Diane Zellers, 86, enjoyed acting

Diane Fowkes Zellers, 86, passed away peacefully in her home in Jacksonville, Florida on December 30, 2014.

She was born on February 25, 1928, in Washington, D.C., to Diana and Lt. Cmdr. Conard C. Fowkes. As the daughter of a naval officer, she lived in numerous places and it was during this time that she developed her passion for reading.

Diane attended Bryn Mawr College and the College of Charleston in South Carolina, where she joined the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She graduated from Ohio State University. In 1956 she received the degree of Masters of Public Health from Columbia University. After graduation she worked as an education specialist for the United States Navy in London and later as a member of the faculty of Temple University of Medicine in Philadelphia. She was in London for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

On November 11, 1957, she married Richard E. “Dick” Zellers and soon after the couple settled in Bogota, Colombia, where Dick was working.

After numerous moves within Colombia, where sons Mark and Toby, and daughter Sally were born, and two years in Lima, Peru, the family moved back to Long Beach, California, where daughter Laura was born. From there they moved to Webster Groves, MO and in 1969 they arrived in Ridgefield, CT where their son Stephen was born. They resided in Ridgefield until 1984. After a short stay in Brownsville, Texas, they moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1986.

While raising their family, Diane and Dick were involved in community theater in South America, Connecticut, and Texas. While in Lima, Peru, she portrayed the role of Mabel in a community production of “The Pajama Game.” In Ridgefield, she had a role in The Ridgefield Workshop’s production of “King or Congress.”

Her strongest passions were her children and grandchildren. Diane loved to read and especially enjoyed telling her children and older grandchildren about her latest book. She loved to talk with people and had a knack of connecting with nearly everyone.

She especially enjoyed talking to and was grateful for her caretakers at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and those from Community Hospice of Northeast Florida. Diane will be dearly missed by her family.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Dick Zellers of Jacksonville, FL; son Mark Zellers and wife Judy of Mountain View, CA; son Toby Zellers and wife Barbara of Damascus, MD; daughter Sally Zellers and husband John Chaillé of Warrensburg, MO; daughter Laura Carter of Boone, NC; and son Stephen Algernon and wife Elise of Ben Lomond, CA. In addition, “Grammy” will be missed by grandchildren Douglas, Mary, Rowan, Karen, Morgan, Zanny, August, Nikki, Catherine, Elizabeth, Ellen, and Amalie. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Conard C. Fowkes, Jr., and son-in-law Eban Carter.

Per Diane’s wishes, no memorial services are planned. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to one’s local humane society to honor her love of cats, who have always been part of our family.

—by the family