Dianne Mae (Kehler) Relick passed away peacefully at Otterbein Springboro SeniorLife Neighborhood on Sunday, January 21, 2024. She resided at Otterbein Lebanon for over 20 years and was an active participant in the Otterbein community and valued advocacy and service.
Dianne was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania on April 5, 1929. She was the youngest of the three ‘Kehler girls’ and the baby of the family. She was lovingly spoiled by her father and mother Clarence and Alma Kehler. Her high school years at Pottsville High were full of dances and participating in theater and choir. She was a proud graduate of Dickinson College class of 1950. While attending Dickinson, she met her future husband, J. Richard (Dick) Relick whom she married in 1952. Dick enlisted in the Marines after graduation and upon discharge took his first job in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Their three children, Kim, Jeffrey, and Peter were born over the next 5 years as the family moved to New Jersey, Detroit and Chicago following their dad as he moved up the corporate ladder. New positions and opportunities for their father would eventually take the family further afield to Topsfield, Massachusetts, Brussels, Belgium, and St. Paul, Minnesota.
Dianne was a loving mother who encouraged her children to learn and grow and to participate in their schools, their community, and their church. She never missed a football game, a track meet, or a school play. She had a thirst for knowledge and a drive to serve. After receiving an advanced degree in Library Sciences from Boston University she was delighted to be the chosen candidate as Head Librarian at The Pingree School in Hamilton, Massachusetts. It was her favorite job. Her husband’s subsequent transfer to Brussels, Belgium gave her the opportunity to travel throughout Europe and the U.K. Thus began a lifelong love of travel and experiencing new cities, cultures, and cuisines. On her return to the United States and relocation to the Midwest, she embarked on a second career as a travel agent, eventually opening her own travel business in Edina, Minnesota.
In addition to travel, Dianne nurtured many passions throughout her life including a love of dogs, gardening and doll collecting. She valued being well presented - dressing with care for each occasion including her rings, earrings and necklace – and was especially fond of wearing pieces given to her by her grandchildren.
Her last 20 years at Otterbein were full of new friends and new opportunities to serve. Dianne created the first volunteer shuttle service on campus which she scheduled and ran for many years, often gently twisting the arms of her friends and campus neighbors to become volunteer drivers. Her library experience was put to good use when she volunteered to head up the Otterbein Lebanon library. She was an avid reader and enthusiastic member of the Otterbein book club and honed her bocce skills on the Otterbein bocce courts always advocating for a smooth court surface and new members.
Nala, her beloved Shih Tzu, was her constant companion for the last 14 years of her life and was often seen around Otterbein visiting friends and riding shotgun in Dianne’s golf cart on their way to campus center and in 4th of July Parades and Halloween costume parties.
Dianne Relick is survived by her three children and their spouses - Kim (Lyle Lemon) Relick, Jeffrey (Tami) Relick, Peter (Diane Higgins) Relick; her five grandchildren and spouses - Kehler (Jeremy) Welland, Katie Larison, Anson (James) Lampe, Randall (Angie) Relick, Alexis Higgins; and her five great grandchildren - Madeleine, Josie, Owen, Ren, and Jayden.
Dianne Relick was a friend to dogs, birds, and the environment. She was a lifelong recycler and supporter of the ASPCA and the United Methodist Church. She will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by her family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to: Otterbein Lebanon Benevolent Care Fund, Otterbein SeniorLife Lebanon, Attn: Development, 585 N. State Route 741, Lebanon, Ohio 45036.