Shrewsbury – Diana M. “Heidi” Wolf, of Shrewsbury, died peacefully Monday, May 23, 2016 at UMass Memorial Medical Center with family members at her bedside. She was 77. She was predeceased by her parents, Harry F. Wolf and Alice Constant Francis Wolf; her grandmother, Amy Alice Wilson; and her brother, Harry F. Wolf Jr.
Heidi was the founder and president of Speaking American, a nonprofit that encouraged public speaking for young students (grades 3-8) throughout Massachusetts. Under the pen name DMH Wolf, Heidi wrote “The Art of Public Speaking,” which was published online in 2013 in celebration of Speaking American’s 15th anniversary (www.speakingamerican.org).
Heidi’s earlier publications, “A Bird’s Eye View of the Statue of Liberty” and “We the People,” introduced Lorenzo the Parrot and Honeybees Tye and Sy as guides for young readers exploring the concepts of freedom and the U.S. Constitution.
Heidi graduated cum laude from Vassar College in 1961 and earned an M.A. in Political Science from Yale University in 1964. She taught at Vassar in the Department of Political Science before going to work in Congress to experience government in action.
In the House of Representatives, Heidi started in the office of Peter Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), then transferred to the office of Charles Goodell (R-NY) and remained there when he became a U.S. Senator. A highlight of Heidi’s political work was as a research assistant for Henry Kissinger in 1968 when he was Director of the Harvard University International Seminar.
Following her government career, Heidi worked in public relations at the M. Herst Agency in New York City from 1986-1989. Her interest in languages led her to teach ESL at Berlitz in Boston in the 1990s. She was an avid language learner all her life and studied French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Chinese. Improving her proficiency in these languages kept Heidi busy and brought her much joy in her later years. Another of Heidi’s lifelong passions was developing and nurturing a perennial rock garden, moving and adding different plants as she expanded its boundaries.
When given the opportunity, Heidi loved to travel and enjoyed trips to the Grand Canyon, Bermuda, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, Africa, and the Arctic Circle. Her hobbies included taking photos and making note cards with special memories of home, family, friends, and nature. Heidi enjoyed literature, especially plays and poetry, and ascribed to the Baconian theory of Shakespearian authorship. She wrote a few of her own poems, as well.
Heidi was a member of the Col. Timothy Bigelow Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), dating her ancestry back to Revolutionary War Corporal Jedediah Tuttle.
She is survived by sisters Amy O’Leary, Alice Canty and husband Edward J., Patricia Wolf, and Pamela Brazauskas and husband Joseph A. , all of Shrewsbury; brothers John Wolf and wife Linda (Brousseau) of Long Island, N.Y. and Tony Wolf of Shrewsbury; 16 nieces and nephews; and nine grandnieces and grandnephews.
At Heidi’s request, she was brought to her much-loved home at “Wolfcrest,” where her family gathered privately to honor, remember, and celebrate her life. Burial followed in Mountain View Cemetery. A Celebration of Life ceremony will be announced at a later date.
At Heidi’s request, donations may be made in her memory to the DAR Chapter House “The Oaks,” 140 Lincoln St., Worcester, MA 01605 or the Shrewsbury Senior Center, 98 Maple Ave., Shrewsbury, MA 01545.