At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Van Andel Institute
333 Bostwick NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
To be used for Cancer Research
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
This is a story of optimism, generosity and, more than anything, the incredible love of a wife, sister, aunt, mother and friend. For Diane Frede, life was not only defined by her words, but by her actions. She appreciated the nicer things in life, and her outgoing and spirited nature touched the lives of those around her.
Life in the United State was relatively quiet in 1954, a peace that was reflected in our culture. One of the best-selling non-fiction books was “The Power of Positive thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale. This book could have been the map for the life of a little girl born that same year.
In 1954, T.R. “Mickey” and Barbara (Steffe) Jewell were living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, working and raising their son, Larry. Barbara was pregnant with twins and on July 18, 1954, the first twin was born, a baby girl they named Debra. Three minutes later the second twin arrived, another beautiful baby girl they named Diane. Later Larry, Debra and Diane were joined by Cindy, who sadly passed away at an early age.
Diane and her siblings played and grew up on the northeast side of Grand Rapids. And like most siblings they made wonderful memories playing together, but also like most siblings there were some disagreements mixed in. Diane loved the family pets and had an especially soft spot in her heart for cats. The family spent many summer vacations on Brower Lake near Rockford, Michigan, where they would rent a cottage. Even as a young girl, Diane loved spending time with her family.
Because they were twins, when she and Deb were growing up they often wore the same clothes and had the same friends. But their mother encouraged each girl to have her own identity and develop her own personality. By the time they reached the 6th grade, the twins were doing just that, but always remained very close. They realized that if they wore different clothes, they had twice as many outfits to choose from instead of having two of everything. They continued to share their wardrobes with each other throughout their lives.
Diane attended Beckwith Elementary School on Leonard St. in Grand Rapids and went on to graduate from Creston High School. Diane loved music and while in high school and she and Debra sang in the high school choir. One year they even went on a trip to the East Coast with the choir. But her singing didn’t stop with just school. The family attended the East Leonard Baptist Church and Diane was a part of the church choir as well. Sometimes she would sing a trio with her sister and a friend. After the big meal on Sunday, Diane was supposed to help with the dishes, but somehow she always got a phone call and it seemed to last just long enough for someone else to finish the job.
Diane was never one to sit still for very long. After high school she took some classes at Grand Rapids Junior College and worked for a while at television station WZZM, scheduling commercial time slots. She also worked as a waitress at the Greenapple.
In 1975, Diane decided it was time to really be on her own and she moved into an apartment above a store on Diamond Avenue in Grand Rapids. She began working at Kroger’s Grocery Store as a cashier and her outgoing personality helped her make friends with everyone. She could be a bit of a flirt and was always smiling at the customers. But Diane was no wall flower. She freely spoke her mind and could be a bit of a bull dog if she felt very strongly about something. It was important to her to stay on task and keep her mind focused on what she was doing.
While working at Kroeger, Diane met a food broker named Dale Schneider. A friendship grew, which soon turned to love and they were married. Dale lived in Traverse City so the newlyweds made their home there. It was quite a ways from Diane’s family but she always managed to stay close and even returned to Grand Rapid to care for her sister’s family when Deb was in the hospital.
Diane loved the water from her younger days, and she and Dale bought a wooden motor boat. They belonged to the local boat club and most of their social life centered around the boat club and its members. They also did some camping together. During this time, she worked at Dale's family's grocery story as a clerk.
After the marriage ended, Diane returned to Grand Rapids. She had no difficulty finding a job as the Human Resource Manager for the Gaslight Village D&W Grocery Store. As fate would have it, Diane struck up a friendship with the manager of the meat department, David Frede. While talking one day they found out they lived very close to each other and, not afraid to speak her mind, Diane asked him to walk with her. Diane was into exercise and a walk with her was not a leisurely stroll but a good brisk walk. David had no difficulty keeping up with her and their friendship began to grow. They eventually realized that they were more than just friends and when David asked her to marry him, she said “yes”. The marriage took place at 10:10 on 10/10/1998 at the Noelle in Jamestown. They enjoyed a honeymoon at Lake Geneva in Wisconsin.
Although Diane had no children of her own, she gained a son and daughter when she married David. While between jobs, she decided to remodel their entire house. She had a real eye for design and did most of the interior painting herself. To get some ideas, Diane and David would visit other homes, looking for designs and furnishings they both liked. They decided to build a new house for the new family and both Diane and David were very involved in the building – from start to finish.
With the house completed, Diane went back to work at Beacon Staffing which later became Elwood Staffing. She held this job for fifteen years, becoming the Senior Staffing Specialist. She had a phenomenal mind for business and could remember appointments, names and numbers with no problem. She loved her work and the people she interacted with.
But as hard as Diane worked, she always had time for some relaxation. She loved flowers, and even on her walks she could be found pruning and weeding the flowers along the way. Now that she was back in Grand Rapids, she had more time for her family, especially her nieces and nephews. She loved talking on the phone, or going to the beach. And Aunt Diane could always be counted on to bring the good snacks - cold, crisp grapes and strawberry Twizzlers that always softened in the sun. She had a great eye for fashion and loved to shop. Even in the consignment stores, she would find a wonderful outfit with shoes, purse and jewelry to match. She could often be seen driving around in her white Mercedes convertible, and although she expected punctuality from others, she thought nothing of being “fashionably late” when she was going somewhere.
Diane loved being a grandmother and spoiling her grandchildren, along with her nieces and nephews. Special holidays always brought gifts, with the wrapping paper and cards meticulously matched. And she and David enjoyed their movie night together, watching mostly action and science fiction movies.
Straight forward, complimentary and uplifting, Diane was often a joy to be around. She tried to model a positive view, and friends even called a day that was all sun shine and no grey clouds - a day where everything went right, a "Diane" day. About three months ago Diane was diagnosed with cancer. Although she fought hard, Diane died on July 8, 2016.
She was preceded in death by her parents, T.R. “Mickey” and Barbara Jewell; and by her sister, Cindy Jewell. Diane is survived by her husband David Frede; her brother Larry (Jan) Jewell; twin sister Debra (John) Collier’ her “children” David (Rosie) Frede, Dawn (Scott) Tribolet; her “grandchildren” Isa and Sofie Frede, Gab by and Ali Tribolet; nieces and nephews Jennifer and Andy Venema (Ava, Ayden and Anderson), Josh and Dana Collier (Jaxson); as well as aunts, uncles and cousins. Friends are invited to visit with Diane’s family on Sunday July 10 from 4-6 PM and on Monday from 4-6 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Van Strien Creston Chapel where a service to celebrate her life will begin on Monday at 6 PM. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Van Andel Institute for Cancer are appreciated. To read more about her life, to share a memory or photo, or to sign her guestbook, visit www.lifestory.com.