Diane Virginia Rigdon Crossland was born Feb. 4, 1934 in Springfield, Mo., the daughter of Maurice and Kathleen (Herter) Rigdon. She attended St. Francis Catholic School in Newkirk through seventh grade. In 1948, her family moved to a farm north of Blackwell and Diane graduated from Blackwell High School in 1952. Following graduation she attended Oklahoma State University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Retail Business in 1956.
On Dec. 15th, 1956, Diane and James Ira Crossland of Altus, Okla. were married in Tulsa, OK at the residence of Don Walker in the Hotel Tulsa. They established their first home in Yale, Okla. Marrying a football coach required you be mobile, as she and her husband went on to move 17 times over the course of his coaching career. Each stop was as special as the last, and their lifelong friends and special memories are a testament to that. Diane and Jim moved to Ponca City in 1976, and then established their home in Newkirk in 1977.
Although Diane graduated with a degree in Retail Business, she later returned to school at Lamar University while living in Beaumont, Tex. and received her elementary teaching certificate. The following year she taught fourth grade and fell in love with the teaching profession. In 1965, their first child was born and she stayed home to raise her children. She did not return to teaching until 1986. She was a fourth grade teacher for over 15 years with Blackwell Public Schools until her "first" retirement. Her retirement was short lived as she continued teaching Adult Education GED classes at Pioneer Area Vo-tech. She retired for the second time in 2008 at the age of 76. Diane was selected as the Blackwell Teacher of Year in 1990 and was an Oklahoma Foundation of Excellence nominee for the Oklahoma Medal of Excellence in Teaching. Diane genuinely loved each student throughout her years of teaching. Her encouragement was endless and she truly believed that each student could accomplish great things. She met you where you were. Her classroom was organized and she expected you to follow the rules, but above all else, she made sure that learning was fun.
Diane was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Newkirk. Other memberships held and service given over the years include Pi Beta Phi Alumna; DAR Ponca City Chapter; PEO Chapter; Oklahoma Retired Teachers; Delta Kappa Gamma; CASA; she was a Marland Mansion Docent; and she served on the Newkirk Library board. She most recently served on the University Center Foundation Board of Directors. Diane loved her OSU Cowboys and was always interested in whatever football game was on television. She was a fantastic cook and a skilled hostess.
She was preceded in death by Jim, her husband of 57 years on Dec. 3, 2004; her parents, Maurice and Kathleen Rigdon; one brother, Bill Rigdon; and her brother in law, Kenny Crossland.
She is survived by her son Ray Crossland and his wife Stacy of Rockwall, TX; her daughter Ann (Crossland) Morgan and her husband Marty of Tulsa, OK; her sister Susan (Rigdon) Pierce and husband Don of Stillwater, OK; her sister-in-law Cheryl Crossland of Mangum, OK; six grandchildren, Taylor Driskill of Tulsa, Conner Crossland, Lisa Kay Crossland, and Caden Crossland, all of Rockwall, Tex., Kyle Morgan and Dylon Morgan of Tulsa. She was very proud of her children and grandchildren. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews; many cousins, including Tom Rigdon and his wife Mary of Newkirk; and many cherished friends that were made over the years.
Memorial services have been scheduled for 2:00 pm Tuesday, Dec. 6 at the First Presbyterian Church, Newkirk with Pastor Mark Southard officiating. A family graveside service and interment will be held prior to the memorial. Miller-Stahl Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements.
The body will lie in state at the funeral home on Monday from 9 am - 9 pm. The family will be present from 6 pm-8 pm.
A memorial fund has been established with the University Center Foundation to be used for the establishment of the Diane Crossland Memorial Scholarship. The family request that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in her name through Eastman National Bank, Box 468, Newkirk, Okla. 74647-0468.
Published on December 5, 2016