In Memory

Diane Hylan

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05/26/14 11:22 AM #1    

George Divoky

In the spring of my sophomore year I dated Diane for a few months and the memory is still very fresh.  One of the reasons for that is after growing up Catholic in a suburb that was mainly …...not Catholic, Diane was the first Jewish girl I got to know who was not heavily invested in the social infrastructures that formed many of the cliques in Shaker (country clubs, dance schools, places of worship, lunchtime table hierarchy in the cafeteria, etc.) and was willing to date me.  Two events stand out from our short-lived courtship.   One is that upon getting my driver’s license on a Friday afternoon in late April I drove directly over to her house.  The feeling of independence and assumed maturity I felt in driving up Warrensville Center Road and honking the horn as I approached her house was a high point of my high school days.  

The other event was experiencing a near perfect evening with her as we sat in the back of Bill Gerak’s white 1958 Chevy Impala convertible while Bill drove us and his date, Kathy McGranaghan, down Northfield Rd. on one of those warm clear May evenings that I realized too late I would not experience many times outside of northern Ohio.   Bill would continue to date Kathy for some time after that, which is why he is attending the reunion with her this August.  My relationship with Diane ended rather abruptly shortly after that ride when she and I both thought it would be a good idea for her to wear my scapular medal as a symbol of the fact that we were going steady.  It did not occur to me (or her) at the time how her parents would react to seeing their daughter wearing a symbol of devotion to Christianity around her neck.  

One of the benefits of reconnecting with Bill and Kathy Gerak in recent years was to be filled in on Diane’s life.  I was saddened to learn of her passing - and that I never had a chance to tell her how our brief time together provided some of my best high school memories.


05/27/14 11:48 AM #2    

Jackie A Liskay (Murray)

George,  I enjoyed your memories of Diane. I reconnected with her at our 40th reunion and we laughed and laughed about our Shaker days senior year. I reminded her of one of our escapades involving a decorated cake that our Home Economics class had made, the weekend before spring break. Our teacher, Mrs. Gifford wouldn't let us sample it, she put it in the freezer and told us we could have some when we returned to school after the break. Neither Diane nor I thought that was an acceptable answer. Later that Friday afternoon before the last bell rang, we skipped out of gym class, and proceeded to the home ec kitchen which was adjoined with the sewing room where Mrs Gifford was conducting a class. Diane took the cake out of the freezer and we ran with it outside to my car where she put it in my trunk. Her long hair had frosting stuck to it. Now what? I drove home and my Nana wanted to know where I got the beautiful cake, I lied and said someone gave it to me. I felt so guilty I put the cake back in the car and drove it over to Marie Piazza's home where we stuffed it down her garbage disposal to get rid of the evidence while her two older brothers were totally confused as to why we would do such a thing . Too funny!  At the 40th reunion Diane had no memory of the event, but we sure laughed about it. Two wonderful friends no longer with us, perhaps that beautiful cake is in Heaven with them.

Diane has a Facebook page where her daughter and friends have posted many memories, check it out.

Such fond memories,

Jackie Liskay



05/28/14 07:25 PM #3    

Patricia Ann Richards (Armstrong)

How perfect a memory of someone who escaped old age.  Your telling of this "little" saga brought tears to my eyes.


05/17/15 05:41 PM #4    

William H Gerak

As a post script, Kathy (McGranaghan), Jack Webster and myself finished the 40th reunion off with a 1:30 AM breakfast - last time we got to see her and it was great to tell and hear the stories from the 60's.

05/18/15 07:49 AM #5    

Martha (Marti) Kammen (Katz)

For some reason I can't find Biill's  original comments..however Diane and I grew up together In South Euclid when we were very little. ( kindergarten and first grade) She lived in the house on the corner of my street( Colony) I am not sure if her address was Colony or Miramar.

We played together all the time.

Many many years and many moves later my parents built a house on Green Road just down the street from Shellburne. Diane lived in a corner house on Shelburne right off of Green.

I had been looking forward to seeing her at the reunion, and was so saddened to see that she had passed away.

Diane's brother's name is Mitchell, I always thought that was such a beautiful name and he was such a nice boy.

When my son, Jeff, was born..I needed a middle name that started with the letter "M" and they say...

The rest is history.Diane will be missed.




05/19/15 08:23 AM #6    

Betsy Dennis (Frank)

Marti, Do you remember the Gabriel's who lived on Colony Road?  They were best friends with my parents and I knew their children, Ray, Lee, and Gary.

05/20/15 07:49 AM #7    

Martha (Marti) Kammen (Katz)

Hi Betsy,

I don't remember any of them.I even asked my Sister  and she doesn't remember them either. But it is fun strolling down memory lane. 

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