Diane Sue Innerst, 69, of New Cumberland, passed away unexpectedly late Friday evening, August 25, 2023, at UPMC Harrisburg Hospital, with her husband of 40 years by her side. She was the daughter of the late Russ and Mary Ann Lentz, born on October 8, 1953 in York.
Growing up in Jacobus, PA, Diane would spend her youth on the family farm, and would go on to graduate from Dallastown Area High School (Class of 1971). She would fall in love with the “boy next door,” which was predicted by Joe’s parents; she and Joe would spend their lives together, raising two boys and embracing the importance of family. Diane furthered her education at Indiana University of PA (’75) and would obtain a Master’s degree from Millersville University in 1980.
She was a middle school math teacher, working at multiple schools during her 33-year career as an educator. She spent the first eight years at her alma mater, Dallastown Middle School, before moving with her husband to West Virginia, where she became employed at Moundsville Junior High (1983-1985). She and Joe would have two boys, and Diane would step away from teaching to become a full-time mother to her sons. As they grew, her interest in teaching returned, and she would spend her final 23 years doing what she loved at Harrisburg Academy, retiring in 2017.
The word “selfless” comes to mind when thinking of Diane. She happily and willingly assumed a supportive and comforting role in the lives of her husband, her children, and those around her. She was reserved, but the way in which she cared for others spoke volumes. She was a positive reinforcement for her husband, traveling wherever his military career took them, and she wore the titles of “mom” and “grandma” as a badge of honor. Her second job could have been a travel agent, as she had a knack for finding and scheduling getaway trips for her family – Cambridge, MD, Ocean City, NJ and Hilton Head, SC were some of the most memorable. Another favorite travel destination for Diane was Annapolis, MD, which she and Joe visited frequently when their two sons were both midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Diane was always making things happen behind the scenes. She was orderly and she possessed administrative qualities to balance her tenderness. She handled the business side of rental properties that she and Joe had, and she loved planning family get togethers; to Diane, family was everything. She was a scout parent for her boys and thoroughly enjoyed watching them play sports in their youth. She enjoyed meeting and socializing with her Harrisburg Academy colleagues over dinner, and biking and walking were just a couple of her favorite pastimes. Her positive energy was constant, and she was both content and humble in her everyday life.
Her grandkids would visit with big smiles, always wondering what was in grandma’s kitchen. I think it’s safe to say that no matter what was stashed in the pantry or refrigerator, everyone who walked into the Innerst residence was met with a healthy serving of love. Diane’s unique presence will be truly missed by all who were fortunate enough to have known her.
Surviving Diane is her husband and best friend, Joe Innerst of New Cumberland; her sons and their spouses, Robert and Kara Innerst of Hartville, OH and Joe and Cassie Innerst of Ledyard, CT; grandchildren, JJ, Lincoln, Reagan, Kennedy, Jacob, Cameron, Parker and Grayson; a sister-in-law and her spouse, Kath and Glenn Collier of Jacobus; and several extended family members.
A public funeral service will begin at 10AM on Saturday, September 2, 2023 at Baughman Church of New Cumberland. A viewing hour will be held from 9AM until services begin in the church. Later that afternoon, a funeral procession will depart for Salem Union Cemetery in Jacobus, where she will be laid to rest alongside her parents, in a plot which overlooks the land that was her family’s farm.