Diana J. Sturks, 52, died unexpectedly due to health complications, surrounded by her loving family, June 12, 2011, at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Born in Rockland on Jan. 12, 1959, she was the daughter of Carl and Katherine Robinson Schwab. Educated locally, she was a 1977 graduate of Georges Valley High School.

Following high school, Diana began her career as a waitress, an occupation she thoroughly enjoyed. Her career spanned 30 years, numerous area restaurants, and a loyal following of customers. Those customers, who became like family to Diana, would follow her to her newest restaurant of employment, and wait so they could be seated at her table. Over the years she enjoyed employment at the Ocean House, Black Harpoon, and Samoset. For over 20 years she worked at Peter Ott’s in Camden. Her family remembered she wasn’t just working to get paid, she truly loved what she did. Working with and interacting with the public brought her great joy, and she excelled at it.

For the past six years, Diana has been a fixture at the counter at Pick-Qwick in Thomaston. She was always quick with a smile and a welcoming hello, and all the “regulars” loved her. Diana was active in the town of Thomaston community events. She was past president of the Georges Valley High School Boosters, and a member of the Alumni Association.

Diana loved gardening and was known for her beautiful gardens and landscaping around her home.

On Oct. 2, 1982, Diana married her soul mate, James L. Sturks. They honeymooned at Niagara Falls, beginning their love of traveling and camping. For many years they enjoyed camping at Pemaquid Campground. She looked forward to yearly trips each winter with her family to Orange Lake Resort in Kissimmee, Fla.

Above all, Diana put family first. She was immensely proud of both of her children, and always involved in their lives. From attending sporting events while in school to recently helping her son build his own home, her children were her world. Her sister remembered her as the family event planner. She took it upon herself to keep family traditions intact upon the death of their mother. Her brother said holidays just felt right if they were spent at Diana and Jimmy’s home.

She was known as Nanny or Nanny Di-Di to grandchildren; she took great joy in spending time with them.

Predeceased by her mother, Katherine Schwab Ariotti in 1992, Diana is survived by her father and stepmother, Carl D. and Nancy Schwab of Port Clyde; her husband, James L. Sturks of Thomaston; her son, James C. Sturks and his fiancée Lindsay Lenor of Thomaston; her daughter, Britta Sturks of Portland; her stepdaughter, Stacey Curtis and her husband, Chris, of Port Clyde; her brothers, Donald J. Schwab and Brett Schwab and his wife, Ronda, all of Port Clyde; her sisters, Kimberly Simpson and her husband, Eric, of Manchester and Michelle LaFrance and her husband, Paul, of Union; four grandchildren, Jacob Curtis, Connor Curtis, Isabella LaFrance and Maddie LaFrance; her grand-dog whom she loved, Abbie; 14 nieces and nephews, Heather, Devon, Tyler, Donny, Benjamin, Danika, Talia, Regan, Trea, Travis, Madison, Makayla, Drew and Hayden; three great-nieces, Kamryn, Addison and Caroline; as well as several cousins, and many aunts and uncles.

Family and friends are invited to visit Monday, June 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St. in Rockland, where a celebration of her life will be held Tuesday, June 21 at 1 p.m. A reception will follow at the Rockland Lodge of Elks, 210 Rankin St. Interment will be Wednesday, June 22 at 10 a.m. at Seaside Cemetery in Tenants Harbor.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Diana’s memory may be made to Manna Ministries, P.O. Box 2763, Bangor, ME 04401; or Trekkers Inc., P.O. Box 455, Tenants Harbor, ME 04860.

To share a memory or condolence with Diana’s family, visit her online guest book at obituaries at bchfh.com.