Diane Marie Chovan


This is not your normal obituary because we aren't quite your normal family, and my Mother was definitely not your ordinary woman.
Diane Marie Chovan departed this Earthly life July 11, 2019 surrounded by those she loved most. Her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ welcomed her with open and loving arms into the Paradise of Heaven. She basically threw a party on the 4th floor ICU at Sharon Regional.
Diane Wansack was born March 30, 1954 in Youngstown, Ohio (when Youngstown was Youngstown) to the incredible Matthew Wansack and his tough but loving Italian wife Marian (Ragazino). Diane grew up alongside the railroad tracks in the village of Lowellville, OH. As a child, she walked to school, to the store, and to the Mount Carmel Italian festival. At age seven, Diane and her parents moved to her father's family farm on Wansack Road, West Middlesex, PA. The WHOLE family lived on the appropriately named Wansack Road. There were no secrets on a road on which 20+ first cousins lived.
My Mom was strong. But not like a normal strong, like superhuman mentally strong. When my Mother was 18 years old, her beloved mother Marian unexpectedly passed away. She left Slippery Rock University to come home and help her Dad raise her younger siblings, sister Mary Beth and brother Mark. She gave up her dreams of working in special education to do what needed to be done. Later in life, she was able to fulfill that dream of teaching as a preschool teacher, eventually starting Great Start Christian Preschool with dear friend Janet Searle.
Diane married my father, the incomparable Paul Chovan, on August 1, 1980. They spent a fantastic 39 years together. The old saying goes that behind every great man is a great woman; that could not have been more true in my parents' case. Without my mother, my dad would truly have been a mess. She kept him grounded, motivated and most importantly, involved in his children's lives. My parents loved each other deeply and were a shining example of what a marriage should be: a partnership.
My Mother was integral in the success of our family company: Omega Incorporated. During the founding years she worked as secretary, bookkeeper and even assembled wire-bound boxes for industrial accounts! She later become trusted advisor and counsel to my father and me. Our Omega family is amazing and their love and support will breathe life into my Mother's memory forever.
The old saying goes "it takes a village" but in my Mother's case it only too Diane. She had her hand in raising a lot of children; namely her aforementioned siblings, my brother Ryan and I, her stepdaughters Karen and Judi, and her niece Ashley.
Mom was always very involved in our school activities, holding titles annually of either librarian, homeroom mother, team mom, lunch lady, or soccer coach at Sharon Christian Academy, Saint Joseph School and Kennedy Christian High School. She was also mine and my friends main caravan driver! The trips that Cameron, John, Corey, Paul, Josh and I took with her were legendary and will never be forgotten.
Mom was really into sports. She enjoyed multiple trips to see college basketball's Final Four. Mom was always a big supporter of the basketball teams I coached at St. Joe's and with our AAU program, the PA Kings. She was also an avid tennis fan with her favorite being Roger Federer. No matter the time difference, she never missed a Roger Major match!
She loved to travel. Like a true Wansack, her favorite destination was Las Vegas, NV. We also took annual summer trips as a family to Mackinac Island, MI. Mom's favorite trip was traveling to Italy with her Uncle Jimmy Ragazino to see the old country and meet our family in Marcianise, Caserta, Campania. My sister Judi was one of her favorite travel companions.
The light of her life, aside from me of course, were her grandchildren: Ian, Benjamin, Oliver, Nathaniel, Pearl, Zennon, Katheryn and Lily. As much as they will miss their Nana, she will miss them more. her strength will forever live in them. I personally want to thank my Mom for teaching my daughters the values of compassion and service as only someone in her condition could. One of her true joys in life was watching Ian play the piano. No matter what condition she was in that day, she always pushed to get to his recitals. She was so proud of him, as she was all of her grandchildren.
My Mother got a raw deal when she was diagnosed with a rare, bastard of a neurological disease called Multiple System Atrophy. A lesser person would have succumbed to its symptoms almost immediately, but not my mother. We traveled the country to see experts in the Parkinson's and MSA fields. She fought like she always has and handled her condition with grace and dignity. Although her ailment may have taken her earthly body, her Heavenly crown will be the envy of all.
We wish to thank all of our family and friends for their prayers and support over the last few years. An incredible special thank you goes to Jenny Perrine and Chere Cunningham, who were my Mother's primary caregivers the last three years. We are blessed to have you in our lives and would have been completely lost without the two of you. You are forever in our hearts and now true members of the Chovan family. We can never repay what you gave to my Mom and to all of us. Thank you also to Cissy DeBonis who took the midnight shift with mom the last year. You too have a special place in our hearts and in the Kingdom of Heaven. Thank you to my beautiful wife Kyleigh who without your strength and support I could not have endured this. You didn't know this until now but my mother sang to her mother-in-law, my grandma Ruth, in her final moments just the same as you did for her. Those we'd also like to recognize for their time, love and care with Mom are: her physical (and spiritual) trainer Emil DeBonis, Liza Catania Smith, my mother-in-law Kerrie DelGreco, Jenelle Atwell, her treasured cousin Cecilia Snyder, dear friend Michelle Morelli, my aunt and Mom's sister and her very best friend Mary Beth Bradley, BFF Janet and Pastor Dave Searle, Stacy Searle, the Rudge family, Ron and Denise Fisher, Linda Spanos, her personal handyman Walt Bedich, Joanne Horner, my brother Ryan, Teenie Blystone, Amy Krauss, my sisters Judi and Ashley, Janet Montgomery, my niece Maddie, and my Mom's fantastic team of prayer warriors. We would also like to thank all of the doctors, therapists and nurses who have provided care for Mom the last few years.
My Mother is survived by her husband Paul as their home; son Ryan and wife Olivia, Lowellville, OH; son Patrick and wife Kyleigh, Hermitage; daughter Karen and her husband Erik Wagner, Charlotte, NC; daughter Judi and her husband Stephen Westerfield, Raleigh, NC; niece Ashley and her husband Landon Lucas, Fuquay-Varina, NC; sister Mary Beth and her husband Michael Bradley, Sharpsville; brother Mark Wansack and his wife Lori, West Middlesex; nephew Matthew Wansack, West Middlesex; niece Maggie and her husband Jimmy Schneider, West Middlesex; sister-in-law Carol and her husband Michael Warren, Mooresville, NC; nephew Bryon Hopkins and his wife Holly, Martinez, CA; nieces Tayler Tyndall, Marlton, NJ, Madisen and Gillian Hopkins, Martinez, CA. She is ask survived by her eight grandchildren: Ian Oliver and Zennon Chovan; Benjamin and Nathaniel Wagner; Pearl and Kathryn Chovan; and Lily Grace Lucas. My mom was preceded in death by her parents Matthew and Marian Wansack; infant brother James Wansack; her in-laws Edward and Ruth Chovan; and her Uncle James and Aunt Mary Ann Ragazino.
My Mom was truly one of my best friends. She was a constant source of guidance, support and humor. We traveled, ate great food, drank wonderful spirits, and oh my did we laugh. Her laughter was contagious. When she and my Aunt Mary Beth started laughing, someone was going to end up in tears. One of my most treasured memories was watching the two of them laugh together.
She died like she lived: Always fighting. Always strong. Always proud. And always fabulous!
Mother, your war is over. You are triumphant.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions in Diane's memory to the Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools, South Pymatuning Community Church, or The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition. But please send flowers too; my mother loves flowers!
God Bless,
Patrick Chovan
"Remember how much I love you."
Diane Marie, 65, of Hubbard, Ohio.
Calling hours: From 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday (7-16-19) at Church of the Good Shepherd, 3613 Sharon Road, West Middlesex.
Service: 11 a.m. Wednesday (7-17-19) at the church, with the Rev. David Searle and Fr. Glenn Whitman officiating.
Note the change of location for visitation and service.
Interment: Haywood Cemetery, West Middlesex.
Arrangements by the SMITH FUNERAL HOME, 3126 Main St., West Middlesex.
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Published on July 15, 2019
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9 posts

DeWayne and Betty King
Jul 25, 2019
A memorial tree was planted in memory of Diane Marie Chovan.  Plant a tree
Kay Jones
Jul 24, 2019
I did not know your mother but I wish I had. I laughed and cried reading her obituary; what a beautiful tribute to a women who sounds to be an amazing wife, mother, and all-around human being. My condolences to your family.
Cathy Audia
Jul 20, 2019
I did not know your mother but I wish I had! This was the most beautiful obituary I've ever read and I have no idea why I did! I'm glad that I did though. God rest her sweet soul and grant you all peace and comfort at your time of loss. ❤🙏
D Benson
Jul 17, 2019
A memorial tree was planted in memory of Diane Marie Chovan.  Plant a tree
David Benson
Jul 17, 2019
So sorry for your loss. My condolences during this difficult time.
Jul 16, 2019
Condolences and God's speed to all of you. May she forever rest in peace!
Leslie Sovesky Mulligan
Jul 16, 2019
Dear Diane's Family,
I'm so sorry for your loss. I worked with Diane over 30 years ago at Perkins. What a great person she was. She could make cutting lemons fun and she was fast. We laughed alot back then. What a great person she was back then and only got better as I was reading her obit. God Bless all of you.
My deepest sympathy
Leslie Sovesky Mulligan
patricia defazio keryan
Jul 16, 2019
She was beautiful person.Going to miss her. We had great times together .
Katie meszaros
Jul 16, 2019
My hugs and prayers are with all of you in the loss of your beloved wife and mom.
Diane’s love of family is one that death will not dissolve. She will be watching over all of you with her continued guidance, gentle encouragement and always with her love. May God help you with the beautiful memories and may your tears of sadness be replaced with smiles knowing that love never dies or fades away.