Dianne Hawkins Noland
May 29, 2022
Dianne, born March 23, 1949, in Columbus, MS, gently eased out of this life into the next phase of her being on May 21, 2022, at the age of 73, at Hospice of West Alabama from the after effects of a catastrophic stroke early in the morning on May 14, 2022.
She lived all of her formative years in Columbus where she started her career in the accounting dept. of Eggers Dept. Store. Later she was the office manager at Golden Triangle Vocational Technical School (now East MS Community College) in Starkville, MS. She moved to Tuscaloosa in the early 70’s where she ended her career at Southern Heat Exchanger Corp. (SHECO) as Accounting Manager. During the 17 years she worked there she met, worked with, fell in love with, and married, her husband.
She was the consummate professional, never giving anything less than 150%. She was smart and sharp as a tack, but that’s not who she put herself out there as; she was modest about her abilities. Her new SHECO Supervisor was informed it took 3 people to fill her prior position. Unfortunately, in 1994, she suffered a mild stroke and felt she could no longer professionally hold up her end of the deal and regrettably called it a day.
During her later years she enjoyed just being a stay-at-home wife, being outside in the yard as much as possible and doing whatever she could to make every day a little easier. She soon re- discovered her love of crochet when she joined a class at FOCUS on Senior Citizens. She has such a beautiful smile and infectious personality that she got very little crocheting done from helping others. When the current teacher left the position, her classmates begged her to take over. She made the class fun, interesting yet still challenging. She worked very hard every week to make each class as fulfilling as possible. The class was such a success she received the Volunteer of the Year award from FOCUS. It was a very proud moment for her! Her other main fun time was ‘thrifting’. She (we) would go far and wide (Tuscaloosa, B’ham and occasionally Mobile) searching for those elusive crochet books that she didn’t have, but knew they were out there, because she had ‘gaps’ in her books/ magazines. Over the years she amassed one of the finest collections of crochet books I believe anyone will ever run across. We slowly became ‘thrift store junkies’!
Dianne’s heart, soul and spirit are bigger than the sky. She had a passionate love for all of nature, be it her two dogs, Zoey and Gracie, her Rescue and all that came before them. There have always been dogs. She loved the birds on the feeder she constantly watched from the couch, especially watching the Red Birds feed their young, the fidgety little wrens with a voice as large as Dianne’s personality. She was fascinated how large the crows are when she saw them on the steps stealing cat food and lastly the yackety blue jays constantly screaming that the sky is falling. She made sure that any cat that happened by (and there were many, including our six) was fed, watered and eventually spayed/ neutered by TSNIP and brought back so she could watch over them. She loved that we had a little box turtle that stayed around the house for years, every now and again making its presence known so we could feed it. And she loved it when the occasional possum showed up on the front porch looking for a meal. No animal was turned away and none were encouraged to leave.
Dianne was preceded in death by her parents, James Merle Hawkins, Sr. and Mary Louvenia Hawkins.
She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Daniel H. Noland; her eldest brother, James Hawkins, Jr.; and niece, Holly Hawkins Nelsen, both of Fairhope, AL; niece, Heather Hawkins Gibbs of Hernando, MS; middle sisters, Paulette Stockton (John, niece Tammy and nephew John, Jr.) of Columbus, MS, and Janette Oglesby, Columbus, MS; and niece, Paige Oglesby McAllister (Joe, Jr.) of Hamilton, MS; plus a host of cousins; and her beloved sisters-in-law, Darlene Noland Lewis (Bob) of Taylor, AL, and Debbie Noland Hartley (Bob) of Northport, AL.
Heartfelt thanks go to Drs. Scott Thomas (Neurology), Neil Shah (Internal Medicine), Vishal Dahya (Cardiology), Kevin Katona (Family Physician), all the nurses, PCAs and support staff on 5N Floor (Acute Stroke Care) that treated her with the ultimate respect and dignity during this awful time, the 3 Fire Dept. EMTS and 2 Ambulance EMTS that came to our home so early in the morning and lastly Hospice of West Alabama, especially Irene, who quickly calmed my soul and made Dianne’s last day as peaceful as possible. Thanks go also to the nurses and staff at Hospice of West Alabama who cared and nursed her as if she was their own. I will be forever grateful to them.
To anyone who wishes to make a donation in Dianne’s memory please consider Tuscaloosa Spay Neuter Program (TSNIP), Humane Society of West Alabama (includes cat house) in Northport or Hospice of West Alabama. If you see a cat with the tip of one ear missing most likely it has been through the TSNIP program and released back to the community to live out its life. If you have a feral cat show up on your property, call 311, they will have Animal Control come set up live traps to catch it. Once caught, call 311 and Animal Control will come take the animal to Metro Animal who will assign it to a participating Veterinarian. Once spayed/ neutered TSNIP will return the cat to the area it was trapped and then release it. Donations help this process a lot.
Dianne, wherever you are right now I know that you are doing what made you happiest – riding the mower, cutting grass at Uncle Dan’s! I love you and miss you something terrible. You will always be right beside me in my heart!
Cremation will be handled by Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel, with no Services.