Martha Diane (Lunsford) Graf, of Palmyra, died on June 10, 2021 and while the book on her life is closed, her prolific love of life, family and friends will never be forgotten. Diane and her surviving husband, George were a loving couple who put their relationship above all else. Walking hand-in-hand wherever they went was their romantic trademark.
Diane relished weekend jaunts in her MG Midget convertible scouring yard sales for fun trinkets. She was an avid reader of historical fiction and looked forward to the weekly trips to the county library to see the new arrivals. She was in the first graduating class of Colonial Heights High School and she graduated from Madison College when it was an all-girls school. She also took classes at UVA.
Diane taught elementary school in Charlottesville at Clark, Jackson-Via, and Burnley-Moran schools She was much loved by her students, and it was common for a former student to approach her in public to let her know how much she meant to them. One of her proudest achievements was winning Teacher of the Year in 1991. At one time she was also the rental manager of Foxridge Apartments in Blacksburg Virginia back in the mid-1970’s.
Diane lived overseas for 16 years when George was transferred with the U.S. Army. She valiantly fought four bouts of cancer and numerous surgeries since 1993. While overseas, she helped local neighbors to learn English. She adopted a few orphanages in the horn of Africa collecting and buying clothing and shoes on a monthly basis and shipped it to the orphans. While overseas, she loved cheese, crusty bread and wine picnic excursions in German and French vineyards, on the side of babbling streams, and within blossoming gardens.
Diane was a very private person who best enjoyed quiet times with George. At the end of each day, they poured a glass of wine, sat on the porch and spent an hour to talk about their day or anything else.
Diane was predeceased by her loving parents, Henry and Marguerite Lunsford of Colonial Heights, Virginia. She was born in Newport News, Virginia on March 5, 1943 at Buxton Hospital and was the eldest of the sisters and brothers – Barbara Lunsford, Kathy Tucker (deceased), Henry Lunsford Jr., Karen Laidler and Jimmy Lunsford (deceased). Diane was also predeceased by her first child, Kelly Jean.
In addition to her husband,Diane is survived by two terrific, hard-working and caring sons, Scott (b. 1967) of Cary, North Carolina and Mike (b. 1968) of Herning, Denmark. Scott is a cattle rancher who also works as a manager for a pharmaceutical firm and Mike works as a forklift driver for a Danish firm. Grandchildren are Christopher (30), Mathias (28) and Anne-Sophie (18). Diane loved her grandchildren who she got to visit and spoil in Denmark many times while stationed overseas. Diane is also survived and kept in contact by her former husband, Dick Levy of Richmond Virginia.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in her name to the Lake Monticello Fire and Rescue Squad, or Fluvanna County Library, Palmyra Virginia 22963.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Thacker Brothers Lake Monticello Funeral Home.
Relatives and friends may share condolences and memoires online with the family by visiting www.thackerbrothers.com.