The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Diane Marie Rigoni-Oliphant


April 3, 2018

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - Diane Marie Rigoni-Oliphant, 74, of Tucson, Ariz. and native of Ironwood, Mich., died Sunday, March 25, 2018 in Eau Claire.

Diane was born at the residence of Rigoni's Inn where her parents, Reno and Marion (Malmberg) Rigoni lived. She attended grade school at Newport Elementary School and switched to St. Ambrose Catholic School in 7th grade, graduating in 1961.

Diane lived with ALS for over ten years, keeping a positive and hopeful attitude and a sense of humor throughout.

In 1962, Diane attended Northern Michigan University, receiving a certificate in practical nursing and as a psychiatric attendant. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education in 1972 and a Master of Arts Degree in Administration and Supervision in Elementary Education in 1976 in Colorado.

Diane worked as a nurse, counselor and teacher. She also worked in real estate for Coldwell Banker and worked in infectious diseases at the University of Arizona. She visited five continents on her round-the-world trip and visited relatives in France, Italy, Finland and Australia. She was a fabulous chef.

Diane is survived by her husband of 30 years, Stan Oliphant, whom she married in Las Vegas on May 28, 2011. Throughout her daily struggle with ALS, Stan was Diane's primary caregiver who was steadfast in his care with love. Sister-in-law, Kathy Rigoni, also was a caregiver for Diane. Diane expressed her gratitude daily.

Also surviving are three brothers and five sisters, including Joseph (Kathy) Rigoni, Ironwood; Brian, Erwin Township; Greg, Ironwood; Patricia (Joseph) Metzger, Rosalie, Rebecca Eskola (Bernie Hibbeln), all of Ironwood; Gretchen (Frank) McHugh, Ogdensburg, N.Y. and Tonette (Paul) Tilton, Ironwood. Survivors also include step-daughter, Lisa Gibbs; step-son, William (Lindsay Davis) Oliphant, and step-granddaughter, Kyly Marie Gibbs, Tucson, Ariz .; aunt, Jean Malmberg, Ironwood, sixteen nieces and nephews; nineteen great nieces and nephews; and two great- great nephews.

Preceding her in death were her parents; brother, Richard; sister, Barbera and uncles, Eugene, Roy, and Walfred Malmberg.

Diane was involved in volunteer work for Partners of Colorado, YWCA, National Organization of Women and Interfaith Community Services of Tucson.

Diane wished to express her gratitude to all those who supported her fundraising in the ALS Tucson Walks and expresses that any donations be made to the memory of Diane (UP with Diane) to the ALS, Arizona Chapter.

A Celebration of Diane's life for relatives and friends will be held at Rigoni's Inn, 925 E. Ayer Street, Ironwood, on Saturday, April 14 at noon.

Range Funeral Services are assisting the family.


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