Diane Marie Sheppard (Hoffman), born 1948, passed away at home on April 1, 2021, with family and friends at her side, after a brief but valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. The daughter of the late James E. Hoffman and Gloria M. Hoffman, Diane grew up in Lancaster, Ohio. She married her high school sweetheart, Edward, then lived and worked in Columbus for many years before settling in her beloved Granville in 1984.
Diane pursued several passions through the course of her life, though her devotion to her only son, Blake, was singular. She spent countless hours supporting him as an equestrian and competitive swimmer during his youth and prioritized him above all else. More recently, she loved being a grandma to his young children, Rory and Charlotte. In her final days, while recounting the many ways in which that devotion had continued, a friend suggested that she had been an awesome mom, to which Diane replied, “I AM.” Truer words were never spoken.
Beyond her identity as a mother, Diane was an accomplished horse woman, riding with the Rocky Fork Headley Hunt for many years. A gifted lover of animals, she raised and cared for numerous horses, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, and a llama on the 11 acres she called home for the bulk of her time in Granville before moving closer to the village later in life. With the exception of an unruly goat that spent a brief time on the property, Diane's menagerie was tremendously obedient, a testament to her gift and exceptional care.
Her wooded home glowed brightest at holidays, and Christmas in particular, when she would deck the halls to the nines, light candles in the windows, entertain friends and family, and distribute her delicious baked goods to neighbors and friends. Easter was a special time of year as well, when the Sheppards annually hosted one of the largest egg hunts in the village. Though sometimes quiet or seemingly reserved, she was a deeply loyal friend with a dry, sarcastic wit, adept at throwing verbal jabs (as any of her friends can attest). She was also an avid supporter of the arts, whether it be cinema, musical theater, or concerts and particularly loved the sounds of Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, and Josh Groban.
Diane is survived by her son, Blake, daughter-in-law, Erin, grandchildren, Rory and Charlotte, of Chevy Chase, MD, ex-husband, Edward, of New Carlisle, OH, and several dear friends who cared for her to the end and for whom Blake, Erin, Rory and Charlotte are deeply grateful. Although her life was cut short, she looked forward to being reunited with her dad, mother, and her many pets.
A memorial will be planned in Granville, Ohio. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to The James Fund for Life at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center or The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center.
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The James Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University
1480 W. Lane Ave., Columbus OH 43221