Dianne Harwood

Dianne W Harwood

1939 - 2022

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Obituary of Dianne W Harwood

(nee Wenninger) passed away after a long illness on April 26th, 2022 at the age of 83. She was born on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th, 1939 to Marion Thomas Wenninger and Norman Wenninger in Snyder, NY. She was raised by her parents and her loving aunts and uncles (Henrietta and Chris Ulrich and Viola and John Fox) who all lived on the same street in Snyder. She recalled an ideal childhood with countless stories of going house to house on Walton Drive.

After graduating from Amherst Central High School in 1956, she was the first of her family to attend university and enrolled at the Buffalo State Teachers College. She made lifelong friends in her teaching program and graduated with honors in 1960 with a BA in Early Childhood Education with a teaching certificate. Later she went on to earn a Master's Degree also from Buffalo State University.

A talented and dedicated teacher for young learners, she started her career teaching second grade in Buffalo Public Schools. Later she worked at The Park School of Buffalo from 1974 to 1988. She then moved on to Heritage Centers working as the Assistant Director, where she championed advocacy and education for special needs students. Through her students and her countless student teachers she was able to advocate for children and the importance of early learning throughout her career. After retiring she enjoyed traveling with her husband of sixty years, Van Ness Harwood, and long visits to grandchildren. The family also spent every summer at Holloway Bay, Ontario, Canada from 1966 to 2012. The community there known as “The Kennels” became an extension of her family.  They later moved down the beach to Point Abino but stayed close with her fellow Kennelites.

She is survived by her husband, Van Ness Harwood, of Williamsville, NY. Together they raised three daughters, Elizabeth Kircik (Leon) of Louisville, KY, Lynda Swenson (Jens) of Seattle, WA, and Laurie Harwood of Buffalo, NY. Also surviving her is her younger brother, Charles Wenninger of Apollo Beach, Florida, and four grandchildren; Vanessa and Virginia Swenson, and Aram and Charles Kircik. 

Services will be held Friday, June 3rd at 11:00 AM at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY. Arrangements entrusted to JOHN E. ROBERTS FUNERAL HOME.