Diane Reiff


Diane K. Reiff was born in Sioux City, Iowa, on May 21, 1950, to Jack and Margaret (Sardeson) Dowd. She grew up in Sioux City and upon completion of high school she went to the University of Iowa to study social work. It was there in Iowa City, where she met the love of her life, David Reiff. They married at her parent’s home in Sioux City in 1971 and moved to Fairfield to start a family when David purchased a grain elevator.

When her children were young, Diane ran a preschool in her home called Cricket Corner, which served many families in the community. She worked on the Fairfield square at Young America, and later at Kim’s Kottage. She honed her love of flowers, and all things gardening, at Fairfield Flower Shop for several years.

Family was everything to Diane and she was an extremely selfless mother and grandmother. Her greatest accomplishment in life was her family and she was incredibly proud of her three daughters and five grandchildren.

She was active in community service her entire life, serving as a Deacon at the First Presbyterian Church, where she loved nothing more than the Jazz Service. She was a longtime member of the Fairfield Chapter C PEO sisterhood, where she led the Bereavement Committee for many years. She served on the board for the Fairfield Art Association, was a volunteer at Hospice of Central Iowa, and a Booster Club volunteer where she supported the Concession Stand for the Fairfield Trojans. She spent many holiday seasons ringing the bell for the Salvation Army and made food and baked goods and served to those in need at Blessings Soup Kitchen in Ottumwa.

She was an animal-lover, enjoyed reading, flowers, gardening, traveling, her cats, baking, birdwatching, walking on the trail system in Fairfield, and riding her bike. Some of her happiest memories were sailing at Lake MacBride with her family on Sundays when her children were young.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Margaret Sardeson and her father, Jack Dowd. Also, by her stepmother Marceille Culbertson-Hoflund and her mother and father-in-law, Shirley and Stanley Reiff.

She is survived by her husband David of 52 years, her three daughters, Emily Reiff (and Jack Greiner), Molly Reiff and Lindsay Reiff (and Lucas Nickerson). Her grandchildren Gabriel and Nicholas Greiner, Ben and Hana Martlin, and Logan Nickerson; and by her sister, Kathleen Wates, of Benson, Arizona.

Thank you to friends who wrote, visited, brought food, and cared for Diane while she was sick. We appreciate your love and support. Special thanks to caregivers Dawn Poling, Jamie Haynes, Tammy Neff, Maija Liepa, Gennie Crawford, and EveryStep Hospice of Mount Pleasant.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Fairfield, Fairfield Chapter C of PEO, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Holden Cancer Center, or the charity of your choosing.

A private Celebration of Life will take place at a future date. Friends may leave online condolences at www.cranstonfamilyfuneralhome.com.

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