Diana was born Diana Bennett Whitcomb in Seattle, Washington on December 22, 1934. Her father, Bert Whitcomb, hailed from Hayden, Indiana and was stationed in Seattle as a seagoing Marine when he met Diana’s mother, Kathleen Elizabeth McLeod, who was studying the theater there as an aspiring actress. Her family hailed from Scotland by way of Vancouver, Canada. The family moved to San Francisco in 1937 where her father worked as a lifeguard in Sutro Baths. In1939, her brother David was born, and as a result of the Works Progress Administration, the family moved to Vallejo, California to work in the Mare Island Shipyards during WWII.
Life in Vallejo, coupled with her passion for reading, opened a world of
possibility for her life. She was driven to learn about the world around
her, and made plans to go to Saudi Arabia with her best friend Milly. She later moved back to San Francisco and in time, married Bernard Arias, who she would share her life journey with for nearly 60 years. They moved to Los Angeles, and raised four children while earning her Master’s Degree in Education.
She aspired to live life fully, appreciating its intricacies and beauty in all its facets, and shared them through education, storytelling, books, gardens, food, art and music. Books were the doorway into understanding which she cherished, were reflected by her extensive libraries covering art, biographies,
history, horticulture, science and philosophy. She traveled extensively,
immersing herself in the cultures of Asia, Mexico and India. Her life was one of wonder and discovery which she shared with friends and family. It was in this way she taught us to love the world and its people, to be kind to one another and remember to appreciate the beauty of every moment.