Dian Heard Cole went into the heavenly presence of our Lord on July 1, 2020 after a twenty-three year battle with cancer. Dian is preceded into Glory by her parents James Lumpkin Heard and Asilee Daniell Heard, as well as her husband of fifty-two years Victor Stephen Cole. Survivors include her brother Jay Heard (Christine), sons Jeff (Mary) and Chad (Nikki), and daughters Shelley Andraos and Lauren Calderman (Robert). She was grandmother and Momma D to Joe Andraos, Grace Andraos, Caroline Cole, Stephen Cole, Crews Cole, Campbell Cole, Fisher Cole, and Tucker Cole, as well as her “adopted” grandson James Johnson. She is also survived by countless nephews and nieces.
Dian was born in Atlanta on her father’s birthday of July 12 in 1942. She was raised in the Atlanta Public Schools, graduating from Southwest High in 1960. She attended the University of Georgia and witnessed first hand the integration crisis of UGA, having lived in Myers Hall. The events left a mark on her life, inspiring her to pull for the underdog and those who want to better themselves, no matter the race.
Dian and Steve married in 1963 at Audobon Forest in southwest Atlanta. She became a teacher and, as they followed his career in hospital administration and began a family, a homemaker. She returned to the classroom as an elementary gifted teacher in the Fayette County School System in 1982. Dian had a high standard of expectation for her students, colleagues, and administrators. She was adamant about making her gifted students’ education a top priority, not being afraid to hold her colleagues and administrators accountable for challenging her students. She retired from education after her second round of cancer with a total of twenty-six years in the classroom.
Dian spent her retirement working in her yard, enjoying her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, renovating her properties in Hilton Head, finding deals in thrift stores, and undertaking the Heard and Daniell genealogy. Her green thumb was amazing. Her knowledge of family history was extensive. Her ability to tell the truth was poignant.
Dian would not let the years of illness define or hinder her. She remained relentlessly active, often to the chagrin of her children. Though her body was weak, Dian’s active mind and strong will drove her to be productive until just days before her passing.
A graveside service will be held for family at Westview Cemetery on July 18 at 10:00 am with Pastor Jim Ellison officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Dian’s honor to Restoration Atlanta, which provides support for women and children transitioning out of homelessness. Please give at www.restorationatl.org or by mailing a check to 2836 Springdale Road Atlanta, GA 30315.
Hamilton Mill Memorial Chapel 770-945-6924 Share memories of Dian at hamiltonmillchapel.com