Diane Dicksteen: Fun and a laugh, helping animals and neighbors

| August 2, 2018 | 0 Comments


Diane Dicksteen likes to laugh — a lot — which is one of the reasons she ended up in Los Angeles and Windsor Village, albeit in a roundabout way.

“Born in Scotland, schooled in England, graduated in Canada, married in Los Angeles,” quipped Diane when asked about her route to Los Angeles.

At the end of World War II, Diane’s father, who was in the British Armed Forces, thought it would be safer for his pregnant wife to be in Scotland, away from any possible action in England. Soon after Diane was born, however, the family was back in England, where Diane went to primary school until the family immigrated to Canada when she was 12 years old.

In Canada, Diane loved ice skating and ice dancing, and was an instructor in both until a back injury prevented her from continuing.

Meanwhile, a young man, Shelly Dicksteen, whom she’d met and gone to school with in Canada, had moved to Los Angeles. He had been here nine years when he returned to woo Diane away from the Great White North to the land of palm trees, swimming pools and movie stars.

As Diane pointed out, he made her laugh and he already had a house here in the Southland, so she followed him down, moving into a home in Windsor Village, where she’s lived ever since.

Shelly was a computer expert before such things were popular, says Diane. She worked in office administration at what was formerly Fred Sands Realty. She continued when it became Coldwell Banker and then Prudential, before eventually retiring.

Now, at 76 years young, she has worked and lived in the neighborhood for at least 40 years. And she was always surrounded by dogs she and Shelly rescued, as well as “the one cat,” she laughs.

Love of animals

Diane’s style isn’t sitting still, and her love of animals prompted her to volunteer at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. She had the time, she says, and they needed the help.

In fact, she was involved in helping start sleepover and other overnight programs at the Zoo. When they first began the programs, the setup wasn’t conducive to spending the night on the grounds at the Zoo. It has since become one of the Zoo’s most popular programs. She volunteered there for 23 years.

Diane didn’t limit her involvement with animals to the Zoo and her rescue dogs, however. She and her husband also loved to travel to anywhere there were interesting animals to see. Borneo and Madagascar are just two of the stops they made to see the variety of wildlife that lives on our planet.

Windsor Village Association

Diane also didn’t limit her involvement in the community to furry friends. As president of the Windsor Village Association from 2010 to 2014, Diane was involved when the Historic Preservation Overlay Zone was created for Windsor Village, and also when Windsor Village and Fremont Place were redistricted from District 10 to District Four. The move ensured that the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council would be entirely in District Four.
Diane has also volunteered with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council Outreach Committee and the Friends of Harold A. Henry Park Committee.

Still active

Shelly passed away about 10 years ago, and Diane is down to one dog, Calli, but she is still active.

Every five years, she meets up with four close friends from other parts of the world and they take trips together. Diane also still keeps her hand in when it comes to community affairs.

She likes to go to meetings for the WVA and GWNC to keep informed. “I’m nosey,” she says. Currently she and others in WVA are working on getting people in the neighborhood acquainted with one another, and in reminding others to get their earthquake preparedness kits together.

She loves Larchmont, while lamenting the parking situation. But she makes the best of it, as one does.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: People

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *