Diana J. (Moll) Smith
Diana J. (Moll) Smith
After a valiant battle with cancer, Diana Josephine Smith, 66, passed away at sunrise March 8, 2013, in Petaluma, with her husband and son by her side.
A lifelong resident of Sonoma, Diane was born Sept. 4, 1946, in San Francisco, to John and Verna Moll. After graduating from Sonoma Valley High school in 1964, she attended Sacramento State University before joining Pacific Bell as a switchboard operator. Diane volunteered extensively in the classroom and at numerous local sports events supporting her son. She later worked at Hanna Boys Center, Vella Cheese Company, and spent 17 years as a classroom instructional aide at Sassarini Elementary School and Altimira Middle School.
Diane’s passion was the preservation and dissemination of Sonoma Valley’s rich heritage. Her interests included the history of the local schools and their alumni and of the Valley’s cemeteries. She assembled a vast collection of historical photographs, worked diligently on their annotation and in 2004 co-authored the book “Images of Sonoma.” She served on the board of the Sonoma County Historical Society and in 2012 received the President’s Special Achievement Award. For the past 15 years, Diane was the director of the Sonoma Valley Historical Society’s Depot Park Museum. Her hobbies also included gardening, especially the cultivation of orchids.
Diane is survived by her husband of 45 years, whom she met in kindergarten at Prestwood Elementary, Richard Smith of Sonoma; son, Ryan Smith (Gillian), of Salem, Mass.; step-granddaughters, Fedora and Pleasant Gertzman, of Los Angeles; uncle, Norman (Margaret) Moll, of Sonoma; brothers, Michael (Catherine) Moll, of Reno, Nev.; Alan Moll (Heather), of Sacramento; Glenn (Gina) Moll and Steven (Elis) Moll, of Sonoma and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She will be dearly missed by her family and numerous colleagues and friends throughout Sonoma Valley.
Private services will be held at a later date following the scattering of her remains off the Sonoma County coast. Memorial donations may be made to the Sonoma Valley Historical Society, Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH), Vintage House or other local charitable organizations.