Diane C. Bennett, 83, of Rochester, MN passed away peacefully on January 8, 2021 at Cottagewood Senior Communities where she resided for the past two years.
Diane Catherine Bennett was born on November 10, 1937 in Rochester, Minnesota, to Roy and Eva (Stucky) Bennett. She graduated from RHS in 1955; attended Rochester Junior College; graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in zoology at the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis, 1959; and a Master of Science degree in zoology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Diane worked for a brief time at Mayo Clinic and then moved to Berkley, California to pursue doctoral research in marine biology at Stanford University.
Diane returned to Minnesota in 1968 to continue PhD. studies in zoology with a teaching assistantship at the University of Minnesota. She cared for her parents on weekends as their health declined. Before her father’s death from cancer in 1975, Diane chose to forsake academic studies and moved home to lovingly care for her father and her mother, who suffered for many years from Multiple Sclerosis. Following her mother’s death in 1984, Diane returned to work in the Cytogenetics Laboratory for twenty years at Mayo Clinic and retired in 2007.
Diane had a passion for science and caring for our earth. She was an avid reader who encouraged children of all ages to read by giving them books and magazine subscriptions and, volunteered at the Friends’ Bookstore at the Rochester Public Library for several years. She is also remembered for her devotion to dogs and generously giving them treats.
Diane is preceded in death by her parents. Survivors include first cousins, Lou Ann Maxson, Janet Unger, and Mary Jane Bishop and numerous cousins.
A special thank you is given to the staff at Cottagewood and Seasons Hospice for their caring support.
There is no funeral service. A private burial will be held at Oakwood Cemetery. Donations may be made in memory of Diane Bennett to the donor’s choice.
Rochester Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories and condolences of Diane may be shared at rochestercremationservicesmn.com
5 thoughts on “Diane C. Bennett”
Diane was my neighbor and a good friend to my family. She loved kids and dogs and was a very special lady to us all. She will be missed.
Diane lived two houses down from me and was well known in the neighborhood as one who loved animals and children. She gave many books to my grandchild and other children in the neighborhood because enjoying and learning from reading was important to her. She always had dog biscuits in her pocket to share with dogs she encountered on her walks every day. She loved to visit with people on these daily walks too. She has been and will be missed in the neighborhood.
Diane was my neighbor, my co-worker, but most of all my friend. I used to go visit her and we’d talk for a couple of hours. She loved it when I would bring my dog along. She always had treats for him. She loved all the neighborhood dogs and they loved her back. Every child on the block received numerous books from her. It made her day to see their eyes light up at the joy of receiving a new book. Yes, Diane will be missed. Rest in peace.
I remember Miss Bennett from Quarry Hill Nature Center. She was my favorite teacher there. I always wanted to be in her group as a student and as a volunteer helper when I was older. She was so passionate about nature and teaching kids, and was such a kind person. I was also pretty sure she knew everything and wanted to be just like that when I grew up. I cannot begin to express how important it was for me to have such a fantastic, strong female role model in the sciences at such an early age. She inspired me to study biology at college and her influence was certainly a major factor in my decision to pursue a career in STEM.
Lisa and I were saddened to hear the news of Diane’s passing. We met her 30 years ago when Lisa worked with her at Quarry Hill. Although we lived in Rochester for only a year we were invited to visit and stay with Diane on many occasions over the years. Our 3 girls grew up knowing Diane’s kindness and generosity as she often gave them books and other gifts when we visited. She introduced us to Lark toys and other fun places and invited us for Easter egg hunts in her yard for several years. We enjoyed our conversations and walks with her dog. She will be missed.