Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Reverend Diane Steffer
Reverend Diane DeMoisey Steffer
April 15, 1937 – October 20, 2015
Reverend Diane DeMoisey Steffer, beloved mother, wife, relative and friend, died in Mt. Sinai Hospital, Toronto after a month-long valiant struggle, having survived since 2001 attacks of chronic bone marrow leukemia; breast lumpectomy; two hip replacement surgeries; Mohs and bladder tumour malignancies. This time teams of oncological and infection doctors in two major teaching and research hospitals in central Toronto were unable to save her. She had indomitable faith and perseverance.
The daughter of the late Dorothy (Downing) DeMoisey (born) Lexington, Kentucky and John Rivolette DeMoisey (born) Walton, Kentucky, Diane was born in Lexington. She leaves in grief Robert, her husband and partner of 55 years; brother John DeMoisey,Lexington, Kentucky; daughter Erika Steffer (Marco Blefari), Toronto; son Beauregard Steffer (wife Jennifer}, Guelph, Ontario; granddaughters Abigail and Alexandria, Guelph; her niece Liz DeMoisey, Orlando; cousins John Meyers and Sandy Meyers Bennett and several DeMoisey cousins.
Moving from Transylvania University to Georgetown College (Kentucky), she completed the Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at the University of Kentucky. She attended Lexington (Kentucky) Theological Seminary for one year, subsequently earned Kentucky lifetime teachers’ qualifications, and a Master of Arts (Library Sciences) from Indiana University.
Diane’s professional callings were mainly centered in the life and work of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. During seminary in Kentucky she was a student Junior High Youth Director at First Christian Church, Frankfort, Kentucky (1958-60). She taught junior high school English at Fort Knox(1961-64), and worked in research and editing at the Bloomington campus of Indiana University (1964-67). Jointly appointed with Robert by the Division of Overseas Ministries (today Global Ministries), the Steffers served as Overseas Associates for the Churches of Christ of Great Britain and Ireland (1976-79), where they were seconded to the beautiful Lake District of Cumbria. Diane later was Secretary to the President of the Division of Overseas Ministries of the Christian Church and held Corporation and Deputation Secretaryships (1982-1987). During part of Robert’s 1987-1997 tenure as National Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Canada, Guelph. Ontario, she was Office Secretary.
In the early 1990s, Diane served a term as National President of the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada. Soon after, in 1994-95, she served as Interim Pastor of Hillcrest Christian Church in Toronto. In retirement she and Robert worked closely together as interim co-pastors of historic Eureka Christian Church in Illinois, and co-curators of historic Cane Ridge Shrine in central Kentucky for over eight years (1998 – 2006). At time of death, she was an Auxiliary Minister at Hillcrest Christian Church in Toronto.
Diane loved a good laugh, was a gracious host, avid mystery reader, keen learner, enthusiastic supporter of local sports teams and left-leaning political figures, storyteller and along with Robert, a passionate lover of arts, culture, and British history. She was once a member of Kappa Delta sorority, was honored by the Christian Church in Canada in 2014 with the George Stewart Award for national and international service and was named a Kentucky Colonel by a Governor of the Commonwealth. She held dual citizenship of Canada and the United States. Diane and Robert returned many times to visit Cumbria, traveled as a younger family in Europe, in retirement in the United States and Canada, and to Thailand, China and Italy. Her plants and their waterfront condo home overlooking Toronto’s inner harbor gave her much joy. She loved and nurtured her children to the end of her days.
A private family service was held on Saturday, October 24, 2015. A celebration of life memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Hillcrest Christian Church, 2 Vaughan Road, Toronto, Ontario, M6G 2N1.
Contributions in Diane’s memory would be welcome to Hillcrest Christian Church, (mailing address above) Cane Ridge Shrine, PO Box 26, Paris, KY 40362-0026 (http://www.caneridge.org), World Vision (http://www.worldvision.ca), Doctors without Borders (http://www.msf.ca), or a charity of one’s choice.
Condolences may be sent to her husband, Robert Steffer, at 65 Harbour Square, Unit 2708, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2L4, Canada.