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With her signature “adios”, our sweet, adoring Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, and friend, returned home to her Heavenly Father, loving husband of 62 years, “Speed”, loyal son, David, and dedicated parents, on April 23, 2023. What a long-awaited, well-deserved reunion that has been!
On May 7, 1933, in a small, white-framed house nestled in the heart of Mount Pleasant, Utah, during the dark times of the Great Depression, Kenneth Verl McKay and Bernetta May Hansen made the greatest of sacrifices when they welcomed a beautiful, baby girl into their family. Named for the popular song of the day, “My Diane”, she became an eternal beacon of light, strength, and hope in dark times for her family and friends. Her life would come to reflect an extraordinary love for family, faith, service, hard work, and an incredible likeness to her Savior. Her siblings, Mayre, Kenneth, Patricia, and Charles were ever so proud and protective of their “Little Dolly”!
Her childhood memories are of swinging on the wrap-around front porch swing, watching the shadows of their oil stove’s flames dance on the front room walls, reading book after book at her home away from home – the local library, planning daily escapades and trading secrets with her best friend, Frankie, listening to the Hit Parade and Eddie Arnold Show on their small radio, sharing a bed with her sisters and graduating as an honor student of North Sanpete High.
Diane learned from a young age the value of hard work. Combining two of her loves, children and great satisfaction from hard work, she babysat every chance she had – preparing her for her greatest life role and accomplishment… being a “Mother”. She began her first official job at 14 when she was hired at her Grandpa Hansen’s Show House. Moving to Salt Lake, gaining employment at Zinik’s and Featherstone Advertising, and finding roommates, were just a few of the many challenges this young, naïve, country girl conquered.
One of the “Nephi Boys”, a handsome young man with curly black hair, was not her first love, but most definitely was her one and only, eternal love. Not willing to take “no” for an answer, our dad and grandpa, Gordon Sperry, persisted until Mom agreed to marry him. They were sealed for all eternity in the Manti Temple on July 18, 1952, days prior to Gordon being deployed to North Africa and then to England for the United States Air Force.
Family was everything to Diane! She spent her whole life serving her family as she fulfilled her lifelong dream of being a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was the “perfect” mom for David, Nancy, and Suzanne, due to her natural ability to love and serve as her Savior, nurture, encourage, and support each of them unconditionally, without judgment. She sacrificed any and everything for them!
An accomplished seamstress, meticulous homemaker, baker extraordinaire, and gifted gardener, her home was a welcoming haven for all who visited, needed a shoulder to lean on, or just a listening ear. Soft-spoken, she had a way of making everyone feel like they were her best friend!
Diane was an amazingly strong elect lady, who met her life challenges with courage, faith, determination, dignity, and perfection. Whether it was as a young country girl moving across the United States to be with her husband serving in the United States Air Force, caring for and enduring the early devastating death of her only son, becoming the Business Manager in the U of U Athletics Department, serving at the Veteran’s Hospital, caring for her elderly mother and mother-in-law, or battling the devastating effects of a massive stroke, she put up an unbelievable fight as she rose to and conquered each challenge.
Diane was reunited with her husband, Gordon D Sperry, son, G. David Sperry, her parents, sisters Mayre and Patricia, brother, Kenneth, and many beloved friends. She is survived by daughters Suzanne and Nancy, grandchildren Amanda, Jordan, Taylor, Danielle, Megan, and Kate, her precious great-grandchildren Logan, Ryker, and Paislee, her brother and his wife, Charles and Elna McKay, her cousin, Ted McKay, a dear sister-in-law, Anita Young, a niece whom she has always considered her “little” sister, Sheila Jensen, a host of extended nieces and nephews, and her most precious friend of 70+ years, Gayle Naylor.
Funeral services for our Mom will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the Highland View Ward Building, 2980 South 2790 East, East Millcreek, Utah. Our family will visit with family and friends from 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. prior to the funeral. There will also be an evening viewing Friday, April 28, 2023, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Holbrook Mortuary. Internment will be in the Mount Pleasant City Cemetery.