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Diane Ruth Melang

December 20, 1936 - May 9, 2024

Diane Ruth Melang, 87, of Milwaukee (Greenfield), Wisconsin, died May 9, 2024, at Layton Terrace in Greenfield, Wisconsin.

Diane was born December 20, 1936, to Bernard Earl and Gertrude Phyllis (Maire) Melang of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, older sister to Earl Raymond Melang and James Paul Melang. Diane graduated from W…read more

Diane Ruth Melang, 87, of Milwaukee (Greenfield), Wisconsin, died May 9, 2024, at Layton Terrace in Greenfield, Wisconsin.

Diane was born December 20, 1936, to Bernard Earl and Gertrude Phyllis (Maire) Melang of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, older sister to Earl Raymond Melang and James Paul Melang. Diane graduated from Washington High School in Milwaukee, attended Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Diane worked as a stenographer for a variety of employers, among them the Veterans Administration, Northwest Airlines, Allis Chalmers Mfg. Co., a law firm, and for many years as the Administrative Assistant to the city manager of Greendale, Wisconsin. She lived for a while in Long Beach, California, where she became a Lutheran and a member of Bethany Lutheran Church. She subsequently felt called to ministry as a Lutheran deaconess and enrolled in the deaconess formation program at Valparaiso University, in Valparaiso, Indiana. She graduated from “Valpo” in 1966 with a B.A. in theology.

Before graduating, Diane did a one-year internship at First Trinity Lutheran Church in Tonawanda, New York. After graduation, but before being assigned a first call, Diane accepted a rare opportunity to work as an “Erzieherin,” or governess, at the Evangelisch Internatschule in Germany for one year. She spent only five months there doing housework, delivering mail in the school office, and babysitting. She became ill while there, was hospitalized, and returned to the U.S. She wrote that her experience there “behaved like a misfired rocket.”

Diane was consecrated as a deaconess on September 10, 1967, at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Milwaukee. Her first placement was to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas. Diane would write that her time there had been among the most enjoyable of her life. Diane also served Concordia Lutheran Church in South St. Paul, Minnesota. While there, she took an educational leave to study music at Mankato State College.

Diane moved back to Milwaukee looking for a non-parish job. Diane loved music and participated in theater and sang with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus and other choirs. She even sang in choruses in a few operas performed in Milwaukee. She became very involved in a drama ministry at Hope Lutheran Church. She described it as “not plays but trying to make liturgical pieces contemporary by alternating Psalm readings, for example, with the reading of current news items, or acting out a litany by having people in the congregation illustrate the various lines.”

Diane lived life on her own terms. The things that brought joy, calm, and peace to her sometimes anxious spirit were her dog Shadow, her music, her mandolin, and frequent trips to Door County, Wisconsin, where she lived for a brief time. She played ethnic music with folk groups which brought her great satisfaction. Recently, Diane traveled to Ireland, which she enjoyed immensely. She also had the love and support of a number of very close friends, especially Carol Darrington, a sister in every way, except by blood and DNA.

Diane is survived by her brother, James (Karen) Melang of Fremont, NE; niece, Anne (Kevin) Melang-Thoren, Lincoln, NE; nephew, Martin (Rebecca) Melang, Edina, MN; grand-nieces and grand-nephews, Miles, Madeleine, Samuel, Julia, and Margaret; cousin, Jean Busse, Lexington, NC; honorary sister and true friend, Carol Darrington, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Diane was preceded in death by her parents, brother Earl, cousin Paul Maire, uncle and aunt Albert and Becky (Myrtle) Maire.

Attribution and many thanks to Lisa Polito, Executive Director of the Lutheran Deaconess Association, for supplying much of the deaconess data and for permission to use her words and actual copy in this written memorial for Diane.

A musician in life, Diane is now free to enjoy the angelic choir, singing in full voice to the Lord whom she served in life.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Lutheran Deaconess Association, Valparaiso, Indiana, and St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Greendale, Wisconsin.

Memorial service for Diane will take place on Friday, July 26, 2024, at 11:00 AM at St Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church, 7255 Grange Avenue, Greendale, Wisconsin 53129. A light lunch and reception will be held immediately following the service.

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Service Information

Service Information

St Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church

Address:

7255 Grange Avenue
Greendale, Wisconsin 53129 53129

Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Time: 11:00 AM

Memorial Information

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Lutheran Deaconess Association, Valparaiso, Indiana, and St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Greendale, Wisconsin.

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