Diane Knightstep Young, age 82, of Green Bay, WI, was a teacher until the end.
With her extended family in her presence she died on January 25, 2020, at home, following a prolonged illness. A full moon shining with light snow falling was the perfect setting for her final good bye.
Born a true Texan on July 1, 1937 in Big Springs, Diane was the oldest child to the late Emma Jo (Reddoch) Knightstep and Luther Elmo Knightstep. She was soon joined by three siblings, Linda (John) Reed of Fort Worth, TX; the late Luther (Ruth Ann) Knightstep of Clyde, TX; and Glen (Erica) Knightstep of Raleigh, NC. As a family, the Knightsteps were a zealous bunch who loved the Lord and a good southern meal!
A 1956 graduate of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, TX, Diane received her bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in education. Her dream of being an archeologist was cast aside when she married her “football hero” and fellow Harden-Simmons alum, Pat N. Young of Odessa, TX, on February 7, 1957 at First Baptist Church of Abilene.
Diane often joked, “I became a Wisconsinite as quickly as possible!” In the early 1970s, she moved to Green Bay with her late husband Pat (1935-1980). Together, with their two children Shelly Young (partner Tom Lorenson) and Brent Young (late wife Cynthia G.), they created a home filled with joy and sports and in which everyone was welcome! Diane also has an “adopted” son Mark Eliot, who for over 30 years has been as much a part of her life as her two children and her beloved grandpuppies Sadie Lu, Hugo Prince, CoCo Chanel and Mr. Bleu.
Diane established her Green Bay teaching career at Allouez School and Webster Elementary where she had the joy of mentoring thousands of students over her 35+ year career. Standing with her for many of those years was her team teacher and best friend, Julie Fossum.
With her generous heart, welcoming home and outpouring to others, Diane was surrounded by people who loved her. Of special note are Joey Taylor of Madison, WI; Rosario Ortega and her family of Green Bay, WI; longtime neighbors, Chuck and Mary Jo Nelson; and her beloved niece Toni Knightstep Williams of Raleigh, NC. All extended members of Diane’s crazy family connected by love, if not blood.
Per Diane’s wishes there will be a private graveside service at Woodlawn Cemetery, in spring of 2020, with burial in the family plot next to Pat. Here they will spend their eternity together, appropriately enough under a 100-year-old hickory nut tree.
Throughout her life, Diane was fascinated by history and science (fiction and factual), and lived for “weekend junking,” her way of collecting the unique and unusual. However, her greatest love was animals - all animals! In lieu of flowers the family asks that you please reach out to an animal in need. Visit a shelter, foster a pet or adopt your next best friend! Memorial donations (if so desired) may be made in Diane’s name to Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary or the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, both of Green Bay.
Shelly, Brent and Mark would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Diane’s dedicated caretakers for the past six years, Patricia Gannon and Lynn Schoonover, and her newest caretaker Carol Wauters. You truly became family.
Also, a sincere thank you to the professionals at Unity Hospice and Newcomer Funeral Home. You treated our mom with dignity and compassion.
Diane truly lived long and prospered.
“[Kids] don't remember what you try to teach them.
They remember what you are.” -Jim Henson