Diane Mitra, age 79, long-term resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, and more recently New Providence, New Jersey, passed away on September 26, 2021. Diane was born on December 6, 1941 in Coventry, England in the midst of World War II during a time when Coventry was under consistent and heavy bombing as a center for munitions manufacturing. She grew up in a small house on Dennis Road in Coventry with her father Walter Dunnicliff, who died when she was just a young girl, her mother Mabel, and her sister Julia, and surrounded by a large family of aunts and uncles about whom she had many wonderful memories and stories.
Diane trained as a student nurse at Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital in the early 1960s. In addition to her beloved England, she spent time living in Nova Scotia, Canada, as well as Galveston, Texas. In 1976 she arrived in Erie, Pennsylvania, a community that she called home for almost 40 years. In Erie, she was deeply involved in the Episcopalian church community and developed her career as an event planner with a particular passion for her work with the Humane Society, the Ophelia Project, the Erie Yacht Club including the annual Lake Erie Interclub Cruise, and events like Seeds of Hope to benefit Magee-Womens Research Institute at UPMC. As a cancer survivor, this final focus of her work was especially meaningful to her.
She moved to New Jersey in 2014 to be closer to family, especially her five grandchildren living in New Jersey and Virginia, who will dearly miss her fun loving spirit and mornings together sharing her special English pancakes dripping with butter, lemon and sugar. While in New Jersey she continued to be involved with her church, spending many hours volunteering with the homeless ministry at Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit.
She was preceded in death by her parents Walter and Mabel Dunnicliff, and her sister Julia Walford. She is survived by daughter Julie Chadowski and her husband Paul, daughter Kellie Doucette and her husband John; grandsons, Joseph Chadowski and his wife Melissa, Andrew Chadowski, James Doucette and Christian Doucette; granddaughter Ashlie Doucette; great-granddaughter Genevieve Chadowski who is a great blessing born just days before Diane passed; and her dear extended family in England.
A small private funeral service will be held at this time due to the pandemic. Plans for a larger memorial service in Erie, PA will be shared in future. To make a gift to Magee-Women’s Research Institute and Foundation in Diane’s memory, please visit https://mageewomens.org/support and indicate in the memorial field that the gift is being made in her memory. You can also mail your gift to Magee-Women’s Research Institute and Foundation, 3240 Craft Place, Suite 100, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 with a note indicating that the gift is being made in her memory.