Dianna was the daughter of Joseph Calvin Henslee II and Barbara Wynona Gaskins Henslee. She born on August 23, 1942 in Clovis, NM. Eleven days after Dianna was born, her mother died due to complications during the birth. Dianna was a twin, but the twin did not fully develop, causing Barbara to die of gangrene. They were unaware there were two “Dianna’s”!! Can you even imagine what the world would’ve been like, had there been two?!
Since Jospeh had to report back to the US Navy, Barbara’s brother, Otho Gaskins and his bride, Mary Handley Gaskins, lovingly took Dianna in as their own. She would oﬃcially become their ﬁfth child and change the course of history, meaning she “would not have met Fred, had DiGi or Dana, or would have know her Savior. I am thankful for the sacriﬁce they made for me.” Those are Dianna’s words!
She grew up in Hurlwood, TX, just south of Reese AFB, west of Lubbock, and attended Friendship
Schools, when K-12 was just one building on main street in Wolﬀorth, TX. Upon graduating, Dianna moved into an apartment in Lubbock with her two besties, Sharon “Skeet” McWhorter and Sarah Reynolds. They were and still are referred to as “The Three Musketeers”! What fun times they had and the stories STILL keep popping up about their adventures! They deﬁnitely lived life to the fullest.
During this time, Dianna worked at the Texas Tech Ticket oﬃce, where she enjoyed getting to know the coaches and players. She loved that job.
Unbeknownst to Dianna (or Fred!) “Fritz” Jack, Fred’s daddy and the mayor of Wolﬀorth at that time, gathered a few good “fellas” to take Fred to Lubbock to meet someone, since he had just returned from serving our country in the Marines. That is the night Dianna met the love of her life, Frederick McCoy Jack, Jr. They married on March 7th, 1965 at 78th and University Church of Christ, with George Calvert oﬃciating. A few days after they married, they moved to Muleshoe TX, where Dianna began her life as a “DPS wife”. She became a dental assistant while Fred was a highway patrolman. It wasn’t until many years later, we found out how much she hated dentistry, but encouraged DiGi to enter the ﬁeld! They soon moved to San Antonio, where Fred served as security with DPS at the World Hemisphere. During their short time there, Fred and Dianna started their family. They soon moved back to Lubbock, where DiGi Dianne was born on November 16, 1968. During this time, Fred began his work as an undercover narcotics oﬃcer, where they moved from Lubbock, to Houston, to El Paso, back to Lubbock, to Dallas, and ﬁnally back to Lubbock, where they stayed for 45 years. They moved 22 times the ﬁrst 10 years they were married! So, technically, Dianna was a professional packer and mover! When they were in Houston, Dianna gave birth to Dana D’Nan on April 12, 1973.
When they moved back to Lubbock in 1978, Dianna worked as an Executive Assistant to diﬀerent Oil and Gas owners and executives.
On the Texas Tech Football game days, Dianna worked in the ticket oﬃce with Carol Baker, Becky Brown Hammonds, and other friends. These weekends were monumental for Dianna and her family, as they would all get to attend the games and watch each one from north end zone. That was a BIG deal to them! Her last professional job was as an executive secretary at an accounting ﬁrm in Lubbock.
When she retired, she was DONE!! She loved being retired and having NO routine! However, she did enjoy delivering Meals On Wheels with Skeet, and serving as a Deacon and an Elder’s wife at Quaker Ave Church of Christ. She and Fred served Quaker since the mid 1980’s.
On a fun note, just as she hopped around from hair stylist to hair stylist (often referred to, lovingly, by her daughter as “the hair cut slut”) she bought clothes and returned them, bought and returned, bought and returned, often ﬁnding nothing to wear in her closet, or so she said. Dianna always had great style and taste in everything she did and loved hosting everything from bridal showers, to dinner, to simple get-to-gathers. She was the ultimate “people person”! Her family and friends knew her as a fun and vibrant character, who also enjoyed a great practical joke at other’s expense. But, to be fair, she also thrived making others feel welcome, signiﬁcant, loved and important.
She absolutely loved sharing time (today, we’d call it mentoring, but Mom was anything but
“formal”) with some of the college aged girls from church. She loved hearing their stories of life and the crushes they had going on. She gave them a shoulder to cry on and much needed wisdom when warranted. We recently heard this quote that sums up the way Mom would speak listen to others…..
Speak in such a way that others love to
Listen to you.
Listen in such a way that others love to
Speak to you her ear and loving heart.
The “adult” side of her, loved her family ﬁercely. She could keep a secret until death, always had a listening ear, and was loyal beyond any expectation. She had the gift of listening intently without passing judgement and loving unconditionally. She found a silver lining in any situation, and walked securely in her faith knowing and trusting God would take care of her.
However, deep down, Dianna was a child at heart. Her happiest moments were simply playing with her grandkids. She loved hiding Easter eggs, actually having them hidden for her over, and over and over, and over again! She never got tiredof looking for them……but, the Grandkids gottired of hiding them! She loved playing hide and seek and she was seriously good at it!
During their later years, while taking care of Fred, her incredible level of determination and perseverance shined at their best. She wanted things to appear as if nothing was wrong, and did so for many years, until it could no longer be hidden. But by golly, she was determined make things look “a-ok”! We now realize, it wasn’t a pride issue but she never wanted to be a burden for anyone.
Determination and perseverance have been a steady principle in her life from leaving home at an early age, working through adversity in her professional life, and ﬁnding her real dad (even before computers were a thing). The best example of these became apparent in keeping their marriage strong, all the while all others around them (in the narcotics department) were ruined from the stresses of the work they were involved in. Dianna was extremely hard headed but she used it for good.
Family was at the heart of Dianna’s life. She adored her daughters, DiGi Jack Shriver (Phillip) and Dana Jack Johnston (Jason) and took great joy in being a fun-loving, vivacious and supportive mom. Her grandchildren, who referred to her as NaNa, are J Avery Shriver, Caden
“Drew” Shriver, Sara Grace Shriver, Emma Hope Shriver, Gabe Johnston, Jack Johnston and Henri Grace Johnston. They were the light of her life, bringing incredible joy and happiness. Dianna also held a special bond with her sister Jo McNabb (James) (they were neighbors for 18 years!) and a brother she absolutely adored, Jack Gaskins (Ann), along with her sister-in-law, Amy Gwen Gaskins, and 17 beloved nieces and nephews. She is preceded by her parents, Otho and Mary Gaskins and Joseph Henslee II, a brother, Jerry Gaskins, and a sister, Myrt Gibson.
The memory of Dianna will be cherished forever by all who knew her. Her warm smile, kind heart, and unwavering aﬀection for her family and friends have left an indelible mark on their lives.
Dianna will be remembered as a pillar of strength and as a woman who consistently put the needs of others before her own. We are SO Thankful that our Mom is now seeing by sight what she once saw by faith and she is no longer bound by the struggles she experienced late in her life.
In honor of Dianna’s life, her family requests that memorial donations be made to Quaker Avenue Church of Christ, 1701 Quaker Ave., Lubbock, Texas 79416