In Memory

Diann Kuhni (Smith) VIEW PROFILE

Fae …. Thank you for the notification.  So sorry to hear that sad news.  I’m copying Bob Valentine and will request that he send a blast to our classmates.  Thank you for letting me know.  I hope all is well with you and your family.  Hopefully this virus will blow over and we’ll be able to get together in July for our reuinion.

Love and Blessings!

Jim  Griffiths, St. George Utah

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Fae Beck
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 7:05 PM
Subject: Death

Jim, Diann Kuhni Smith passed away yesterday in Connecticut.  Irene told me she died from congestive heart failure.  That is all I know.
Fae Clarkson Beck
Sent from my iPhone

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04/16/20 01:32 PM #1    

Robert Y Valentine


Thanks for sending along the information about Diann Kuhni Smith.  I'm sorry to hear the news, but appreciate knowing.  We lived in Lewiston, N.Y for 5 1/2 years before moving to California.  The Smith family was in our ward in in Lewiston!  I became good friends with Diann at that time, then we moved away and they moved away, so we lost track of each other.  Our daughters were playmates.  I'm always curious about the cause of death of our classmates but we know Diann died of congestive heart failure.  It would be interesting to know the statistics.   

Lamar and I have avoided the Coronavirus so far.  Going a little stir-crazy here at home, but you do what you have to do.  Our cruise to Norway in June was cancelled, of course, and we're very disappointed about that.  We have many blessings, so we're trying to be positive.  


I wish the best for you and your family.  Stay healthy! 🌷


Diane Moon🌛 4-16-2020

04/17/20 10:58 AM #2    

Robert Y Valentine

Richard Hintze sent these comments about Diann.
Wow that is a heart break!  Who didn't love Diann? 
We were friends from kindergarten through high school.
I have many fond memories of Diann,  her adorable laugh and her high level of cuteness!
Too bad that our paths did not cross much in our adult lives.  Unfortunately for most of us, we could say the same about most of our childhood friends!!
I hope we will have a most glorious 60th reunion soon!!

Richard Hintze

04/17/20 11:54 AM #3    

Byron K Nelson

I didn't know Diann, but I would always see her in the halls at Provo High School, thinking back about the only thing that stands out about Diann was she was such a beautiful person, and everytime I'd see her in the Halls I was to scared to say Hello, because of her beauty, I know she did a lot for the school when she was there and eveyone liked her, so sad, we've lost another one!!!

04/23/20 05:13 AM #4    

Robert Y Valentine

Diann Kuhni Smith Obituary


Diann Smith was born on a late summer day, September 6, 1942, in Provo, Utah to loving parents, Theron and Anne Kuhni. She arrived, trailing clouds of glory, with bright blue eyes, curly hair, and a precocious heart. As the oldest child, Diann proved to be a good example to her favorite (and only) siblings Kathy and Dallan. Her family was a circle of strength and love.

Diann was an exceptional student. She earned distinctions including Girls State Award Recipient, most promising high school business student, gifted stenographer and typist, (we’re convinced her elegant penmanship is a font), repeated radio-contest winner (they had to ask her to stop calling in and winning) and BYU scholarship recipient. She’s been a lifelong avid reader. (She never did believe Atticus Finch was a fictional character; she’s probably searching for him now.) But her advanced degrees were in championing the underdog and making everyone feel important. She took Maya Angelou’s observation straight to heart: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” We all feel better about ourselves because we knew Diann.

After meeting Craig Richards Smith (and secretly thinking he was “keen”), they dated for several years. Both felt lucky in love. So they married on June 2, 1960. They were sealed in the Manti Temple, a symbol of their desire to raise and maintain an eternal family. Craig and Diann welcomed seven children into their loving home, two of whom preceded Diann in death. No job or title mattered more to Diann than that of mother. It was easy to see that her children were her highest priority. When offered a church assignment that would take her away from her children all day on Sunday (at the same time their father was already serving in the Stake Presidency), Diann’s reply was honest and simple: “Who will care for my children?” Not surprisingly, she remained at home, underscoring a deep understanding of her most important calling: mother. She took her role of grandmother just as seriously. Diann sprinkled star dust over her grandchildren—she was a powerful force for good in their lives. Through the years, she reminded her children from time to time that Craig still made her heart go “pitter-pater.” Her family is her forever.

We were blessed to learn invaluable lessons from Lady Di during her 77 years. (She was a consummate teacher, ask any one of her esteemed early-morning seminary students.) Here are just a few keepers: always wear a slip, kindness is not optional, birthdays are like people: special, and if you have a coke, you really will have a smile. We won’t soon forget that pretty is as pretty does, motherhood is not for wimps, proper bed-making is an essential skill as is gift-wrapping that looks and smells as good as Diann does—oh, and if Alex Trebek and Jeopardy have no place in heaven, she may not stay. Diann taught us to give people, especially children, more strokes than pokes; she is a gifted complimenter to all, strangers included. Of course, there is an art to cleaning a toilet, laundering clothes, and thoughtfully decorating—all part of an inviting home.

Warmth is an important part of her good nature. Everyone felt comfortable around Diann. She did a good job of giving others the benefit of the doubt, (“Walk a mile in their shoes”—judge less, love more). Diann wrote this advice on our hearts: Praise is a far better motivator than criticism. Need we reiterate that she too is a champion of the forgotten, the outlier, the neglected, the awkward, and the overlooked? She wisely understood that friendship is a place you go to give, not take. She showed up, she listened, and she laughed. Love abides. Diann found good humor in the ups and downs of life. One of the most crucial lessons she taught us is that we can do hard things. Mental toughness is about finding fuel in an empty tank. (Strength and beauty are synonyms.) Most recently, she schooled us on enduring well to the end—don’t come empty handed: bring your positivity, your unselfishness, your grit, your indomitable spirit, your laughter, and your profuse light.

Diann has a deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ. Her light cannot be hid. Years ago, she attended a Regional Conference where she was blessed to meet Gordon B. Hinckley (a favorite of hers).

As she was being introduced by her Stake President, he indicated that Diann was a member of the church. The prophet promptly replied: “I can tell; it’s easy to see.”

We cannot say the smallest part of what we feel. Suffice it to say, if it’s true that, “A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others,” Diann is ready for the Lord to look at her beautiful heart.

A Utah memorial service will be announced at a later date, when it’s safe to gather together. Before then, Diann would love it if you’d hug a grandchild, offer a sincere compliment, give someone a hand up, be an irreplaceable friend, and most importantly, spend quality time with the people you love. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made on Diann’s behalf to Salt Lake’s Shriners Hospital for Children, where Dr. Kristin Carroll has provided invaluable assistance to her grandson Luke. (See details below.)

P.S. Mom, we know there will be no note from Heaven; thankfully, you will always be our mother.

Shriners by mail: 1275 E. Fairfax Rd., Salt Lake City, UT 84103, please write Diann Smith on check.

Shriners online: Type in url: on make donation/check box, gift in memory of/if it asks for an email, please use Thank you.

04/27/20 10:02 PM #5    

Kathy Davis (Clarke)

Diann Kuhni Smith and I were friends in elementary school.  We both attended Joaquin Elementary and were in Mrs William's 6th grade class.  One of my fondest memories was of our 6th grade fieldtrip to Bingham Copper Mine and Liberty Park where we could ride in the little swan boats on the pond with a boy if we were lucky!  Diann's mother had made her the cutest dress for the occasion!  It had a strapless slip under the see through dress and her mom had taped the top of the slip to Diann's skin.  I remember Diann adjusting and repressing the tapeseveral times during the day.  Her mother was very attentive and nurturing and must have been a great example of parenting for Diann.  Diann was always the cutest girl in the room and one of the smartest as well!


Kathy Davis Clarke 4-27-20

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