Diana Gordon Jonsson, a Pacific Palisades resident since 1958, passed away unexpectedly on April 28. She was loved by everyone whose life she touched. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1930, and raised there, Diana graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in political science. She was a passionate artist, and made many friends at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where she was a docent for more than 30 years. She was a long-time supporter and volunteer at many organizations, including Childrens Hospital, the Westside Charity League and the Garden Rakes garden club. In addition to volunteer work, Diana is remembered for her love of family, friends, reading, walking, tennis, and especially her cats. She and her husband Ken, who were married a week after they graduated from college (Ken from MIT), were also active in the Palisades Presbyterian Church. She shared her husband’s commitment to UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, which was established in 1974. In an interview with the Palisadian-Post in 1997, Ken explained the couple’s gift-giving strategy. “Diana and I decided to stop the hit-or-miss giving and donate a lot of money to one or two things and make more of an impact. We saved all the requests for money that we’d received throughout the year, then sat down to make some decisions. One request that stood out was a letter from the executive director of the California Institute for Cancer Research. On her own, she had written to some folks in the Palisades inviting us to come over to UCLA to see what they were doing in cancer research. “Back then’in the early ’60s’they had one paid employee, and all the money went directly to research. That impressed us, so we decided to support the organization.” In addition to her husband of 53 years, Kenneth, Diana is survived by her children, Mark, Mike, Erik, and Anne; and her eight grandchildren. Memorial services are pending. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, or another charity of one’s choice.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.