May 24, 1926 - September 6, 2020
Evansville, WI -- Cicely Diana Willemsen Eager passed away at home, ever optimistic and cheerful as she was throughout her life. She saw the good in everyone she knew and was kind to all. She will be greatly missed by all her family. Diana was born in Hartford, CT, to British parents Cicely and Verner Willemsen, and returned to London shortly thereafter. She attended Grammar School in London, and then Boarding school in the south of England until all children were evacuated to the west coast pre WWII. The family emigrated to Toronto, Canada during the London Blitz in August of 1940. In Toronto, she attended High School and promptly lost her British accent in order to assimilate with her classmates. Diana went on to Smith College in Northampton, MA. graduating in 1948. She met Alan Eager, her future husband, when they were attendants at the wedding of her college roommate, Sally, and Prent Eager. Following their Toronto wedding in June 1951, Alan and Diana lived in Indiana. They moved to Evansville in 1953, and built their current home on Garfield Ave. in 1955. Diana became a Naturalized U.S. Citizen during that time. Diana was a lifelong volunteer: Active member of the United Methodist Church, choir, and on the Admin. Board for many years; Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader; Board member and President of Evansville PTA; Board Member and President of the Library; Elementary School Volunteer and tutor. She was a loyal member and served as President of the Women's Literary Club and of The Manor Auxiliary. She was also very active in Madison as a Board member and President of the WIS. Ballet Company; and Member and President of the Madison Symphony Orchestra League, for which she received the Madison Rotary Service Award in 2006. She was an honored recipient of the Cornerstone of the Community for Evansville in 2009, for all her local work. She was active into her 80s- she loved golf and tennis and traveling. Also an avid bridge player, she played with many groups. Diana was predeceased by her husband of 63 years, Alan, in 2014.
She leaves behind her brother, Richard Willemsen (Aldona) of Toronto; children: Christopher (Denise) Eager of Palm Springs, Melinda (Bruce) Poole of Scottsdale, and Stephen (Amy) Eager of Evansville; grandchildren: Andrew (Fabiane) Poole, Eric (Natalie) Poole, Prentice (Caitlin) Eager, Russell Poole, Lydia Eager, Ian Janssen Eager, and Anna Eager; one great-grandchild, Mason Poole; and many nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held outside from 10 a.m. until 12 noon on Saturday, September 26, 2020, at Ward-Hurtley Funeral Home Evansville. A private family service will be held with burial held in Maple Hill Cemetery, Evansville, with Reverend Ann Scott officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any contributions may be made to support Diana's passions: The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF.org); or the Evansville Community School District Literacy Initiative, a K-12 Foundation for instilling the love of reading in students of all ages - checks may be made payable to ECSD Literacy Initiative, and sent to 340 Fair Street, Evansville, WI. 53536. Or donate online at JDRF.org and mention Diana's name. Condolences may be expressed at wardhurtley.com