Diane Churches

March 31, 1930
November 12, 2021

Diane Elizabeth (Alsteen) Churches died on November 12, 2021 with her family by her side. She was born on March 31, 1930, in Antigo, Wisconsin to the late Irving and Zenaida (Fierst) Alsteen. Diane married Samuel J. Churches on February 3, 1950, at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral.  Together they raised three daughters Barbara, Kathy, and Gail.  Sam preceded her in death in May of 1991.

 Diane attended Cathedral Grade School and graduated from St. Joseph Academy, and worked at Oliver’s Ice Cream Shop during high school.  As a top student in her high school she was asked to join L.D. Schreiber Cheese Company as a secretary.  She worked there until the birth of her first child.  After her children were in grade school, Diane worked as the secretary at Danz Elementary School, where she will forever be known by hundreds of students as Mrs. Churches.

 Diane loved her God, her family, her friends, her crafts, and pizza.  She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, wife, and friend.  Once her children were grown, she never offered advice unless we asked.  And she shared the same opinion of every young man we ever brought home: “He seems like a nice boy.”  (Usually, she was right.)  She also created amazing clothes, purses, quilts, and afghans for her family and friends.  

 She is survived by her daughters, Barbara Smith, Kathy (Tim) Sullivan, and Gail (Rick) McNutt.  She is further survived by her grandchildren, Robert (Ashley) Smith, Catherine Smith, Sammi (Dan) Knetter, Molly (Steven) Babbitts, Bryan (Lauren) Sullivan, Andrew (Mallory) Pruess, and Rebecca Pruess.  Diane is also survived by her great grandchildren, Grace Knetter, Charlotte Knetter, Judah Smith, Elijah Smith, Hazel Babbitts, Fletcher Babbitts, Hope Sullivan, and Adelaide Pruess.  She is also survived by her sister, Sandy Lindsley. Diane is also survived by nieces, nephews, former sons-in-law, and dear friends from high school, from St. Bernard’s, from Silver Thimble, and from Danz School. 

 In addition to her parents and her husband Sam, Diane was preceded in death by her grandson, Matthew Pruess, her great-granddaughter, Faith Knetter, her brother-in-law, Tom Lindsley, and her very good friend, Anne Weege.   

 Visitation will be held at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 2040 Hillside Lane, from 9:30 to 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, November 17. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the church with Rev. Mark VanderSteeg officiating.  Entombment will be in Nicolet Memorial Gardens.  In lieu of floral expressions, please consider a donation to a charity of your choice in Mom’s name, or to the Green Bay Area Public Schools Education Foundation. Online condolences may be made to Diane’s family at www.prokowall.com.