several years, Diana taught English at Central Junior High
in Bloomington but then left teaching to govern the retail sales counter
where she also became an expert at varnishing Oleís instruments and repair
jobs. Both a business success and a Bloomington landmark, Ole Dahl Violins
served a vibrant local musical community for over three decades.
Diana and Ole were married for 56 years. After Oleís death, and with the
tragic loss of her daughter Becky, Diana found herself alone by early 2004.
As she had done as a young girl at boarding school, she bore up, kept her
chin up, stood up straight, and never lost her dry sense of humor.
She is survived by sons Pete and Chris; daughters-in-law Susie and Linda;
son-in-law Sam Headley; grandchildren Kerrily, Kristina, Joshua, Lauren,
Christopher, and Elena; great-grandchildren Benjamin, Jackson, Penelope, and
Zadie. Dianaís eventful life was enriched by each one of them, and their
lives are enriched for having known and loved her.
Cremation has taken place, with Bissler & Sons Funeral Home of Kent, Ohio
handling the arrangements. The family will gather on Christmas Day for a
private remembrance and celebration of Mrs. Dahlís life.