Diane L. Wirth, 88, passed away on Good Friday, April 15th, 2022. She has been reunited with her husband Harry and Granddaughter Andrea in the paradise of Heaven. Diane was born at home in Kimberly on November 22, 1933, the daughter of George and Marie (Allie) Vander Zanden.
Diane was the third oldest of nine children and spent much of her youth on Sidney Street. She graduated from Kimberly High School in 1951. That same year she met the love of her life, Harry Wirth, and they were married a year later on July 1st, 1952. They enjoyed almost 65 years of marriage until Harry’s passing on June 4th, 2017.
Diane’s early married years were in the Kimberly/Kaukauna area while Harry pursued a career in the baking industry. Subsequent moves to Florida and Waukesha culminated with the couple moving back to Kaukauna in 1969 to purchase Hill Top Bakery, now with eight children in tow. They had many challenges of owning their own business but with the help of all their kids it was truly a “family affair.” If Harry was the skilled baker in the back, Diane was most assuredly the friendly face of Hill Top in the front and was happiest when waiting on her customers. She was a smart businesswoman; and with a sharp mind for numbers there was no need for a calculator!
Diane was a true partner with Harry in the success of the bakery. They ultimately owned Hill Top for 26 years and sold the business to their daughter Lynn and her husband Mark in 1995. However, she continued to work many more years at the bakery to stay connected to the customers and the community.
Diane loved to play cards, gamble, and bowl. She was part of a close-knit group of high school girlfriends and their friendship lasted their entire lives. She also had a strong bond with her five sisters. The support and love they shared is to be envied by all. Diane was a social butterfly and many parties with friends were enjoyed through the years. She also loved to dance and was the only one who could keep up with Harry on the dance floor. They made a great pair on the dance floor and in life. Diane and Harry enjoyed many years at Legend Lake and built their dream home on the lake in 1991. Their “Sweet Retreat” home was a gathering place for family and friends. The numerous lake excursions on their “Party Hut” pontoon boat symbolizes the fun memories of their Legend Lake years. The Wirths were also seasoned travelers with trips to Acapulco, Las Vegas, and Aruba as special destinations.
Diane was always dressed to impress with her memorable perfectly coifed blonde hair, her glitzy jewelry, and her glamorous yet classy style. It was this signature look that affectionately earned her the nickname “Hollywood” from the caregivers at Century Oaks. She was full of energy, spunk, sass, and moxie, living life to the fullest.
Diane had a very special relationship with her youngest child Shari. Together they had their own rhyming language, enjoyed playing 500 rummy and loved to make each other laugh. Diane’s greatest accomplishment was her role as a loving Mom and Nana to 47 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and will endure as her lasting legacy.
Diane is survived by her children: Susan (Jim) Hill, Daniel (Vicki) Wirth, Thomas (Angela) Wirth, Timothy (Kathy) Wirth, Scott (Teri) Wirth, Lynn (Mark) Engel, Jay (Paula) Wirth, and Shari Wirth; 15 grandchildren: Jason (Ashley) Hill, Kimberly Stapleton, Nicole (Danny) Immel, Tyler Wirth, Landon (Nicole) Wirth, Brenton Wirth, Jessica (Jeff) Flynt, Jennifer (James) Fashingbauer, Kelli (Peter) Staloch, Ryan (Brittney) Wirth, Faustine Engel, Miles Engel, Laura (AJ) Looker, Gabrielle Engel (significant other, John Luke Parlow), and Kevin; 24 great-grandchildren; 5 siblings: Joyce (Bob) Much, George Vander Zanden, Lynn Oatman, Alan (Samantha) Vander Zanden, and David (Pam) Vander Zanden, and other relatives and friends.
Diane was preceded in death by her husband and parents; a granddaughter: Andrea Wirth; and three sisters: Nancy Haas, Dickie (Ken) Schumacher, and Norene (Leon) Danke.
Diane’s family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Merici Awe and her nurse, Laura Looker (Granddaughter) and the staff at Heartland Hospice and Century Oaks for their care, compassion, kindness, and support (especially Ann, Tasien, and Wendy). Diane’s family would also like to thank Bonnie Oudenhoven and the staff at Fringe Salon in Kimberly, for the many, many, years of fabulous hair.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 am, on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 600 E. Kimberly Ave., Kimberly. Visitation will be on Tuesday at the church from 9:00 am until the time of the Mass. Interment will immediately follow the Mass at Holy Name Cemetery, Kimberly. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are appreciated to the Alzheimer’s Association.
We will miss you Mom! Until we meet again . . . Ooh la la and Lah-dee-dah!