Dorothy Diane Stanton, whose unflappable grace, intellect and warmth inspired everyone who knew her, passed away in the early morning hours on Sunday, March 31st after spending a beautiful day at home with her family. Three days shy of her 88th birthday, her children and grandchildren had gathered to celebrate the occasion.
Adopting her middle name to distinguish herself from her mother Dorothy, "Diane" took grasp of the world around her from the start. As a street-wise kid who knew pre-war L.A. by streetcar, an academic standout at John Burroughs Junior High, or a coat check girl with starlet looks at Romanoff's, she believed in herself by being genuine, honest and supportive to those around her. And through her life, as loving wife, family matriarch, educator, global traveler, museum docent and patron of the arts, she believed in others.
Dorothy Diane Moon was born on April 3, 1931 in Los Angeles, the child of Charles and Dorothy Moon, to begin a life-long love affair with her "city of angels." And she came to know it well–moving frequently with her parents and younger brother Chuck through the southland. From Huntington Park, the family relocated to Hermosa Beach in the late 30's where Diane loved "living across from the beach and watching the Hollywood crowd come down to drink on the weekends." But though the beach "made the Depression a lot more fun," when her father joined the Navy after Pearl Harbor, Diane's mother had to go to work–and soon they were living in the Wilshire District. Now in a more urbane, cultural center, Diane thrived in its museums, excelled academically and moved easily in the social circles of L.A. High. When the family reunited at War's end, she moved to Woodland Hills and Canoga Park High–with an L.A. High pedigree that made her "Miss popularity." After graduation she was on to Occidental College, but then jumped to UCLA after a year where she pledged at Gamma Phi, earned a B.A. in Home Economics and met her future husband, Del Stanton. With looks, wit and a new UCLA degree of his own, Del married Diane less than a week before her 23rd birthday. He also discovered a partner with a passion for life, beauty, joy and family.
Over the next decade, Diane threw herself into raising four small children–all born within six short years. She furnished the couple's first home in La Mirada with no money, but impeccable taste. And in the coming years, lent vital support to her husband's rising career, endeared herself to her neighbors, managed family finances, decorated a new home in Palos Verdes, shuttled kids to piano, ballet and early morning surf trips, cooked hot dogs at Little League games, honed her striking sense of style, traveled the globe and pursued her love of classical music, mid-century design and the visual arts.
In 1970, Diane set new goals. She entered graduate school at Long Beach State, attending late-day classes and studying into the night. In 1976, she earned her Master of Arts in Home Economics, and began teaching community college classes in subjects ranging from childhood development to gourmet cooking. Her travel grew more frequent, with Del, or a dear friend, or even alone to visit a son living in Asia. In 1982, she and Del bought a gracious new home Palos Verdes and filled it with exquisite art and furnishings. She held the same L.A. Philharmonic seats for decades, joined a dozen cultural institutions, and finally became a part of one. First at the J. Paul Getty Villa in Malibu, and then the Getty Center, Diane worked into her 70's as an architectural docent and guide to the museums' vast collection. Her achievements were many, and many looked up to her.
On a clear day, looking out from her cliff top home, Diane could see much of the Los Angeles she cherished. The city she never left for more than a vacation. The coastline she called "my string of diamonds." For that, her family, her local arts, her music, her swimming classes, her dogs, and her travel, she lived for the rest of her life. And now rests in peace.
Diane's children, Paula, Greg, Todd and Bruce, their partners Tom, Theresa and Polibio, and her grandchildren Nicole, Colleen, Grace and Timothy will hold a ceremony celebrating her life on Sunday, June 23rd at 11:30 a.m. For more information and to RSVP, please email Paula Wilson at email@example.com
before June 16th.