Diane Chamberlin Calkins Hampel passed away on January 5, 2019 at her home in Waco, Texas surrounded by her husband and daughters.
Diane was born on April 2, 1942 in Walter Reed General Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. Born into a military family, Diane was the youngest child of Colonel Harry Radford and Maribelle Chamberlin Calkins. Her beloved brother Lt. Colonel Radford Chamberlin Calkins was a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force and her godfather was General John Hildring. Diane was very proud of her military upbringing and teased that she learned to salute at a very young age.
Diane grew up at Windsor, her family ranch located outside of McGregor, Texas. In her youth, she studied piano and dance where she proudly achieved the classical ballet distinction of “on pointe” and performed in many recitals in Waco Hall. Diane was a proud member of the McGregor High School Class of 1960 where she played the flute in the Fighting Bulldog Marching Band. Her high school friends were always very important to her and she maintained these deep friendships all her life.
After high school graduation, Diane attended The University of Texas, where she studied communications and journalism. During this time, she met Albert Hampel and they were married August 26, 1961. They made their home in Waco for 57 years, where they raised their three girls. Diane was a devoted mother – assuring that their girls were exposed to the arts, sports, cultural and volunteer activities. She was a Campfire Leader, a Waco Flying Dolphin board member, and a proud Reicher Catholic High School mom.
After raising her daughters, Diane worked at McLennan Community College until her retirement in 2008. She was a dedicated member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Historic Waco Foundation, Waco Striders Running Club, the Red Hat Society, and various gardening and book clubs. Diane was a lover of nature, travel, art, yoga, water aerobics, and a firm believer in lifelong learning. Her pride and joy were her daughters and grandchildren, fostering experiences to help them discover their talents, joy and beauty in life. Her lifelong motto is “Life is not a dress rehearsal. You only get one performance.” She was a truly beautiful and elegant woman, both inside and out.
Diane is preceded in death by her parents, Maribelle and Col. Harry Calkins; brother, Lt. Col. Radford Calkins; and sister, Alice Calkins Geron. She is survived by her loving husband of 57 years, Albert Hampel and three daughters: Carla and husband, W. Scott Swenson of Lakeway; Laura and husband, Paul Schwarz of San Antonio; Julie and husband, L. Scott Yater of Granbury; and their seven grandchildren, William and Zachary Swenson; Savannah, Hunter, and Grayson Schwarz; and Leea and Grace Yater.
A celebration of Diane’s life will be held at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 800 N. New Road, Waco, Texas on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm. Reception to follow in church fellowship hall. Burial to precede services at 12:00 noon January 12th, at Oakwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations be made to St. Matthew Lutheran Church.