On December 5th, 2023, Diane Lynn (Huggins) Linnell, loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and dear friend passed away suddenly while bravely battling health setbacks and pneumonia in Chandler, Arizona. Diane was born on May 13th, 1947, to the late Alvin and Jeanette (Sands) Huggins in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was the oldest of five children. Diane spent her childhood in St. Louis Park, Minnesota until her family moved to Edina where she attended Edina High School. She would tell stories of her struggles as the new girl transferring in as a senior. She eventually found her place in the Aqua Nymph’s, the synchronized swimming club along with other activities. She became a talented seamstress as a teen which carried into adulthood. Diane graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. While at college she met her former husband and many lifelong friends.
Diane adored her mid-west roots, but she ultimately resided in Arizona for 48 years. Settling in south Tempe, she found a community of women with whom she became best friends. Diane was active in the Junior League of Phoenix, played in local tennis leagues and enjoyed calligraphy as a hobby. She was a homemaker until she started her own interior decorating business, Linnell Ltd. Her passion for interior design and home improvement never wavered. Because of her keen eye and love for decorating, she went on to work for local home builders as a designer for new home builds. Those jobs also gave her many travel opportunities to Italy, Spain, and Sweden.
Diane had a kind-hearted and fun-loving attitude. She was always welcoming in new friends and bringing people together. Her infectious laugh was easy to get going as she had an excellent sense of humor. Most recently she could be found dancing in Sun Lakes at Stone & Barrel, going to trivia, playing cards, or zipping up to the pool in her golf-cart. She was a cards and games fanatic. Diane enjoyed bridge, hand & foot, Qwirkle, and she never turned down a chance to play Yahtzee. She had a strong desire to always keep learning and enjoyed researching natural health topics and adored her essential oils group in Sun Lakes.
She was often sharing how proud she was of her three children, but her greatest joy was being “Grammy” to her grand-daughters Hanna and Grace. She coined the term “Hotel Rules” and her Grammy motto was “I don’t say no,” instead she redirected them to something that was a “yes.” Diane will be remembered for her infectious laugh, her kind heart, love of games and creative talents in sewing, interior design, and calligraphy. She will be forever missed.
Diane is now reunited with her son, Jacob, and her son-in-law Charlie Northroup. As well as, with her beloved parents Alvin & Jeanette Huggins, nephew Ryan Huggins, and many dear friends. She is survived by her two daughters, Erin Northroup and Carey Linnell (Marc); two grand-daughters Hanna and Grace Northroup. Her siblings, Jean Olson, Robert Huggins (Dawn), Gary Huggins (Jeanne), and Alan Huggins. As well as many nieces and nephews, her partner Charles Russell, and dear friends old & new.
A celebration of life will be planned in the new year and further details will be shared soon.