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Diane M. Henley, 73, died Thursday, February 23 in Modesto after an illness.
She was born in San Francisco, the only child of Ruth and Manuel Ortiz-Argumedo. She was born while her father was serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. She attended a private Catholic school and rode the cable car to school daily with her mother. When she was nine years old, she moved with her parents to Silver Springs, Nevada where they owned and operated a general store. There, she attended grammar school and part of high school in Fernley, where she was active on the drill team. She graduated from Reno High School, Class of 1961, and then attended University of Nevada, Reno. While working one summer in Lake Tahoe as a guide giving horseback tours of the Tahoe area, she met her future husband, Bill, who was working as a horsemanship instructor at a boy’s summer camp. Their first meeting was on horseback on the trail. They were married in 1962. In the early years of their marriage, they lived in Colorado where Bill was a ranch manager. They moved back to Oakdale a few years later where they remained. In 2014, they moved to The Stratford in Modesto.
Mrs. Henley worked in the field department for Hunt’s in Oakdale for several years before leaving to work for the Stanislaus County Farm Services Agency, where she later served as interim director for the agency. After retiring from the FSA, she worked as an independent contractor doing crop adjusting throughout Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. She then became a crop adjuster for NAU Country Insurance. She was a 4-H leader for more than 20 years, serving most of those years as the community leader of Oakdale’s Sierra 4-H club, as well as the club’s sheep group leader. She and her husband were very active in supporting their two children in 4-H and FFA, taking them to exhibit at many horse, sheep, and cattle shows throughout California and surrounding states. She was also an active member of the Oakdale Grange Hall #435 and served as an officer. She did much work on the family ranch and tended to the livestock. She helped many ewes with the birthing of lambs and cows with their calves. She was easy-going and had a joyful laugh. She loved her family deeply and was loved.
She is survived by her children, R. Quinn Henley of Galt; Dawn Henley (Brian) Carden of Manteca; and nephews, David and Robert. She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Bill; and her parents. A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 24 at Oakdale Memorial Chapel, 830 West F St. A reception will follow at the Bianchi Community Center with an “open mic” to share memories about her. Remembrances may be made to Oakdale Joint Unified School District (OJUSD), notating the Bill and Diane Henley Memorial 4-H/FFA Scholarship, 168 S. Third Ave. Oakdale, CA 95361.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
March 15, 2017