Diane Elizabeth Finch

DianeFinch onlineFINCH, Diane Elizabeth, died Jan 12, 2021.  Born in San Francisco, raised in Palo Alto she died of COVID-19 at the age of 87 in Santa Cruz, CA.  A life well-lived by a woman well-loved.

A San Francisco Bay Area native with a strong connection to Los Altos and the Los Altos School District, Diane will be remembered for her sharp wit, creative sensibility and commitment to education.

Diane loved learning.  Her education included Palo Alto High School, the University of Colorado, UC Berkeley majoring in Criminology and Stanford University for her graduate education program in administration.

Diane worked in the Los Altos School District for almost 35 years, as a classroom teacher and a principal.  For a time, she was the only woman administrator, working with 19 men.  She taught sixth grade and served as vice principal at Purissima and Loyola Schools.  She served as the principal of Oak, Covington, Almond and Loyola Schools, where she was known for infusing art into every aspect of the curriculum and for her high expectations for both students and staff members.  Her love for the arts led to the creation of the Arts Guild for the LASD which became part of the recommended guides that the State of CA adopted. 

She retired from the LASD in 1995.  Following her retirement, she worked as a consultant in the district and served as an interim principal at Bubb School in Mountain View.

Diane’s skill at building friendships was the result of her dynamic personality, great sense of humor, and passion for entertaining.  Her creativity showed up in everything she did.  She was an excellent cook, an incredible gardener, an accomplished pianist and a wonderful artist.  Cooking for friends brought her immense joy and to sit in her garden while sipping tea was always a special experience.  A recent art show of her black and white doodles demonstrated her inspiring drawing ability. 

Diane’s last years were spent in Santa Cruz, CA near her family where she spent many days on drives along the coast, having lunch on the wharf and enjoying her many visits from her dearest friends.

Diane is survived by her son, Bruce Finch of Pacific Grove, her grandson Jordan Finch and daughter by marriage, Jill Judd, both of Aptos as well as her nephew Grant DuBois and niece Deanna DuBois.  She was preceded in death by her brother Peter DuBois and beloved granddaughter, Jessica.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Los Altos Educational Foundation.

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