Our sweet wife and mother, Diane Larsen Hayes, 70, of Highland, Utah passed away at home surrounded by her family on July 18, 2019, following a short battle with brain cancer (Glioblastoma). She was born February 7, 1949 in Lehi, Utah, and is the daughter of Keith Linel and Betty Mae Calder Larsen. She married the love of her life, William Brent Hayes, on September 4, 1968 in the Salt Lake Temple.
Diane had a great childhood. While growing up she loved playing baseball with her brothers in the Lehi Wine's Park and had many wonderful friends. They loved to sleep outside in the summer and she loved learning to play the piano. She lived in Lehi until the age of 16 then moved to Highland with her family where her parents built a “dream home” on her dad’s farm. She graduated from Lehi High School in 1967. She was involved in the Pep Club, was a sophomore class officer, was a student body officer, was the president of the Girls Athletic Association, and she spoke at her high school graduation because she excelled academically.
She attended Snow College for a short time, and then moved home. It was meant to be because she met Brent at that time. Brent had prayed and told Heavenly Father he was ready for a wife. Immediately after, he took Diane to church on their first date. Everyone turned and looked as they entered the chapel as if they felt something. They were engaged by the end of the week. When Brent asked Diane if she would marry him, she said, “I SURE WILL!” Brent said, “That was the happiest day of my life! I have never felt such happiness in all my life.” Diane said “It was so serious all of the sudden.” When Brent introduced her to his grandparents, he forgot her name. Diane and Brent have been married 50 years.
Brent and Diane had four kids in the first four years of marriage. This kept them extremely busy, but this was one of the happiest times of their lives. They really loved their kids. They were their world. In 1974 Brent and Diane built their home in Highland on Diane’s dad’s farm and have lived there ever since. Most of Diane’s siblings and both of their parents lived in the same ward (Highland 1st). This was a choice experience. Later they added one more special daughter to the family. They had their kids so quickly that Diane didn’t finish her education until much later in life but it was always something she emphasized to her children that was important. She eventually graduated from Utah Valley State College with an Associates Degree in 1997 and Weber State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2000.
One of Diane’s greatest gifts was her ability to love and feel compassion for others and she looked out for them. Her locker was right next to the special needs classroom, and she knew all the students’ names and they loved her. Diane had a talent of making everyone feel like they were special. If you went to visit Diane, you always left knowing you were loved. She also dealt with serious depression the majority of her life. Her dad told her, “Annie, you’re just too good for this world.” She endured to the end and graduated this life with High Honors!
Diane loved to work in her yard because it brought her so much joy. She and Brent always had a very large garden and a beautiful yard. She loved getting exercise mowing the lawn. One year, her yard even won the Highland Beautification Award. Some of her favorite flowers were yellow daffodils, tulips, and marigolds. She loved to clean her house and bake bread. She was an exceptional mother because she loved her kids with her whole heart. She was such a good listener. She knew how to truly love people. When the kids were young and they were living in a 30’ trailer, she would kiss Brent goodbye in the mornings and start singing "I’m the Happiest Girl in the Whole USA" and “Top of the World” by the Carpenters. She had a nickname for every kid in the neighborhood, and they all loved her. Often times, she’d chase kids around the kitchen table for a hug and a kiss. She was a beloved aunt and neighbor because everyone always knew they could find treats at Diane’s house.
Diane and Brent loved each other so much. They were so good to each other. They would often sit at the kitchen table eating dinner holding hands. Brent was so good to Diane in her final months and was heartbroken at the news of the cancer. He always loved to dance with her in the kitchen. She didn’t always love it because he would count 1-2-3-4.
Diane loved spending time talking to her children and grandchildren and being involved in their lives was so important to her. She loved Three Musketeers candy bars and will be remembered for that, especially since all her kids are hooked now. Their home was always safe and full of the spirit for their children.
Diane was also a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She loved the Savior with her whole heart and genuinely wanted to be like Him. She had a firm testimony of the Book of Mormon and read it three times earlier this year before getting diagnosed with cancer. One of her favorite callings was when she served as the Relief Society aerobics teacher. She laughed about it for years and could still remember some of the routines they would do in the backyard several times a week with members of the ward.
She is survived by her eternal companion and best friend, Brent; their children: Lisa (Jim) Golden; Richard (Karina) Hayes; Randall (Mary Ann) Hayes; Caroline (Gary) Graydon; Emily (Richard) Kasper; 22 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She is also survived by her loving siblings: John Larsen, David Larsen, Madelyn Pace, and Danny Larsen. She was preceded in death by her parents, Keith and Betty, and a brother, Robert Larsen.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 11:00 am in the Highland 1st Ward, 9621 North 6050 West, Highland. A viewing will be held Wednesday, July 24, 2019 from 6 to 8 pm at the same ward building and Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 am prior to the services at the church. Burial will be in the Highland City Cemetery.
The family wishes to thank everyone who has helped during this difficult time: Desiree Bernardini (nurse), Dr. Sean Curzon, Madelyn Pace (her loving sister who tirelessly served her during the last three months), Amber Larsen (her sweet sister-in-law who helped with nursing care), other aides and helpers, countless friends and family members, and all members of the Highland 1st ward who have shown amazing compassion and love.
God be with you ‘til we meet again, our sweet wife and mother!
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