December 2, 1959 – January 7, 2022
It is with profound sadness, yet with hope in the Resurrection that we share the news of the passing of Diane Georgene (Bruskas) Berry, 62, who fell asleep in the Lord in the early hours of January 7, 2022, after a short but valiant battle against COVID. While this disease may have taken her from us in this world, the bright light she brought into each of our lives will shine on through her family, friends and all those who knew and loved her.
Diane was born on December 2, 1959 in Joliet, Illinois. In 1972 her family relocated to Tempe, Arizona where she attended school, graduating as a proud “Padre” from Marcos de Niza High School, class of 1978. She was very involved in the journalism department in high school and was editor of the school yearbook “Libra de Oro”.
She worked in the banking and insurance fields, and her life would lead to many adventures – living in New York, Houston, Pennsylvania, and even returning to her childhood hometown of Joliet, before settling back in Arizona.
Diane loved cooking and baking, and she was known for her delicious treats – fudge, peppermint bark, thumbprint cookies, and her yiayia’s recipe for Chocolate Balls. She never showed up anywhere empty-handed, always bringing a homemade treat to her family and friends. She loved football and was a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Friendships for Diane were never fleeting; rather she retained them through all chapters of her life, building a tapestry of faithful friends who journeyed through each day with her.
Growing up at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Diane was active in the youth group, she was part of the original YAL (Young Adult League) movement in the church, and taught Sunday School for several years.
Being a mother brought Diane great fulfillment, and she loved nurturing and teaching her children. She raised three independent successful children, all of whom will miss the daily presence of their mother, but they will carry her love and the many life-lessons she taught them throughout their lives. With the arrival of her granddaughters, Delilah and Cheyenne, Diane’s heart grew even bigger with love and she treasured every moment with those precious girls.
Diane is survived by her three children – Daniel, Sarah French (Josh), and Deborah Nasser (Bakil), her cherished granddaughters Delilah and Cheyenne Berry, her loving parents Chris and Rita Bruskas, sisters Presvytera Denise Gilbert and Kristen Bruskas, many beloved nieces and nephews who adored their “Thea Di Di” – V. Rev. Archimandrite Chrysostomos Gilbert, Christina Kakis (Stephan), Christian Gilbert, Andrew Gilbert, Rev. Father Aaron Gilbert (Presvytera Kyriaka), Anthony Gilbert (Rhea), and her great-nieces and great-nephews – Angelo and Sia Kakis, and Matthew, Maria and Panagiotis Gilbert. She is also survived by her aunts Sylvia (Thanos) Trout and Helen Bruskas, uncles Tony Bruskas and Spiro Bruskas, and numerous cousins. Also surviving is the father of her children, Douglas Berry. Diane was predeceased by her infant son Jonathan Berry, her brother-in-law Rev. Father Matthew Gilbert, and grandparents Constantinos and Constantina Bruskas, and Nicholas and Panagiota Thanos.
Services for Diane will be held on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1973 E. Maryland Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85016. Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. and the Funeral service will be prayed at 10:00 a.m. The interment will follow at Paradise Memorial Gardens, 9300 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ. The funeral will be available for viewing on livestream at https://www.facebook.com/holytrinityphx.org
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in her memory to: St. Mary’s Food Bank, 2831 N. 31st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85009 or online at www.firstfoodbank.org. In this way, you will honor Diane’s memory by helping others in need of food, while continuing her genuine hospitality that she shared with others through her love of cooking and baking.
May her memory be eternal!