Pure in spirit Diane Januszewski died at 87


Diane Januszewski, known for limitless love and kindness, as a beloved Lynbrook teacher and devoted mother and grandmother has passed at 87 years old on Oct. 21, 2022; she was born March 8, 1935. She is survived by her many children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

Januszewski gracefully worked a full-time job while getting a master’s degree, raising five children and keeping up with her busy husband, Oceanside High School coach Frank Januszewski. Diane invited Frank, a World War II, and Korean War veteran to a Springfield College Sadie Hawkins dance, where their courtship began. They were together for 61 years. In a past Herald interview Diane said, “He always made me happy; I can’t remember a time when we were really angry with each other.”

“She was truly magical,” wrote Diane’s daughter, Jill in her mother’s eulogy, “When I had children of my own, I went to my mom constantly for advice. I worried when they were little that I was way too selfish to give them the kind of love and attention our mom gave us.”

Januszewski will be remembered by friends, family and colleagues as a patient and understanding woman who was always laughing. On her online obituary tribute wall, fellow Springfield alum Barbara Dawes Rogers wrote, “Diane was an abiding friend and inspiration to all of her buddies at Springfield College. She was easy to love with that infectious smile, laugh and sense of humor.” 

In addition, fondly remembering the moments they “kept in touch throughout the years,” enjoying the “many reunions both on and off the campus.” Finally, Rogers writes, “Our numbers have diminished but our memories live on.”

Springfield Class of 1956 President Bob White also paid respects to his fellow classmate, saying, “She was a great classmate and always had a smile on her face and followed the SC tradition of always saying ‘hi’ when she met anyone. On behalf of the Class of 1956, we send our sincere thoughts to you and your family during this difficult period, and you will be in our prayers.”

Januszewski also had an elegance that is rare to find in a world of chaos such as this one. Jill writes of this special characteristic, “She had a purity that could not be soiled by the pains of this world. It was a permanent part of her foundation. Her way became even more impressive to me when I became an adult and learned more about her upbringing.”

This upbringing, one of upheaval and discord within the family, didn’t dull Januszweski to the inner and outer pains, but made her “more understanding of others, especially the difficult ones, because she understood the reality that you can never quite know how people are suffering inside. I have witnessed many times how her gentle manner tamed even the most savage beast,” Jill said. 

Caring for the world and its inhabitants, there was some difficulty in departing everything she cared and loved about. The day before her worldly departure she told Jill, “I want to go be with God and your dad so badly, but I don’t want to leave you all.” The next morning the family witnessed her, as always graceful, move out of this life and into the next one.

“My daughter Jane was privileged to be there. She said she felt at that moment that her grandma trusted us enough to let go of her life here and enter her new life,” Jill wrote, “That says a lot about my mom. She left when she knew we were ready to let her go, and she was assured that we would take care of each other,” Jill wrote continuing, “Thank you mom, for showing us how to love, how to live, and how to die, knowing the love we have for each other and the love God has for us, is real and eternal.”