Diane C. Erickson Wohlhoefer Manz, 68, of Sparta, died Tuesday, December 15, 2015, at Tomah Nursing and Rehab Center. She was born at Winona General Hospital on June 10, 1947, to Vera and Percy Manz, and was nicknamed “Toodie.”
She married Dennis Wohlhoefer and moved to Sparta, Wis. She graduated high school and later attended La Crosse School of Beauty and became a licensed cosmetologist.
Diane and Dennis divorced and years later she married Larry Erickson. Diane also divorced Larry. Diane remained in Sparta for 37 years and raised her children. She also helped raised many others by being a foster parent, providing respite care, and also being the Monroe County emergency placement home.
She taught roller skating at the rink in Sparta and helped with snowmobile lessons. Diane worked at an ice cream/food stand similar to her parents “Pam’s Drive Inn” for several years. She was a bartender at a local tavern and supper club. She was the clothing manager at Big Bear. She also worked in the club system at Fort McCoy before, during, and after Desert Storm. She was an outside salesperson for Sally Beauty Supply.
In 2001, she returned back to the home in Winona she grew up in. She was employed at the Family Buffet. Her granddaughter, Sarena, lived with her for a period of time. Assisting in the raising of Sarena was the job that she enjoyed the most and didn’t consider it a job. It was a joy and pleasure to guide, teach, share, and love her every day.
On November 3, 2005, Diane was diagnosed with cancer. Her children, grandchildren, friends and support, and the cancer center aided in the determination needed to help fight it.
Diane enjoyed growing, working outside, and the upkeep to her plants, the rock gardens, and flowers. She enjoyed many activities with her family and friends: camping, boating, snowmobiling, hiking, cycling, amusement parks, and trips. She enjoyed cooking and normally cooked enough to feed an army.
Diane made memorial crosses for her deceased loved ones and corsages for special occasions.
Diane was a MOM to many and felt in a 100 years from now … it won’t matter what was in the bank account, the sort of house she owned, the kind of car she drove, but always hoped the world would be different because she was very important in a life of a CHILD!
Diane had two lifelong friends, Diana Cyert and Sherry Stokes. She was also a special mom to many pets throughout the years. She loved life and sharing hers with others.
Diane was a true survivor!
Diane is survived by her children, David Wohlhoefer, Dawn Kohls, Darren Wohlhoefer, and Devin Wohlhoefer, all of Sparta, Dustin (Danielle) Wohlhoefer, of Holmen, Wis., and Dayna Erickson, of Las Vegas, Nev.; 11 grandchildren, Jesse, Miranda, Jessica, Whitney, Cody, Jade, Kimber, Sarena, Destin, Daelyn, and John; two great-grandchildren, Jaelyn and Caleah; a sister-in-law, Judy Manz, of Inver Grove Heights, Minn.; two nieces and a nephew; foster daughter, Carla McBain; foster son, Daniel Riffy; and step-daughter, Chasity Erickson.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Donald Manz; an infant brother, David Dean; and her maternal aunt, Leola Spittler; and uncle, Fred Spittler.
A funeral service will be held on Sunday, December 20, 2015, at 2 p.m. at St. John’s Ev Lutheran Church, Sparta, with Reverend Mark Wessel officiating. Burial will be in Glencoe Lutheran Cemetery, rural Arcadia.
Family and friends are invited to call at Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, on Saturday from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and at the church on Sunday from 1 p.m. until the time of services. Online condolences may be offered at www.schanhoferfh.com.
The Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.