Diana L. Josephson, 83

Diana Josephson.jpg

Thief River Falls – Diana LaVaughan Josephson of Thief River Falls, passed away with her loving sister, Lana by her side on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls.
    Funeral service to celebrate her life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May, 26, 2017 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, with Rev. John Voelker officiating. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery in Thief River Falls.
    Visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. with a 7 p.m. Prayer Service on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls. Visitation will also take place one hour prior to the funeral service on Friday at the church.
    Diana LaVaughan Ellingson was born on May 23, 1933 at 111 Tindolph Ave. North in Thief River Falls, in the same bed she slept in through the end of her life. She was the first of five children born to Leo and Irene (Halvorson) Ellingson in a very musical and social household. Diana was baptized at home by Pastor Sabo and confirmed at the Goodridge Lutheran Parish by Rev. O.O. Bjorgan.
    Diana started working for $.10 per hour at the age of 9 years old making butter for the United States Army at Highlanding. She attended Highlanding Country School about half way through the 7th grade and then the family moved into Goodridge where they purchased the Hartz Store. During her high school years, Diana worked as a telephone operator in Goodridge for $.25 per hour.
    On December 30, 1950, Diana was united in marriage to Lynn Chandler Josephson in Goodridge. They lived in Warren and Argyle for a short time and in 1951 their daughter, Linda was born. Their next move was to Goodridge for the summer before moving on to Superior, WI where their son, Steven was born in 1953.  
    Work took the family to the San Fernando Valley in 1955. Here Diana was very proud to earn her high school diploma. Diana worked for Paul Green at Mike’s Pizza in Van Nuys, CA and her many customers included Sammy Davis, Jr and Sonny and Cher.
    The family expanded in 1966 when Matthew was born and in 1969 the family returned to make their home in Thief River Falls where they continued to reside. Diana continued to return to California over the years to “straighten up” the stores that were in need.  
    She went to work as hostess at the American Legion Post and eventually became the first woman bartender.  In the mid-1970’s, Diana went to work at the Best Western where she became a shareholder and general manager. She loved her duties, staff and customers.  During her career at Best Western, the motel was named twice in the top 40 motels in the United States Roadside Properties.
    Diana moved on to manage the Skylite Apartments in Thief River Falls and was very proud to write the grant to upgrade the apartments and add the gazebo. In the early 1990’s, Diana partnered with Jane Mattson and together, purchased the Evergreen Eating Emporium which they owned and operated for several years.  
    Diana went on to be Director of the Thief River Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau and was instrumental in expanding the marketing of the Thief River Falls area for their businesses, birding, hunting, and helped the area become a destination for travelers. She also worked as Activities Assistant and Oakland Park Nursing Home and at Thief River Falls Chamber of Commerce where she was certified with OSHA.
    Throughout the years, Diana was lovingly known as “Granny.” She loved people, cooking, reading, (especially cookbooks) gardening, sewing and baking. Granny tried to live by her motto: I shall only pass this way but once, if therefore any good that I can do, let me do it now, for I will not pass this way again. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls where she taught Sunday School and also was a member of the Eastern Star where she served as Royal Representative to the Province of Ontario.
    Survivors include her son, Matthew Josephson; grandchildren, Matthew Jr., David, Tony (June) Quevado, Justin Blilie, Sherry (Mark) Borsheim, Kelly (Denise) Josephson; several great-grandchildren; siblings, Ronald (Lynn) Ellingson, Lana (Neal) Sandahl; sisters-in-law, Marian and Sharon Ellingson; her special friend, Lars Wiseth; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
    She is preceded by her husband, Lynn; children, Scott, Linda, Steve and a set of twins in infancy; daughter-in-law, Christine; grandson, Eric; parents; brothers, Larry and Arlen; and many friends.
    Granny wants everyone to know that in her death she finally gets a vacation!
    Family condolences may be sent to www.johnsonfuneralservice.com
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