Diane Marie Delahunty (1938-2017)

Diane Marie Voss Delahunty was born on March 5th, 1938 to Robert and Lorraine Voss of San Francisco California.   My mother was 3rd generation San Franciscan, she was pretty proud of that.  She attended school in San Francisco for a few years until her father who worked for RCA Communications was transferred to South Korea.  The family spent a few years in South Korea until her father was transferred back to San Francisco.  They eventually moved to Pleasant Hill, California where she graduated from high school in 1957.  She was accepted to University of Colorado and was looking forward to starting her fall semester.  Her father was transferred to Okinawa, Japan in 1957 so until school started, she went out to Okinawa for the summer.  At a dinner party one night her plans for the future would change.  In May, she met Paul F Delahunty from Bronx, New York he was a young engineer working for Caltex Oil.  They met in May, married in August at the US Consulate and in September in the church.  On a trip back to New York one year, Diane would attend a secretary school while on home leave.  Diane would spend over 30 years in South East Asia and 6 years in the middle east, they would work with the USO to assist any military service people overseas to make them feel at home.  Paul and Diane lived in Cambodia in the early 60’s, she traveled to Vietnam to give birth to her oldest son in 1963.  Paul was transferred back to Okinawa where Diane would give birth to another son in 1964 and a daughter in 1967.  At the end of 1967, Paul was assigned to Saigon, Diane decided she didn’t want to have another child born in Vietnam, so Paul and Diane moved to San Jose California in 1968.  Paul returned to Saigon, Vietnam in “bachelor status”.  Diane and 4 kids settled in San Jose, California for about 2 years.  In 1969 the family would leave California and move to Saigon, Vietnam.  The family would stay until 1971, when Caltex closed their office and Diane packed up the family and moved to Singapore where we became a part of a large expat population.  Diane became involved with PTA, coaching softball and cheerleading, played softball, hosted parties, attended school functions.  She can be spotted cheering on her boys in baseball or football while Paul coached.  They were active in the American Club bowling league, or playing golf, ensuring the kids took swimming lessons.  In 1979, the family was uprooted again this time to Hong Kong.  A completely different city compared to Singapore.  In Singapore we had a home, Hong Kong we would be moving into an apartment.  Diane decided since the kids were older it was time for her to get back to work, she was hired as an executive secretary for Eric Bohm, who worked for Foote Industries there in Hong Kong.  She enjoyed her job and continued working for Foote Industries until Paul was transferred back to Dallas. Paul and Diane would open up their home every holiday season and even non holiday season to entertain service people that were in Hong Kong and give them a little bit of home.  In 1984 when Paul was notified that he would be transferred back to Dallas in the summer of 1984, there were only 2 kids still at home.  Paul asked to have the family stay in Hong Kong until the summer of 1985, as their daughter would be graduating in 1985, the company did agree to hold off on the move until December of 1984.  Diane decided to help her youngest adjust to life in the states it would be beneficial to bring him back in the summer and enroll him at WT White in December of 1984.  So, she moved back with her youngest son, her daughter was able to graduate early, and Paul remained in Hong Kong until June of 1985.

Diane set up house in Dallas and began looking for work, she was hired as an executive assistant for Ken Schulman who worked for Henry S Miller.  She enjoyed life here in Dallas, she had friends, family and a job that she enjoyed.

In 1989 Paul retired from Caltex and all the kids were out of the house either in college or working.  They decided to begin the next phase of their lives and move to Bahrain.  Paul was offered a job as a consultant for the Bahrain National Oil Company, it was only supposed to be for a year, but they enjoyed themselves so much that they turned it into 6 years.  My mother worked out in Bahrain as an administrative assistant for General Dynamics and ITT Defense. No matter what country they lived in they became part of the expat environment, volunteering if needed, opening up their home to welcome service people, learning to drive a red cross truck.  In 1990 Paul sent Diane back to Texas as it was the beginning of Desert Shield and no one knew what would happen.  Diane begrudgingly came back, just in case.  She couldn’t understand why as she lived in Cambodia in the 60’s, South Korea as a kid, Vietnam from 1969 thru 1971, she was even in Saigon a few months before it fell on a shopping trip with other Caltex wives, yet my father didn’t think she would be safe in Bahrain. 

She had always wanted to open up a travel business and use her experience to set up vacations for people who want to see the world.  So, while back here she attended Eagle Travel Service and after completing the course she opened up “Double D Travel”.  My mother returned to Bahrain when it looked like not much was going to happen, but then came Desert Storm.  They stayed, learned to drive a red cross truck, even received training on gas masks and what to do in the event the sirens go off.  The Women’s League reached out to the bases and offered to host parties at their homes for the service people.  To get them off base and have a day of relaxation by the pool or bowling, playing cards watching videos and have a homemade meal.  I remember my mom would say that it originally started out as once a week 30-50 service people but when the US government started bringing in more troops the commanders reached out to the women’s league to ask if they can send more troops. They couldn’t say “no” so not only more troops more the luncheons occurred more often. 

In 1995 Paul and Diane would return to Dallas and settle into the house.  They wanted to be close to their kids and their first grandchild, Paul Nicholas born in California in 1993.  Diane continued to work her travel business and working as a temp for Delta Dallas, she liked the flexibility that a temp position offered.  She and Paul still traveled, she would say that she couldn’t sell a trip or cruise to a destination she had no firsthand experience.

2010 Paul lost his leg to Diabetes and Diane closed her travel business became a fulltime care giver.  In 2012, they sold their house and they moved in with me for a while until they could find a senior active community.  My mother wanted a place that had security as she was worried that someone seeing my father in a wheelchair might rob them.  She also wanted to still be independent as she was still cooking and driving.  I remember the first place we looked at she asked would they lock her in at a certain time and if there was a curfew. 

In January of 2013, they settled on Preston Place and would move in there in June.  The family was happy that they found a place that they both liked.  Diane was still involved with the wives of Caltex retirees.  Shirley Saunders and she decided to create the Caltex Ladies Group they would meet once a month for lunch and holiday party in December.  The men were never invited until they asked one year because time passes by and the group was growing smaller.  Dinner turned to a holiday lunch as many of the retirees didn’t or couldn’t drive at night.

Diane’s husband of almost 60 years passed away in June of 2016 of pancreatic cancer.  My brothers and I thought it would be good for her to move, so we downsized her to a 1 bedroom, but she wanted to stay for one year as the friends she made were her support during this time.  She thought she was safe as it was advertised as a “gated community”, little did we know.

In 2017 I asked her was she ready to start looking for another place she said “no”, one more year.  Well that year never came.  She was murdered on December 3rd, 2017, her body was found on Tuesday December 5th.  In October of 2018 Diane became a great grandmother.  We had decided to go to Australia to see her grandson graduate from college and to celebrate her 80th b-day, her sister would be joining us.  I booked the trip the evening of the 4th. She was murdered on December 3rd 2017 .

Diane Marie Voss Delahunty was a sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother, wife and friend.

Nothing I can put into words can relate to what this man has taken from us.

Police notified her family that  her death certificate was amended from Natural to undetermined in 2019.

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“A society that does not value its older people denies its roots and endangers its future. Let us strive to enhance their capacity to support themselves for as long as possible and, when they cannot do so anymore, to care for them.”

— Nelson Mandela

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