DiAnna Lee Bantam was born on February 28, 1946 in McCook, NE, the youngest daughter of Noble D and Eldrid W. (James) Bantam. She grew up on a farm in rural Harlan County and always had a love for all animals. It was a passion she would later take into her classroom and share with the many students who would eventually come through her classroom doors. If you ever met her cat, Stinky, you knew her heart was happy when there were animals in her life.
Dee began her education in Kindergarten at District 59 in rural Harlan County where she attended thru the 4th grade. She then attended the 5th grade at Orleans Public School where she graduated in 1963. She went on to attend Kearney State College in Kearney, NE where she earned her degree in education. DiAnna was united in marriage to Melvin Deselms of Holbrook, NE on July 31, 1966 at the Presbyterian Church in Orleans, NE. To this union, one Daughter was born, Darcy Lee Deselms on April 26, 1973.
Following graduation from Kearney State in 1967, Dee began teaching for two years in Wood River, NE and then on to Cambridge Public School in Cambridge NE. In 1995, she received her Master’s Degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in Counseling. She continued to work as a guidance counselor and classroom teacher in Cambridge until her retirement in 2006.
Dee was a loving mother and grandmother. Attending Darcy’s school activities, watching her grow up and raise a family of her own was an honor for Dee to be a part of. She cherished the time she spent with her family and always had a fun story to share about her wonderful grandsons. Spending time with her friends, exercising, SHOPPING, wine tasting and catching a movie were activities Dee always enjoyed.
Dee loved her home and her community. Dee joined the Beta Nu Sorority when she moved to Cambridge. This experience resulted in completing many service projects and developing life-long friendships. She was proud of all the changes being made and how Cambridge was growing. As a member of the Cambridge City Council and the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, she had a front seat view of the progress happening in Cambridge.
Dee is preceded in death by her parents, Noble D. and Eldrid W. Bantam. Dee leaves to mourn her passing and to celebrate her life a daughter, Darcy Johnson and husband, David of Cambridge. Grandsons, Vance Johnson and fiancé, Elisabeth Cope and Avery Johnson all of Cambridge. A sister, Patricia Fritz and husband, Rusty of O’Neill, NE. A nephew, Schell Fritz and wife, Ann, a niece, Stephanie Fritz and three great-nephews, Deven, Tyler and Ethan Fritz all of O’Neill.
A Memorial has been established for the family to determine at a later date.
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