Diann Marie Draeger passed away peacefully into God’s loving arms surrounded by her family in her home on May 1, 2023. Diann was born on July 6, 1944, in Buffalo, New York to Arthur and Rita Beattie. She is survived by her daughters Colleen (Craig), Laura (John), sister Arleen Schaffner and grandchildren Mark (Cassidy), John, Trey, Kendra, and Damon.
Diann spent her formative years in Trenton Michigan where she discovered her passion for cosmetology and opened her first salon at the age of 21. She moved to Arizona in 1972. She would ultimately open and operate several salons in the Valley of the Sun with a career that spanned over 60 years. She was a student of her profession and regularly attended countless professional schools and classes. She loved sharing what she learned with other hairdressers. She was always on top of her game and ahead of the curve.
Diann graciously supported her two daughters’ golf careers. She loved teaching moms how to cut and braid their daughter’s hair at the various out of town events. Her affable personality and genuine care for others produced immeasurable friendships. Diann mentored countless hair stylists whom she adored and gratefully accepted mentorship from others.
Diann loved to travel and never said “no” to an adventure. She sailed around South America, and visited Israel, Egypt, Peru, Italy, India, Ireland, The Great Wall of China, and many South American countries. She loved the summers with her grandchildren when they would visit her on her sailboat in the SanDiego Marina and later in life in Del Mar, CA. Diann also loved theater, dancing and dining out with friends.
Diann was a kind and generous soul, yet tough and strong at the same time. She successfully battled cancer and was sober for over 30 years. She celebrated her 30-year milestone last June in Europe. She was active in the community and enjoyed helping and guiding others on their life journeys. Diann’s Catholic faith was strong, and she set a shining example in the value of faith.
Colleen and Laura would provide Diann with her greatest love … that of her five grandchildren. Regardless of how busy she was, she always made time for each of them. She had a gift of celebrating all five in her own special way, never missing an event and always taking their calls when they needed to talk. Diann’s fierce independence and self-confidence was a shining example and a gift to all around her.
A funeral service will be held on May 11th, at St. Xavier Parish 4714 N Central Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85012. Rosary at 1:00pm and Mass at 1:30pm. Internment at St. Francis Cemetery, 2033 N. 48th Street Phoenix, AZ 85008. A reception will follow at Valley Field Riding Club 2530 N 64th Street Phoenix, AZ 85257.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Arizona’s Women’s Recovery Center.
I met Diann through her dear friend Carol over 10 years ago. Her grandkids went to high school with my kids i found out so we had so much to talk about because she loved them so much! She began doing my hair and I found out I had breast cancer as well. She said “honey come in and I will shave your head” when my hair was falling out during Chemo. She understood so much of what I was going through and made it so bearable! She was such an adventurous, kind, loving person . She will be very missed! ❤️
Your Contagious smile will be missed, we met Diane at the Cardinal games. She sat next to us and immediately became our friend. Diane became my stylist for many years, I will treasure the talks and advice she offered me at every appointment.
Rest in Peace Gorgeous Lady
I met Diann through my work place! Every time I saw her she had a big beautiful smile that would light up the room as soon as she walked in. She gave me great life advice and we had many lunch dates full of laughter and stories!
I will hold those memories very close to my heart. I’m thankful for the last two years I got to know Diann, our friendship is very special to me and I will miss her so very much! I know she’s at peace, happy and healthy now! We will see her again one day <3
Sending my love and prayers to her whole family and everyone that knew her!
Diann was an amazingly beautiful presence and soul. I met her at Stephan Paul and even after moving kept in FB touch. Every time she did my hair she had so many stories about her daughters and grandkids. She was extremely proud and loved you all very much.
I am heartbroken at her passing but only through this lovely tribute did I realize we had much more in common than I realized.
Much love to her family and friends!
My.heart is heavy.I worked with Diann years ago at The Best Part salon and we shared knowledge , good times, bad times and life .I am so sad to.learn of her passing.. A light has gone out in this world. Rest in Peace my dear friend Diann.
Sending our blessings to you all. Diann created such beautiful and loving families. She left an indelible mark on everyone she knew.
Diann will be in our hearts always.
Prayers & Love from The Buono Family.
Diann will be missed dearly. She was my fellow redhead at the salon. Everyone I came in and happened to see her, it was a always girl catch-up session. My condolences to the family. Rest easy Diann.
I am truly so sorry for your loss. I am heartbroken to read this post. Diann was a very special person. She was my hair stylist but more than that she was like a second mother and a friend. She was so fun, honest and caring. She is and will always be missed so so much.
Kellie Stratton Bridges
Diann, you will be missed by all that were fortunate to have known you. Your vivacious personality was a white light in my life. ❤
So sorry to hear of this loss. Diann was a lovely, friendly soul and very creative. While she was in high school, she asked my Mother to teach her to sew. I remember the beautiful garments Diann created, including a fully lined wool coat. My Mom mentioned her often as someone she so much enjoyed working with. I’m so sorry we lost contact and I’m delighted to hear of her career and travels. I know she will be very much missed by her daughters and grandchildren.
Very sorry to hear of Diann’s passing. She was originally my Mom’s friend and hairdresser and she quickly won me over. I have been coming to her for years. Glad she had a peaceful passing and I am sorry to have missed her funeral service. I will miss our monthly talks and laughs.
I knew Diann growing up. She did my hair, my Mom’s, and, my brothers’ as well ( I believe this included perms for them in the 70’s. She was top notch, noone did my hair better. She was the first one to color it. I believe she did my Dorothy Hamill wedge do for years.
Our families were friends and I sometimes babysat Laura and Colleen. I even did golf lessons with Colleen. I could hardly make it through the lessons, Colleen went on to be a collegiate athlete, I believe at San Diego State, where my Dad had played golf as well.
She was always gracious and kind, just a pleasant and beautiful, strong, businesswoman and artist.
I last saw here in 2001, at the funeral of a friend who died suddenly at age 59.
We were Facebook friends for the last few years, and, I got to see her beautiful grandchildren, her love for them, and, the many wonderful times and places they shared.
RIP, Diann. The Milnes love you and send all our love to Colleen, Laura and families.
She made the world more beautiful in so many ways.
Rest in peace dear friend. I’ll never forget you.
The world has lost a very special person…
Everyone who knew her loved her….
She touched my life for well over 25 plus
Years….and we always loved each other as
Diane was not only a beautiful lifelong friend,
She was a warrior….. and I am so proud to have
What she gave me….. she touched my life in so many ways that I will carry her in my heart till I see her again….
Love you…..Coleen and Laura and your beautiful
I am so devasted for your loss. Diann was a beautiful person inside and out. Not only to her family or close friends but to people she just met. She was the matriarch of the salon and will be truly missed. Sending you lots of love, hugs and kisses. Love Sari and Steve
I’m grateful to have known Diann. She always made my hair look pretty but she also referred me to valuable resources like Club SAR gym and Sal, who helped me with accounting. Diann was always generous & helpful. My sincere condolences to all Diann’s family. She was an amazing person. God bless her & may she rest in peace.
I am so sorry to hear of this great loss. Diann will leave an empty spot in all of us she included in her life. I have known her for 40+ years – since Colleen and Laura were budding golfers. Loved her energy, her compassion and that great sense of humor. I was lucky to have her in my life.
I’m so heartbroken to see you leave. So grateful for the 20 years of laughter, pjs parties we shared staying up like little girls chatting about it all.
Thank you for the friendship, business advice just always being a women of her word.
I will truly miss you. Love you so much it’s never good by it’s in-till I see you again
I was looking for a new hairdresser, a friend recommended Diann, for almost 5 years she took care of me. Her laugh, her presence, her spirit were contagious. She always spoke about her daughter’s, and her grandkids with such pride and joy. I am so very sorry for the family , my thoughts and prayers are with you. I will miss our late night girl talk. Rest in peace my sweet friend.
Morgan Hope Thomas
I have been genuinely moved by your passing. You truly made a difference in so many lives, mine included. I am on my way to becoming the best version of myself, a new mother, starting over in my later years, grasping ahold of addiction hurdles… you have truly been a leading inspiration in my life and vow to continue with the things you’ve taught me. I have always valued your opinion wish I would have spoken to you before you left this life… but look forward to seeing you again. You truly rocked ladycakes!! I love you and will always think of you!