Diane J. Howard
COOPERSTOWN — Diane J. Howard, a locally known artist and a partner at TJ’s Place in downtown Cooperstown, passed away unexpectedly Sunday evening, Feb. 3, 2013, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. She was 66.
Born May 31, 1946, in Iowa City, Iowa, Diane was the daughter of Vernon S. “Whitey” Wilshere, a left-handed pitcher who played for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics in the 1930s, and Betty Jean Munden Wilshere, a painter and Emergency Room RN at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown.
As a young child, Diane and her family moved from the Midwest to New York State, first living in Skaneateles and then settling in Cooperstown in 1953. While living in Cooperstown, Diane made many friends and was a proud graduate of Cooperstown High School, Class of 1964. Through the years, she maintained contact with many of her classmates and up to the present enjoyed frequent visits to the American Hotel in Sharon Springs with her girlfriends.
A successful businesswoman, Diane’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to become a real estate broker and she had many fond memories of working with her business associate, Ed Johnson, at their real estate agency, Country Properties, in Cooperstown. During the 1980s, she served the area business community as President of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce.
More recently, Diane will be best remembered for joining with her partner in life, Ted Hargrove, in owning and operating TJ’s Place and The Stables Inn on Main Street in the village. They truly made a great pair, both in life and in business.
Diane loved her family, most especially her kids and grandkids as well as her brothers and their families. She also enjoyed genealogy and researching both the Wilshere and Munden sides of her family. Her country home was very special to her and it was there that she loved watching nature and its wildlife. Another important part of her life was the primitive artwork she created; she had a knack for capturing area rural life in her own style. She also had an appreciation for other artists, including Janet Munro and Ed Johnson, and had a passion for collecting Hummel figurines.
Diane will be greatly missed by her life partner, Ted Hargrove, of Cooperstown; her two children, Kelly Kerner and her husband, Chris, of Lancaster, Pa., and Todd Howard and his wife, Jennifer, of Cooperstown; her three grandchildren, Clark Kerner, Anastasia Kerner and Jack Howard; her brothers, David S. Wilshere and his wife, Meme, of Hartwick, and Denis A. Wilshere of Idyllwild, Calif., and their families.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Betty, who died in 1976; her father, “Whitey”, who died in 1985; a niece, Whitney “Nina” Humenanski, who died in 1990; and her beloved dog, Abner.
Friends are invited to pay their respects to Diane’s family from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, at TJ’s Place, 124 Main St., Cooperstown. A brief time of prayer and reflection, to be led by the Rev. Betsy Jay, Chaplain for Bassett Healthcare Network in Cooperstown, will conclude the memorial gathering.
Later this spring, Diane will be laid to rest in Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown.
For those who wish to make a donation in memory of Diane, please consider the Susquehanna SPCA, 4841State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326, the Art Department at Cooperstown Central School, 39 Linden Avenue, Cooperstown, NY 13326, or the Cooperstown Food Pantry, 25 Church Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.