Happy Birthday Dianne!
Dianne Kay Palmer was born to Gladys Hackett and Nelson Palmer on the 21st of October 1940. The story is that they expected a boy and were going to name him Paul (after Nelson's brother-in-law, Paul Mohney). But judging from the adorable baby book that Gladys compiled they were more than happy with their bright eyed baby girl. Dianne was also greeted by sibling, Doris, who had waited 11 years to be a big sister.
Dianne grew up in Butler Pennsylvania where her father taught school. He also had the best camera around, taking pictures for the school and many at home. He frequently captured her with her mother:
Nelson also took stunning pictures of Silver Lake and the Mohney's vacation home in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey.
Dianne graduated from Butler High School in 1958 and began her studies at the State University of Pennsylvania, Indiana where her mother had also been a student. She remembers that she had wanted to be a doctor but that was not an option for women in those days. Choosing between secretary, nurse and teacher, she started in education. But she was really looking for her MRS degree. And she found just the man for it! Theta Chi fraternity was going caroling in the snowy town. Dianne didn't want to go but she accompanied her roommate. The group was led by Alan Wetjen. She remembers he had a red wool jacket with frat pin made with rubies and pearls and gold. Dianne has always loved jewelry!! They were walking and singing when things got slippery and he held her hand to keep her from falling. When she got home, she told her roommate she was going to marry him. She was the first girl in her class pinned at the Coronation Ball ceremony in January.1959. Al came down over Christmas and met her family. They married at the end of her sophomore year in 1960 on her parent's anniversary of August 21. From the looks of her high school graduation photo it's no surprise that Al was glad to lend a helping hand!
Dianne finished her education at Alleghany College in Meadville, PA where Alan was teaching. They also spend their first 4 summers in Tallahassee where both completed Master's degrees. Alan's degrees are in Math and Dianne's are in Reading. After building a lovely home, Alan decided he didn't like where he was teaching and they moved to Long Island New York where both found teaching positions. This was their home base for many years.
After 10 years of marriage, they were ready to add to their family. Son Eric was born in 1969. Dianne said he was "fun enough for her" and enjoyed watching him grow as she continued her work as a reading specialist.
Dianne and Alan retired in 1994 to Marco Island Florida. Of course, being retired didn't keep her from being busy! Dianne has helped found two charter schools, ran two large clubs, and worked to add a wing to the local library! She was recognized for all she does in the local paper and, of course, it included a pictures of one of her lovely cats.
She is still a force in the community. Dianne also has a flair for fashion and I love looking through her photos to see what the popular hairstyles were throughout the decades!! Of course, I can't leave you without a sneak peak at the lovely man she married!
|Alan Wetjen with his trademark smile!|