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.