Dianne Dwiggins Jones, 71, a remarkable and beloved elementary music teacher, passed away peacefully Thursday, March 1, at home in Lafayette, surrounded by her husband, Max Jones; son, Gavin Jones; family and friends.
Dianne was born with a congenital heart defect and for the last five years, although she struggled with advanced heart failure, continued to enjoy and live her life to the fullest.
Dianne was born in Winchester, Feb. 1, 1947, to Phyllis Ann Dwiggins and the late Donald Dwiggins, where her love of music began and was nurtured in the Dwiggins household.
Dianne graduated from Lee L. Driver High School in 1965, where she enjoyed singing and performing in school musicals. She continued to pursue music at Ball State University, where she graduated as a voice major with a bachelor's degree in education in 1968 and later earned a master's degree in music in 1976.
Dianne met Max when they were assigned an instrument locker to share in the music building at Ball State in the fall of 1966. The two became fast acquaintances and as time went on, Max was able to persuade her that he should be the love of her life.
On July 13, 1968, Dianne and Max were married at College Avenue Methodist Church in Muncie, with Max's father, John Paul, officiating.
Dianne began her teaching career as an elementary music teacher in Parker City and Farmland and also later taught at Eaton, Winchester and Concord Schools in Elkhart. Over the more than 30 years of teaching vocal music and assisting Max with his Indiana high school marching bands, Dianne touched an overwhelming number of students who have reached out, even in recent months, to share their heartfelt memories. A common theme is the recognition of Dianne's dedication to teaching, enthusiasm for life, positive energy, love of all children and commitment to the pursuit of happiness through music. Families, parents, colleagues and students consistently thanked Dianne for the extra effort and significant contributions she made year after year. Apparent to everyone who met Dianne was the standard of excellence she brought to everything, from spring and Christmas programs to Circle the State with Song to marching band rehearsals and, even her famous Halloween witch cackle that delighted teachers and students alike.
Dianne and Max approached life as a team, whether it was music, family or community. Together, they were members of the United Methodist Church for her entire life. While Dianne spent a significant part of her life committed to music and education, she and Max always put family first. Dianne recalled her break from teaching while Gavin was young as the most wonderful time.
She also enjoyed eating out with Max and many of their close friends, as she happily boasted achieving a lifetime goal of never having baked a pie. Dianne and Max loved to travel all over the U.S. and neighboring countries, Canada and Mexico, including frequent visits to Lake Norris, Tennessee, where they spent time with their family and best friends in cabins on houseboats or at their condo over the past 30 years.
Following Dianne's retirement from teaching in 2007, they also traveled to England, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece and Germany with Dianne's last international adventure taking them to Hong Kong this past spring, where Gavin and his wife, Erika, currently reside.
Dianne will be most remembered for her exceptionally beautiful singing voice, her passion for music, her humor, her love of shopping, her fashion sense and most of all, her radiant smile that lit up any room.
Dianne was predeceased by her father, Donald; sister, Daralee; and brother-in-law, Randy.
She is survived by her mother, Phyllis Ann; her husband, Max; her son, Gavin (Erika); her brothers, Dean, Dennis (Judy), Doug (Carolyn), Daniel; her brothers-in-law, Keith (Cindy), Ken (Marian); sisters-in-law, Marna (Paul Vandenberg), Kathy Carey; and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Dianne's life will take place at Towne Square Community Centre, 123 W. Franklin St., Saturday, March 31, in Dianne's hometown of Winchester.
Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. until the start of the service at 3 p.m. All are welcome to attend and share in this public celebration to honor Dianne's legacy.
Share memories and condolences online at www.diannedwigginsjones.com. Walker Funeral Home in Winchester is entrusted with the arrangements.
Published on March 7, 2018