Dianna Marie Slate McKiddy was born to Gerald Basil Slate and Bertha Marie Rollins Slate in Washington, Oklahoma. Dianna lived a joyful and beautiful life of service to her Lord, providing a living testament and example of faithful Christian woman to all she came in contact with. During her convalescence, she’d ask if we were getting ready for church each morning.
Dianna was raised in Noble, Okla., and attended Noble Public Schools with her family through the seventh grade. After her father died in a tragic boating accident, she and her siblings moved with their mother to the family farm North of Lexington, Okla. (The family homestead where Betsy and Ronnie now live). She attended and graduated Lexington Public Schools eighth to 12th grade, graduating in 1964. While in high school, Dianna was known as an outstanding post basketball player and specifically for her “hook shot.”
Dianna married William Clyde McKiddy on September 22, 1964, at the Slate homestead north of Lexington. They parented four children. Kimberly Marie McKiddy of Lexington, Okla., Melissa Dawn and Larry Long of Noble, Okla., Betsy Lynn and Ronnie White of Lexington, and William McKiddy of Lexington. They were also blessed with grandchildren: Michael and Krystal Woods, Kendra and Coleman Boatwright, Joshua and Bailey Long, Hunter and Natile Long, Trevor Long, Morgan and Chance Meason, Meghan and Bryan Jordan, Tristan Barken, Sawyer, Fynn McKiddy; great-grandchildren: Preston and Khloie Woods, Teagan Boatwright, Henry, Reagan and Beau Long; Jaden Hill, Hudson and Lincoln Long; Braden, Sophia and Mason Jalufka, Nolan Jordan, TJ Brownfield and Chase Meason.
Dianna is survived by siblings: Jerry Slate of Lexington, Ted and Vicki Slate of Cody, WY, Barbara Throckmorton of Purcell, Okla., Patricia Sharp of Noble, Ruth and Chris Johnson of Lexington, and Aaron and Essa Smith of Norman, Okla.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Bertha Ellen Slate. Dianna is also survived by many nieces, nephews and friends.
Dianna worked at Dairy Boy in Lexington while in high school. Then she worked at Westinghouse/Borg Warner/York International/Johnson Controls in Norman for 33 years, until her retirement. Dianna was known as a great cook and baker. She was famous for her “Cowboy Cookies” and “Fresh Pear Cakes.” She would bake for school fundraisers, sporting events, holidays and in support of many school activities for her kids and grandkids. She would also bake treats for her siblings and kids for their birthdays and the holidays. Her siblings looked forward to receiving their annual “fruit cakes.’’
Dianna also made incredible banana and chocolate puddings, and pie fillings for Betsy’s pie crusts. Dianna passed her cooking and baking skills to her children and grandchildren. She insisted Trevor learn to make her Cowboy Cookies just like she did! She also made delicious Mississippi Mud cake and was a self-professed mashed potato connoisseur. Dianna loved Ding Dongs and chocolate ice cream. She was a huge lover of chocolate - and passed this love to all her children.
Dianna was always the biggest cheerleader for her children and grandchildren in all their sporting pursuits, as well as personal and professional endeavors. She was a supportive and caring shoulder to lean on and ear to listen. She would help to celebrate triumphs and comfort heartaches. She was fiercely protective and more than once offered to “whip” anyone who would dare hurt her child or grandchild. Always loyal and dependable, loving and nurturing. She was super emotional -quick with a laugh or cry. She felt deeply and sincerely. She would give the shirt on her back or last dollar in her wallet to help anyone in need. If there was a need, she would find a way or figure out a way to help.
Dianna had a true “servant’s heart,” a big, joyous personality. She loved to laugh and radiated happiness. She always had a smile on her face. Dianna was also known as a “firebug.” She loved to burn brush piles and host weiner roasts. Dianna loved family get-togethers and it usually centered around food and fellowship. Her favorite holiday was “Easter.” She looked forward to hosting the annual family Easter lunch and egg hunt. She hunted eggs every year! Even this year when she had to have Tristan as an assistant to push her wheelchair. Dianna loved family and family time. She loved to be surrounded by her loved ones, eating, laughing, and having a good time together. Though she wasn’t a good “Moon” player, she loved to round out our playing pairs. She took over Grandpa McKiddy’s saying, “Bid ‘em high or sleep in the streets!” Dianna loved to attend and shop garage sales, or even better, an estate sale. She loved finding great bargains for all.
Dianna’s children have often received compliments for their big, beautiful smiles. She loved to smile, laugh and have fun. This is something all Clyde and Dianna’s kids learned from each of them. They created a happy, well-loved home. Dianna loved to sing. The family sang weekly in the home, in all car rides and on family trips. Occasionally, Clyde would join, but all the rest would sing long and loud. Even William who is tone deaf. Dianna raised her children on Mother Goose nursery rhymes, while rocking them to sleep daily and on car rides. Dianna also loved to read, was an avid reader. Again, she taught this love of reading to all her children.
All Dianna’s loved ones knew they were loved fully and unconditionally. She loved with all she was and often expressed it through food, smiles and hugs.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, August 19, 2023 at 10 a.m. at the Lexington Public Schools Auditorium, 420 NE 4th Street, Lexington, Oklahoma 73051.