Diane Elizabeth Vandervelde (nee New)

July 21, 1961 – October 17, 2020
She is survived by her parents, Joan and John New, younger sister Cheryl Iwanowsky (Andrew), younger brother Michael (Tomomi), niece Rikki, nephews Jeremy and Takashi, husband Mark and their combined 7 children (in age order) Joshua (Shianne), Katelyn (Matthew), Nathan, Jesse, Matthew (Ylesha), Dylana (Gordon) and Devin as well as their 4 grandchildren, Hudson, Lochlen, Sterling, Redding with one more grandbaby on the way.
Diane was born in Tsawwassen and spent 4 of her adolescent years living in Singapore & Malaysia while attending British Private school there. Upon return to Canada she skipped a grade and eventually completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree with Distinction with her major in psychology.
The family re-located to Alberta and she spent the next 32 years in the Calgary and Airdrie areas. She longed for the return to BC and finally found her home on Vancouver Island and met Mark in 2008.
In 2017 they embarked on a cross country trip across Canada in their little old motorhome and he got to visit old friends, family and places she lived and worked along the way. When they got to Ontario, she got to meet some of his family and visit the places he had lived. They visited with her brother and family in Ottawa.
That whole journey began when her sister, also having cancer, asked whether we would do the trip with them as it could have been her last. Little did anyone know then that Diane would receive a cancer diagnosis earlier this year and that it would be the last time she would make such a lengthy trip.
In her working life, Diane found rich reward being employed in the Helping profession and was well respected by her peers, external service providers and clients.
More recently she also found great joy working at her sister’s shop, The Blue Fish Gallery in Port Alberni. She brought warmth, gentleness and sincerity to everyone she met, worked with and served. She wore a ready smile that was genuine, pure and could light up any dark day.
She was deeply dedicated and devoted to her family. Friends and family gathered in the 3 weeks preceding her death for what might be described as a celebration and honouring of life for a truly beautiful person, friend, relative, daughter, sibling, wife and mom.
Mark read to her each and every message and card received, through mixed tears of laughter, sorrow and gratitude. During this same time her daughter Dylana married Gordon Taylor in the family home. Diane got to share in that celebration as well.
Diane’s loves were her family, good friends, gardening, swimming & feeling the sand on her feet, camping, reading, singing & dancing in the kitchen, beach-combing for treasures & finding heart shaped rocks, anything penguins, and anywhere she and Mark could take off to in their home on wheels.
Her radiant smile, quiet and courageous strength, peace and loving kindnesses remained with her until the very end. She is missed dearly and treasured in our hearts. We take comfort in knowing Diane is not gone, she is only moved on.
There will be no service at this time but the family will be hosting an event in our home in the spring of 2021 and there will be more singing and dancing in the kitchen.

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you’d ever say goodbye
And I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance.
The Dance – Garth Brooks

Thank you to all the amazing & caring staff at Island Health who were involved in Diane’s care, for their excellence and compassion and how they extended that to our family as well. We are fortunate to have such wonderful people to provide care, services and supports in our community. Thank you to colleagues at KUU-US Crisis Society and CMHA for their support, prayers and condolences to our family.


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