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Tue, Oct. 26

Obituary: Diane Elizabeth (Owens) O'Connor

Diane Elizabeth (Owens) O'Connor, 72, of Prescott Valley, Ariz., passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loved ones. She had bravely battled lymphoma but finally succumbed on March 8, 2013, two days short of her 73rd birthday.

She was born March 10, 1940, in Carbondale, Pa., to Roland and Gwendolyn Owens and grew up in Carbondale, the family then moving to Rochester, N.Y. It was there she met and married Ralph Ruoff, and they had three children, Chris, Cindy and Tim. In 1983, she moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where she would meet the love of her life, Jerry O'Connor. They were married in 1986, and recently celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary together.

Diane was preceded in death by her brother, Jeffrey Owens, father Roland Owens, sister Nancy Fischer, and her mother Gwendolyn Owens. In addition to her husband, Jerry, she is survived by her sister Jane (Paul) Slick of Emmaus, Pa., sister Susan (Vern) Loveless of Rochester, N.Y., and her brother-in-law Karl Fischer of Chatham, Mass. She is also survived by her son Chris (Kathy) Ruoff of Irvine, Calif.; daughter Cindy Ruoff of Prescott Valley, Ariz.; son Tim (Betsy) Ruoff of Glendale, Ariz.; stepson Jim (Sandy) O'Connor of Gilbert Ariz.; stepson Michael (Lily) O'Connor of Chandler, Ariz.; and stepdaughter Christine Merrill of Phoenix, Ariz. She leaves four grandchildren, Danielle Lane, Elizabeth Rudick, Nicholas and Travis Ruoff, as well as three great-grandchildren, Kamryn Blakeslee, Scarlett Lane and Atticus Rudick. She also leaves eight step-grandchildren, Julie and Kyle Leroue, Orren Singh, Lauren Longacre, Sevrin, Jimmy, Elizabeth, and Reagan O'Connor.

Diane was a loving wife, sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend. She was passionate about her gardening and cooking, and in earlier years, sailing on her boat "Dama" (Diane and Jerry were members of the Arizona Yacht Club). Above all, she loved being with all of her family and spending time playing with her "grands" and "great-grands." She will be missed terribly, but her spirit lives on with each and every family member, and other lives she touched every single day.

The family will be holding a private memorial service at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Diane's name to the Good Samaritan Marley House in Prescott, Ariz., who provided her with loving hospice care over the last two months of her life. Donations can be made online at

Sunrise Funeral Home assisted with the arrangements. Please visit to sign Diane's guestbook.

Information provided by survivors.

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