Diana Lee Bixenman, 74, of Le Mars, Iowa, quiet in strength, tender in heart and kind beyond reach best describe wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, Diana Lee (Utesch) Bixenman, who left this earth far too soon on Monday, November 30, due to complications from Covid-19 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 5, 2020 at All Saints Catholic Parish – St. Joseph Church in Le Mars. Masks and social distancing will be required. You may livestream the Mass on the All Saints Parish website allsaintslemars.org Father Bruce Lawler will celebrate Mass. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars. Visitation with the family present will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday at the church.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Diana Lee "Diane" Bixenman (Utesch), please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
Diana Lee Bixenman was born in Le Mars, Iowa on July 20, 1946, to Earl and Dorothy (Calhoun) Utesch. She was the oldest child, if only by a few minutes, to her twin brother, Dan, younger brother Terry and baby brother, Jack, who died in infancy. Growing up in Le Mars, she was raised with a strong sense of commitment, as her maternal grandmother, Nora Calhoun, lived in the Utesch household, forming a bond with the Utesch children that shaped Diana’s deep connection with all things family.
Diana attended Le Mars Community Schools, graduating a proud Bulldog with the Class of ’64. In these years she formed life-long connections with classmates, friends and neighbors that she fostered to the end of her days. Upon graduating she attended Stuarts School of Hairstyling in Sioux Falls, SD, but it was during a weekend break and chance encounter at the Avalon Ballroom in Remsen, Iowa, that Diana met her soulmate, Denny Bixenman, as they danced their way into each other’s hearts.
Diana and Denny were married on January 27, 1968, at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars, where she was a life-long and active member. As a young couple, they moved away from Le Mars in 1969 when Denny was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, but not before she assumed her most natural role as mother to their first born son, Scott. While in Oklahoma, Diana and Denny were blessed with a daughter, Shannon, who sadly lived just 5 short days before dying of a heart defect. In 1971, when Denny completed his service in the Army, the Bixenman family returned to Le Mars. While forever shaped by the loss of her daughter, Diana’s deep faith and capacity to love was unstoppable and in 1973 the family welcomed their second son, Rob and later their second daughter, Jami, in 1978.
Diana was a natural caretaker and an unwavering support system for Denny and the kids. Her bonds with loved ones ran deep as she started each morning sharing a cup of coffee with her mother, Dorothy, and her closest friends. Outside of connecting with friends, family and neighbors over a game of cards or in conversation over a cup of coffee, Diana also made dear friends over the game of golf. Golf was something that Diana and Denny enjoyed doing both individually and together and naturally she made close relationships as they traveled and played with friends.
Diana shared these passions with her family, building an appreciation for golf in many of them and passing her love of cards to her children and grandchildren. Diana was the consummate cheerleader. She was generous with her kindness, her love, her words, and her time to support all those in her life, but especially her children and grandchildren, not only in their many activities, but also in their life journeys.
Grateful to have shared her life is her husband of 52 years, Dennis Bixenman of Le Mars, IA; two sons and their wives, Scott and Molly Bixenman of Sergeant Bluff, IA and Rob and Janelle Bixenman of Le Mars, IA; a daughter and her husband, Jami and Mark Hartzell of Henderson, NV; grandchildren, Elizabeth Bixenman of Portland, OR, Emma Bixenman of Colorado Springs, CO and Jakob Bixenman of Milford, IA, Sophie, Simon and Jorja Bixenman of Le Mars, IA, Zoey and Zada Olson, Zander and Zierra Gray of Sergeant Bluff, IA; a twin brother and his wife, Dan and Donna Utesch of Akron, IA; along with nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents; an infant daughter, Shannon; and brothers, Terry and Jack Utesch.
As your own life journeys take you forward, please honor Diana by showing love and kindness to your neighbors. Let her untimely passing not become the norm.