Diane Reese was a three times cancer survivor when I met her in 2010. She had invited me to visit her sixth grade class at Bokoshe Elementary School. Nine out of seventeen students in her class had severe asthma.
Diane worked until Thanksgiving break of 2013. She died December 4, 2013 of a fast moving fourth type of cancer. She was sixty-one. Diane was a career educator at Bokoshe schools with over thirty-six years in the classroom. On December 20, 2013 the White House announced the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. Family members did not receive notice of the award until a writer from the Tulsa World called for an interview.
Diane lived with her husband Bill just down the road from the Making Money Having Fun LLC coal ash deposit site.
Last week when I was in Bokoshe I asked Bill to share some stories about Diane with me. "Diane had a natural thirst for knowledge. She always tried to be the best teacher she could be. She taught the kids about the health hazards of coal ash. She knew it was harmful to our community. In 2007 she began to suffer from cancer. We've had twelve to thirteen of our close neighbors die from cancer. I was in the room...right there holding her hand when she passed away...someday we will be smiling again together..."
be strong, be safe, Carlan