In Memoriam: Diane Dill, 1936-2023
Rose Diane Dupree was born on July 21, 1936, in Gilmer, Texas to Jake and Ruth Dupree. As the only child of Jake and Ruth, she was the apple of their eyes. Diane loved athletics and the outdoors. She played football in the front yard with the boys in the neighborhood, always being the quarterback. She played baseball and tennis, and at the age of 14, she discovered true excitement in golf. She would play with her parents and other kids who were around.
Diane attended Gilmer schools while growing up. She was in the Gilmer Buckeye marching band, where she played trombone. Gilmer is home to the cherished tradition known as the East Texas Yamboree. It is a good-old fashioned small-town festival. It typically draws over 100,000 people to the small community. The annual four-day event is held each October to celebrate the yam cash crop. In 1953, Diane was selected to be Queen Yam XVI. She presided over the Queen’s coronation and the Queen’s parade and all the festivities during the Yamboree. The floats are built by Upshur County Schools. The float that wins First Place is the Queen’s Float in the parade on Saturday. Diane always loved this fabulous experience in her young life and being Queen Yam. She loved her East Texas roots.
After graduating from Gilmer High School, Diane attended the University of Texas. She was a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and earned a Bachelor of Business degree.
After Diane graduated from the University of Texas, she started playing golf with local friends. Wanting to be more competitive, she started taking lessons from a golf pro at the Humble Country Club in Pasadena. He helped refine her swing. His name was Bill Dill. Not only did Diane love golf, she loved and adored Bill Dill. The feeling was mutual, and Diane and Bill married in June 1963. Although Bill was 11 years older than Diane, it was a match made in heaven. They were inseparable and shared a love of hunting, fishing, traveling, cooking and of course, golf. Together they became the stars of Bentwater Country Club. Many of their closest friends are gathered today in Diane’s honor.
The team of Bill and Diane taught so many to play and enjoy golf. Diane’s amateur legacy is impressive, as she had 14 holes in one and played in two US Women’s Amateurs. She won six Women’s Senior Strike Play tournaments and captured the Super Senior and Legends Divisions three times. When Diane could no longer play because of a back injury, she volunteered for the Women’s TGA and attended the USGA Rules School. Volunteering for the TGA allowed her to be on the courses with young ladies at the collegiate and professional level. Diane volunteered at over 20 events and helped the TGA conduct top tier women’s championships. Diane was a TGA Director on the Women’s Committee, as well.
In 1958, Diane began her career with Humble Oil, which became Exxon. She joined the Marketing Department. Who could have been better to be an ambassador for the company than a talented, organized, and friendly young lady with a degree in business from the University of Texas?
In 1977, Diane became an analyst in administration where she handled management development and compensation.
Diane retired in 1988, after 30 years of service and received many professional accolades over those years.
In her leisure time, Diane found joy and great passion in golf. Her competitive spirit, drive and determination made her a shining star for others to follow. Her devotion to golf brought respect and honor to her while impacting many others along the way.
Dear Diane lived a dream life, a full life by every measure. She was showered with God’s countless blessings of having doting and loving parents, having a marriage to her wonderful soul mate, Bill Dill, living an honored professional life, and being surrounded with loving family and friends.
Diane is survived by her stepson Johnny Dill and his family Tara Ward, Brian Stewart, and daughter Ava, stepdaughter Mary Lou Dill, and is predeceased by stepdaughter Billie June Wilson, cousins Mike and Cathy Bullard, Courtney Duperier and husband Chris, Ross Bullard and their families, cousins Paul and Beverly Rowntree, Christopher and Brandi Rowntree, Michael and Alicia Rowntree, Matthew and Rachel Rowntree and their families.
May the Lord Bless you and keep you, Diane.
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