Diane Butler, née GARDNER; was born on June 8, 1954, to the union of Robert and Mary L. Gardner in Memphis, Tennessee. Diane’s parents relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the mid-1960s.
Diane accepted Christ as her Savior at an early age and was baptized at Greater Galilee Baptist Church in Milwaukee.
Diane received her formal education from Rufus King and later completed her High School Diploma at Milwaukee Area Technical College. She attended MBTI and obtained a General Business Administration Certificate. Diane worked over ten years as an Ophthalmologist Assistant and Office Manager in the Milwaukee & Madison region. She met Carl Butler and they were united in holy matrimony. Carl, Diane, and her children: Carmen, Lenore, and William moved to Madison, Wisconsin.
Diane returned to Milwaukee in the late 1980s. One of her greatest accomplishments upon returning to Milwaukee was becoming the first Gardner to obtain a college degree. Diane received an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice and inspired her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews to reach beyond her degree.
To know Diane, you had to experience her cooking, get “cussed out,” yelled at if you said something to her grandkids and dogs. Diane loved hard and was loyal to her family and friends. She loved her brothers and sisters dearly and she was very protective of them. One of her fondest memories of her childhood was creating stories, then reading them to her brother, James. A unique fact is that one of Diane’s poem was published in the Milwaukee Sentinel Newspaper. Diane’s passions were her dogs, cooking, traveling, bingo, shopping, watching HGTV & movies, and not to mention the occasional pick 4 and “scratch-off” tickets.
On October 31, 2020, Diane was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with COVID-19. She passed away from complications from COVID on Friday, December 4, 2020. She was preceded in death by her father Robert Gardner Sr., granddaughter Rachael Gardner, and younger brothers: Leon Gardner, Daren Avery, and Jeff Avery.
Diane leaves to cherish her memory: her mother: Mary L. Jones; daughters: Carmen Gardner-Jackson (Kelly) and Lenore Gardner (Milton); son: William T. Gardner; and grandchildren: Dante Cross (Mercedez), Martize Boyd, Dominique Luckett, Bryttanie Forbes, Shaquille Gardner (Katie), Kelly Cameron Jackson, Olajwan Veasy, Tiara Gardner, Kaitlyn Jackson, and Antelia Gardner; twenty-three great-grandchildren; surviving siblings: Robert Gardner, Mary Elizabeth Gardner-Harris, James Gardner, LaVerne Gardner, Anthony Gardner, Douglas Gardner, Jerome Avery, Lee Gardner, Chris Jones; three Aunts; one Uncle; over thirty nieces & nephews, a host of cousins, friends, and a special sister-friend Deborah Butler.
Visitation at Krause Funeral Home, 9000 West Capitol Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, from 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM. Service 11:00 AM. Burial at Graceland Cemetery.