Northborough – (Alice) Diane Grandin, 83, passed on September 28, 2023, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. She will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She was predeceased by her husband of 48 years, Hartley Theodore Grandin, Jr.
She is survived by her daughter Jennifer Grandin MacNeil, son-in-law, David; her son Joel Robert Grandin, daughter-in-law, Michelle; and 4 grandchildren Benjamin and Matthew MacNeil and Mia and Henry Grandin. Diane is also survived by her brother-in-law John Grandin and his family in Wakefield, RI. She was predeceased by her older sister Carol Smith, whose family lives throughout Massachusetts and Maine.
Diane was the daughter of the late William Joseph Smith, Jr. and Alice Violetta McKeown. Born as Alice Diane Smith on May 23, 1940, in Worcester, MA, she always went by her middle name of Diane. Her appreciation of family importance was ingrained at a young age, as Diane’s father died when she was only 3 years old.
Her experience with grief and lack of basic needs was transformed into a giving and loving spirit as her empathy and assistance to others became a framework for how she lived her life. She spent her life watching people’s eyes and reading into what they needed. She shared her welcoming smile freely with every person who came near her, and constantly sought out the positives and kindnesses in others that she could compliment and bring to their attention. She also spent 20+ years serving on what is now known as Northborough Helping Hands to extend aid to families, seniors, and nursing home residents who needed assistance.
She graduated from the first class at Wachusett Regional High School in 1958, receiving the Daughters of American Revolution Good Citizen’s Award chosen from five attending towns of the regional school. She graduated from Worcester State College in 1962 and was a member of Kappa Delta Phi Honor Society. In 1967, she received her Masters of Education through taking night classes.
Her love for Ocean Park, ME started with large extended family vacations there. For 5 summers after high school, she worked as a chambermaid at Ocean Park’s Webfoot Inn. It was during this time she met her husband Hartley. He always made her laugh until her stomach hurt. They were married on May 29, 1965 in Worcester, MA.
Her career was as a teacher. She taught 5th grade in West Boylston for four years (1962-1966) and Remedial Reading for grades 1-6 in Northborough, MA for 3 years (1967-1969). Once her children were grown, Diane worked for 9 years in an administrative position at Yankee Atomic Electric.
Her mother was one of ten children, and Diane cherished her large extended family and was very close with her cousins. She became the family historian spending more than a decade on genealogy – an incredibly detailed project that connected her with hundreds of family members throughout her life to create an amazing documented family tree as part of her legacy.
Diane was very talented at a wide variety of handwork and crafts from knitting, baking, sewing, rug braiding, caning chairs, basketry, and upholstering furniture. She was a member of Northborough’s Trinity Church for over 50 years and held various roles in the church education, community meals, and outreach.
She lived her last years at Beaumont Nursing Home in Northborough surrounded by loving caregivers and residents who became dear friends and quite literally stood by her, and our family, as she passed from this life.
She will be greatly missed.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, October 11, between the hours of 5-7PM, at Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main Street, Northborough. Diane’s funeral will be held at 11AM on Thursday, October 12, at Trinity Church, 23 Church Street, Northborough. Burial in Howard Street Cemetery will be private.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to a charity of your choice.
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