Western professor Diana Jones died Monday, Sept. 21 due to complications from peritonitis and cancer treatment after teaching at Western for six years.
Jones, an associate professor in the Human Services program in Woodring College of Education, was recently named the new director of the Human Services program. She travelled often for her research, but called Michigan her home before moving to Bellingham.
Christina Van Wingerden was a former student of Jones, and remembers how Jones inspired her in her first intro to Human Services class in 2009.
“She was a remarkable woman,” she said. “She was so empowering of students. She saw something in me–and not just me. She could find the spark and brilliance in everyone of her students.”
Van Wingerden has been either a student or employee for Western for more than 30 years now, graduating with an undergraduate degree in Human Services. She started a part-time lecturer in winter of 2015 for the department, and said she looks forward to channeling the same passion and humor Jones had in her teaching.
“Dr. Jones always encouraged me to go above and beyond in life, and now I want to do that for my students,” she said. “”I want to take that light of hers with me, the one that meant so much to me as a student.”
A formal service will be held in Michigan for Diana on Oct. 24, according to a WesternToday press release. An informal service for Jones’s friends, students and family will be held in the next couple of weeks.
Jones is survived by her sister Denise Ingham of Oxford, Michigan, her brother Stephen Jones of Clio, Michigan, and her partner Vicki Hsueh of Bellingham. She also had 10 nieces and nephews and five grand-nieces and –nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation on Diana’s behalf to Light the Night and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.