Diane Lakeland (Jasper) defined herself as a mother, daughter, wife, sibling, niece, aunt, cousin and friend. She was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on 29th October 1955 to the late William and Mary Jasper and she was a Johnston resident all her life, graduating Johnston High School in 1973. Life at home, with her father and mother, brothers and sister centered around the family.
In 1982, her only son, Billy, the love of her life, was born. Photographs and videos of Billy’s early years evidence her devotion to her role as mother. She worked tirelessly to send him to Catholic School and to give him the best life that she could. When she wasn’t working, Diane spent all her time with Billy and they were truly best friends. Her commitment as a mother was total and she always put her son before herself. In 2004, Diane married Stephen Lakeland, with whom she shared a deep Catholic faith.
Diane retired from the Home Instruction Program for Pre-school Youngsters (HIPPY) as State Director and worked as a secretary at Holy Cross Church, Providence. One parishioner said that “When Diane walks in through the door, the room smiles!” Diane brought with her the experience of being a lifelong communicant of Our Lady of Grace Church, Johnston, where her infectious enthusiasm as a member of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) is remembered by many young deacons who are now in more senior positions. Diane served in pro-life ministries, St Anne Sodality, numerous planning committees, as a catechist in the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) program and as a mentor in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
Complications of kidney cancer led to her journey to the Lord on the morning of Monday June 11th, 2018. She leaves behind her beloved son Bill Ricci, husband Steve Lakeland, her 3 step-children Caroline, Jenny and Tom Lakeland, granddaughter Abbie Hill, brother Bill Jasper of Kiawah Island, South Carolina, sister Patricia Jaspers (Lee) of East Greenwich, brother John Jasper (Michele) of North Providence and six nieces and nephews. Her entire life can be summed up in the words of St Francis of Assisi, which she used as her personal quotation:
“Preach the gospel at all times – if necessary, use words”
Funeral Saturday at 9 am from Nardolillo Funeral Home, Cranston. Mass at 10am in Our Lady of Grace Church, Johnston. Burial in Highland Memorial Park , Johnston. Visitation Friday 4-8pm.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to either of her favorite charities:
Animal Rescue Rhode Island
506B Curtis Corner Rd
Peace Dale RI 02879
Brothers of the Christian Schools (Haiti Appeal)
District of Eastern North America
444A Route 35 South
Eatontown NJ 07724
Please write "Diane Lakeland" in the memo section of any check