Family members and friends are mourning the death of longtime Hauppauge resident Diane Given Simonson. She died on April 14 at the age 74.
Simonson, the daughter of Paul and Ruth Given, was a young child when she moved to Hauppauge and grew up where Given Court is now located. Her father was the former Town of Smithtown supervisor from 1950 to 1955 and the founder of Given Associates.
Speaking to Patch a few months ago, Simonson said she remembered the days when Hauppauge was less populated. There were fewer homes along Townline Road, according to Simonson, who said she went sledding with friends behind where the 7-Eleven on Townline road stands without worrying about traffic.
She attended Hauppauge school district when there was no public high school and only a small schoolhouse near the intersection of Route 347 and Route 454. Simonson's eighth-grade moving up ceremony was held at the former Hauppauge Village Hall. She graduated from Smithtown High School.
After high school, Simonson married her husband, William, and moved to a home on Townline Road, not far from Given Court. She had three children, who like their mother, attended Hauppauge Public Schools.
While her children were young, Simonson drove a van for Happy Acres Pre-school and babysat for several Whiporwhil Elementary School teachers.
“She was the neighborhood mom, all the kids loved her," said her daughter Lainy Simonson Newell.
Simonson also worked for a few years as a cafeteria worker at Forest Brook and Bretton Woods Elementary School.
She was a member of Hauppauge United Methodist Church. She was laid to rest in the Hauppauge Rural Cemetery behind the church building this Saturday.
Simonson is survived by her brothers John and Patrick Given, her sister, Dorothy Tompkins, her children John Simonson, Lainey Simonson Newell and Paul Simonson; and grandchildren Breanna Simonson, Billy Simonson, Mackenzie Newell, Peyton Newell and Hallie Newell.
Memorial services were held at on April 22 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Simonson's family has requested donations be made to the North Shore Animal League or the Humane Society in her memory.