Longtime Tulsa volunteer Diana Haley dies at 74
BY TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer
Saturday, July 28, 2012
7/28/12 at 3:55 AM
From leading school tours at Gilcrease Museum to raising money for a nonprofit day-care service, Diana Haley's volunteering outlets all seemed to have one thing in common - children.
And the younger they were, the better she liked it.
"She always loved the little ones," said her husband, John Haley.
That was never more evident, he added, than on Sundays at Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian. Every week for 25 years, Diana Haley taught the church's Sunday school class for 2-year-olds.
"When the children would start the class in the fall, they were like big babies. But by the time they moved up, they had become little people," John Haley said, adding that his wife, who taught with two fellow church members, enjoyed watching and being part of that process.
Recently, when "some of her former 2-year-olds brought their 2-year-olds by," it was a special thrill for her, he said.
Haley, who raised two daughters of her own with her husband, also supported children through her volunteer work with local organizations, among them Children's Day Nursery, Tulsa Boys' Home and the Assistance League of Tulsa.
Diana Davis Haley died July 18. She was 74.
A memorial service is set for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Kirk of the Hills under the direction of Moore's Southlawn Funeral Home.
Haley was adopted at birth in Oklahoma City by Joseph Davis, an architect, and his wife, Jessie Davis. The family moved to Tulsa when she was a child.
Haley never looked into the circumstances of her birth or adoption, her husband said, noting that she had wonderful adoptive parents and never felt the need.
Graduating from Rogers High School, Haley went to the University of Tulsa, where she met her husband, and where her volunteer spirit found its first outlet in the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, of which she was president.
After graduating, she worked for a couple of years as a librarian for Tulsa's public library, although for much of the rest of her life she was a homemaker.
One of Haley's most passionate volunteering interests was the nonprofit Children's Day Nursery.
She was a former president of the senior board of the organization and was sorry to see it close in 2005 after 90 years of providing day care for low-income working families.
"It was a terrible time for her and those ladies when it folded. It had been such a big part of their lives," her husband said.
Haley also volunteered with the Gilcrease Museum's docents, called Gillies, and for many years led museum tours for schoolchildren.
Among other organizations to which she gave time were Camp Fire, the Tulsa Cerebral Palsy Association and the Rotary Anns.
"Diana was an outstanding lady, the kind who always put service before self," said Dolly Dixon, her friend and fellow volunteer.
Haley had been a member of Kirk of the Hills since 1970 and, besides teaching the 2-year-olds, was an elder for the church.
"I long ago decided I couldn't keep up with everything she was involved in," John Haley said with a laugh.
Survivors include her husband; two daughters, Jennifer Ehlers and Elizabeth Sherrock; and eight grandchildren.
Original Print Headline: To Sunday school teacher, 'little people' meant a lot
Tim Stanley 918-581-8385
Diana Haley: One of Haley's most passionate volunteering interests was the nonprofit Children's Day Nursery. She was a former president of the senior board of the organization and was sorry to see it close in 2005 after 90 years of providing day care for low-income working families