DIANE JOYCE STRUVER
1940 - 2021
Diane made her final exit on February 22, 2021 after a long bout with Parkinson’s
Disease. Born in Aberdeen, SD and adopted shortly thereafter by Audrey and Herman
Struver in Redfield, she was never quite sure of her April birthdate as there were
conflicting documents. She chose to celebrate on April 23rd because that is also the
birthday of William Shakespeare. After several moves, the family settled in Huron
where she finished high school and developed her passion for both painting and
performing. At the University of South Dakota, she honed her skills as an actress,
writer and master of quick wit. Aiming for a career in theater or as a comedian, Diane
graduated in 1962. It was at USD that she met and married Richard (Dick) de
Laubenfels just before they pulled up stakes and headed for New York City. It was
a short-lived marriage that ended amicably.
Best known by her stage name, Diane de Lorian, she appeared in works as wide-
ranging as Shakespearian repertory, a national tour of THE ODD COUPLE and
countless experimental pieces in NYC’s fringe theaters. “Eliza Dolittle” in MY FAIR
LADY ranked as her favorite role. Diane's last performance was as “Mrs. Hale”, a
leading part in the 1980 Academy Award nominated short dramatic film, A JURY OF
HER PEERS. It was during this latter part of her theater career that she returned in
earnest to her love of painting and drawing, studying and turning out numerous colorful
works in oil, her favorite medium. She evidently could not remember a time when she
did not draw, in the early days using wallpaper scraps as her canvas.
As with most people in the arts, day jobs came with the territory. Over the years, she
was employed by the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Child Welfare Information
Services, Immanuel Lutheran Church and The Salvation Army among others, all in
There was always a place in Diane's heart that needed to be filled by a dog... or two.
Terriers were her favorites; she never met a "terrierist" she didn't love. But so long as it
was "dog", it was beyond reproof.
Diane was dearly loved by her many friends. She was especially appreciative of her
friend Jean Heinrich, who graciously helped Diane manage her life during her
challenging last years.
Predeceased by her beloved parents, Herman and Audrey Struver, and stepsister
Georgia Houghton, Diane is survived by her nephew Darwin Houghton, niece Judy
Seymour, and loving cousins Lisa and Gregg Albright, Dane and Deb Sanger, and
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