Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Diana Jackson, it is easy to see that she lived fully in every moment she was given, taking nothing for granted. She lived to love and serve others, and her heart truly knew no bounds. It was no secret that Diana was married to her best friend, and nothing was better than becoming a mother to her beloved son, John. She enjoyed seeing new places and loved all things Christmas, especially since it was a time to shower her loved ones with the most amazing and heartfelt gifts. Although life will never be the same without Diana here, she leaves behind a timeless legacy that is deeply rooted in compassion, generosity, and unconditional love that her loved ones will proudly carry on.
On December 4, 1948, John and Helen Lauerman were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Diana Suzette. She was the third of four children, joining her older siblings, John and Tim, and followed by her younger sister, Linda. The Lauermans raised their children in the nearby town of Livonia in the home they built themselves. Diana’s father worked for Bell Telephone Company while her mother was a busy homemaker. Diana was surrounded by a loving, close-knit family from the start.
As a child, Diana was a tomboy who was perfectly happy climbing trees, catching polliwogs, playing cowboys, and going sledding. Games like Monopoly and Chutes and Ladders were favorites, too, and she always looked forward to the holidays. Diana was close to her family all her life, and she and her sister loved playing tricks on each other, telling secrets, and making up words including “pedetada," which her sister still doesn't know the meaning of to this day! As a teen she was vibrant, fun-loving, and full of jokes. Diana enjoyed bike riding, running, and playing both cards and dice, and when it came to school she liked English, math, and art the best. She had dreams of becoming a singer or a movie star, and around home she liked crafting and working on model train sets. Diana attended local schools including Bentley High School in Livonia.
Not to be forgotten during her teen years was Diana’s introduction to the young man of her dreams. His name was John Jackson, and he was her first love. They were introduced by Diana’s sister at the hobby shop where he worked. She was just a young girl of 14 when they met, but she knew he was the one for her early on. With a desire to establish a life together, Diana and John were married at her parents’ home in 1977 by John’s grandfather who was a minister. The newlyweds then took a honeymoon to Disneyland. She and John were married for 38 years, and she always described him as the nicest, most caring guy she’d ever known. After 10 years of marriage, Diana and John were filled with unspeakable joy to welcome their son, John William Jackson Jr., into their hearts and home. She truly treasured her son and always thought of him as “their beautiful baby boy.”
Throughout her life, Diana treasured all of her loved ones. She looked up to her siblings and described her brother, John, as the boss in charge; her brother, Tim, as a big teddy bear; and her sister, Linda, as her best friend with a big heart. She also adored her nieces and nephews beyond words as all the kids in her family were everything to her. Diana didn’t take any of her relationships for granted and spoiled all who were within her reach. She loved the holidays and whether she was dressing up like Santa or the Easter Bunny, or simply gathering with family, she always went above and beyond to make the holidays special. Diana started shopping for Christmas in January as the entire year built up to that special day— she loved it so much, she left her Christmas tree up all year!
Although caring for her family was always first and foremost, Diana enjoyed other things as well. She worked in the jewelry department at Woolworth’s where she engraved jewelry and designed window displays for 10 years. Diana then worked at United Stationers for over 25 years. She loved visiting Frankenmuth, Greenfield Village, Canterbury Village, and the Renaissance Festival. She also looked forward to family reunions every August. Diana loved going to see movies— and creatively sneaking food in! The Wizard of Oz, Christmas in Connecticut, and Miracle on 34th Street were among Diana’s favorites, and she always enjoyed science fiction or Disney and Pixar films. When not attending craft shows and bazaars with her sister, bingo with her mother or husband, or crafting in ceramics and acrylics, Diana loved thrifting and would slam on her brakes at the sight of a garage sale sign— garaging, as she called it. She also enjoyed bowling, having participated on a team with her husband, sister and brother-in-law which was appropriately named All in the Family. Other hobbies included fishing, camping, and coin collecting— she collected every coin she came across… then spent it.
All who knew Diana Jackson would agree that she put the sparkle into the world around her and she lived to love others in ways both great and small. Diana viewed her wedding day and the day her son was born as the best days of her life. She was never one to let life get the best of her, and she faced whatever came her way with both grace and courage. Easygoing, genuine and selfless beyond measure, she always made everyone feel like a long lost friend, even if they had just met. She will be deeply missed and never forgotten.
Diana Jackson died on March 16, 2016. Diana’s family includes her husband, John Jackson; son John Jr.; brothers John and Tim; sister Linda; and numerous nieces and nephews. A visitation will be held from 1-5pm Sunday at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Rd, Livonia, MI 48154.