BREMERTON — Diane Lampshire’s life motto was “Live life happily.” That she took joy in life, and that it was a full life, there is no doubt.
Her journey took her school to study clothing design and start a career in that field, then to marriage and motherhood, then to beauty school and a job in a local salon, then back to school again to earn an bookkeeping degree, then to the community theater stage where she designed clothes for local productions.
If you saw “The Royal Family,” “Gypsy,” or other productions at Bremerton Community Theater in the 1980s, you saw her costumes. In the Sept. 18, 1981 edition of the Bremerton Sun, Jim Rothgeb wrote in his review of “The Royal Family”: “Diane Lampshire’s costumes are sprinkled with just the right amount of Roaring Twenties aristocracy.”
She never stopped learning or pursuing ways to express herself artistically, her family said. And she was also well-mannered.
“She was a kind, beautiful and clever person whose life philosophy was, ‘Slow down before you respond to a person who is upset. It may not be about you,’” her daughter, Paula Knight, said.
Even when she was battling cancer, she never complained, family members said. Nor did she stray from her commitment to live life happily, and she got as much out of each day of life that she had.
And so her memorial service was more celebration than funeral, a testament to her faith — “A Service of Witness to the Resurrection,” her family called it.
The service took place on Jan. 14 at Summit Avenue Presbyterian Church in Bremerton. Woody Bernas played the prelude on the piano. The Rev. Susie Beil read Scripture. Kim Allen sang the “Lord’s Prayer.” Family members and friends shared memories.
She was born Mary Diane Lewis on June 6, 1940 in Toledo, Ohio. She grew up in Toledo and Defiance until 1957, when she, her parents and younger sister moved to Kitsap, where her father had been stationed in the Navy. The family lived in a tent in Illahee for a couple of months while her father looked for a job, then moved to Camp Calvinwood, which her father managed and her mother worked there as a cook.
Diane Lewis graduated from South Kitsap High School in 1958, then went to private design school in Seattle where she received a certificate in design and pattern grading. She worked at Marion, Tate and Jones Design Company in Seattle, and was a designer in the women’s ready to wear department; among her creations was a summer suit.
She and David Stanfield Brittell married in 1962 (she designed and made her wedding dress), and they had two daughters, Paula and Pamela. After they divorced, Diane and her daughters lived for three years with her parents in Azusa, California, where Diane was a self-employed clothing designer. She and her daughters returned to Bremerton in 1972. She later married again, to Gale Terrance Lampshire, and he adopted her daughters.
The now Diane Lampshire graduated from Cinderella Beauty School in downtown Bremerton and worked at Ero’s Beauty Salon. She then earned an associate’s degree in bookkeeping, in 1982, from Olympic College, and worked for various local busainesses. After her second marriage ended in divorce, she attended Pacific Northwest School of Art in Poulsbo.
Lampshire designed and sewed bridal dresses, children’s clothes, and women’s wear most of her life. In addition to sewing and designing clothing for community theater, she enjoyed drawing; knitting, crocheting and tatting; and painting with acrylics, oils and watercolors (some of her paintings adorn family members’ walls).
She died on Dec. 18 at the age of 77.
At the celebration of her life, someone recalled that Lampshire loved the color lavender.
Psalm 23 was read: “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul … Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Allen, who opened the service with the Lord’s Prayer, sang “In the Garden.” (“And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own.”)
Then, the closing prayer and benediction.
Lampshire’s family and friends left with her assurance that they were not to mourn, for “I did not die,” as the poem stated on the program handed out at the celebration of life. Everyone gathered at the reception, then went on to carry on her example of a well-mannered, joyful and expressive life.
— Richard Walker is managing editor of Kitsap News Group. Contact him at email@example.com.