Dianne Jane Grant
The Mostue and Grant families are sad to report that the world has lost a wonderful spirit, Dianne Jane Grant. Different people will remember her for different things, but all will remember Dianne’s appreciation for whimsy, her all-encompassing hugs, and the way her eyes sparkled when she smiled.
Dianne was born on May 16, 1942, in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Robert and Jane Mostue (née Loring). Her beloved siblings Robert and Margaret joined them two and five years later, respectively. Their father died when Dianne was 11. Her mother, Jane, moved the family to Santa Barbara, where Dianne finished elementary school at Roosevelt before attending La Cumbre Junior High and Bishop Garcia Diego H.S., graduating in 1960.
After two years at Santa Barbara City College, where she earned her A.A. in General Studies. Dianne surprised everyone when on the day of her departure she announced she was moving to San Francisco to attend secretarial school. After completing her studies, she landed a job she loved at Merrill Lynch in The City. A respected supervisor she recalled gratefully for the rest of her life insisted to her that getting a four-year degree, “says something about you.” So, a little under a year later, she returned to Santa Barbara to attend UCSB, where she earned a B.A. in history and subsequently a teaching credential.
Dianne began her teaching career in the Goleta Schools shortly thereafter. During this time, she met fellow Santa Barbaran Robert S. “Bob” Grant. The two eloped to Hawaii in late 1965 and, in the process of doing so, Dianne became an adored, hip stepmom to his three kids from a previous marriage. She took six years off from teaching when she and Bob welcomed their son, Robbie, to the family in 1978.
After returning to education as the librarian at San Roque School, Dianne concluded her time there with a year of teaching first grade and was inspired to go back to school for a master’s in special education.
During the course of her studies at Cal Lutheran University, Dianne performed her student teaching in the Fillmore Unified School District. She loved her students, colleagues, and the community so much that she stayed on. She taught special education there for 17 years, commuting from Santa Barbara every day until her retirement in 2010.
Dianne was absolutely passionate about her students, and anyone who dared marginalize them would be met with righteous indignation. She believed that kids who slipped through the net of “regular” education didn’t deserve a lesser one. Although she never described it exactly as such, she saw their struggles not as their failing, but rather as needs that could be met with imagination, dedication, and resolve.
Dianne spent just about every Sunday during the school year preparing I.E.Ps for her students, and her ability to hold space for her most challenging charges was informed by a life lived with love.
Dianne had an altruistically mischievous streak and unflagging joie de vivre that showed up early on; while a student at La Cumbre Jr. High, she and a trio of friends got in trouble for attempting to walk to Santa Barbara Jr. High and back during their lunch break to visit some boys — an effort that resulted in her being sent to Catholic School.
That same spirit manifested later in life as she pursued another of her passions —travel. Not a year went by without a significant trip. A certifiable francophile, Dianne traveled to France six times in between other travels in Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania.
In addition to travelling, Dianne was an insatiable reader and lover of music her entire life. The latter led her to serve on the Community Arts Music Association’s Women’s Board. Her creative impulse showed up early in life as she loved making her own clothes as a young woman. Later, she would go on to make pottery and jewelry in her spare time. She was also passionate about diving and sailing.
Dianne was a lifelong learner, constantly taking classes in language and arts and crafts.
She was absolutely driven to learn new teaching modalities throughout her professional life and, in addition to acquiring myriad other skills, earned an A.S. in Banking and Finance from SBCC while in her mid-40s.
Dianne passed away on February 18, 2020 at Serenity House, due to complications from dementia. She was attended to by dear friends and family during the last few weeks of her life. Dianne is survived by her son Robert; her brother Robert “Bob” Mostue and sister Margaret “Margi” Mostue; her stepchildren Steve Grant, Karen Grant and Julia Brager; nephew Charlie Grant, and nieces Joan Grant and Kathy Avakian.
She was preceded in death by her father, Robert, her mother Jane, husband Bob, and adored chihuahua, Cosita.
A celebration of Dianne’s life will be held when it’s safe to do so. If you’re interested in attending and/or wish to leave a remembrance, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to anyone you know who can use the help right now.