Diane Julia Nelson Burgess (Bapa) was born on August 30th 1947 in Shelley, Idaho. She was the youngest of five children born to Eunice Emma Nelson and Clarence Nelson of Firth, Idaho. Diane was proud of her Swedish heritage, being a Democrat, and being from the Shelley/Firth area. On October 18th 2020 surrounded by her family, Bapa became our guardian angel.
Diane grew up on a family farm west of the Shelley/Firth area and graduated from Firth High School. She attended beauty school after high school, was married and had one daughter Tina, she was later divorced. Diane retired in 2011 from French’s/Pillsbury/Basic American where she had worked for more than 30 years and proudly served as a Teamster’s union representative.
Diane took Tina on many adventures when she was young including camping in Wolverine and going to West Yellowstone; she carried these traditions on to her grandchildren. The grandchildren lovingly called Diane “Bapa” which started when her oldest granddaughter couldn’t say “grandma” and the name eventually stuck. Bapa played a huge role in raising her 5 grandchildren. They spent many weekends with Bapa at her house where she taught them unconditional love and important life lessons. Bapa was so proud of her daughter, 5 grandchildren and her 5 great-grandchildren, she was always the center and sunshine of their family. Bapa loved to surprise her family with special gifts, she spent her time making sure that everyone felt loved and cared about although she wasn’t afraid to show her tough side when necessary. Diane taught her daughter and grandchildren to stick up for themselves and be strong and independent. Diane encouraged the grandkids to attend college, so they didn’t have to work in the “damn potatoes.”
Diane was a Lutheran and told her family to tell Jesus she was ready to go home. Diane loved animals (especially cats), flowers, the mountains, the river, and the trees. Diane was a lover of the Earth and nature; she believed that everyone should be treated equally. Diane enjoyed raspberry pie down by the river, drinking Coca Cola, visiting West Yellowstone, and being in the mountains.
Diane was preceded in death by her parents Clarence and Eunice Nelson and her brother Dale Nelson, all of Firth.
Diane is survived by her siblings Dawn Cleverly, Deloy and Jeanine Nelson, Duane Nelson, her daughter Tina Olson, her grandchildren Jessica Medrano, Amanda Medrano Johnson, Krista and Nate Christensen, Shauna Griffin and Carson Olson. Her great grandchildren Cora, Treyden, Elli, Makena, and Amrie. And last but not least her precious black cat Judith.
At this time the family has chosen to have a private celebration of life. Please share your favorite memory. In lieu of flowers we ask you make a donation to an animal shelter or adopt a pet.