Diana Cade Gibney

Diana Cade Gibney, 88, of Gloucester, MA, died Thursday, March 10 at the Kaplan House in Danvers, MA, after living through cancer for 22 years.

She is survived by her beloved children and family caregivers, Julie Cleveland and Ken Cleveland, both of Gloucester; her close friend Patricia Smith of Gloucester; and her adoring niece, Alice Diana Cade Ferguson of Lafayette, LA. Diana was preceded in death by her parents, Navy Lt. Commander Harry Folsom Cade and Nettie Davis Cade; first husband Stuart Hamilton Cleveland; second husband Richard M. Gibney; and her beloved brother, Robert B. Cade. 

Born in Waban, MA on October 28, 1933 during the Great Depression, Diana attended Southwestern (now Rhodes) College in Memphis, TN and graduated cum laude with a B.A. in French Languages and Literature. After college she sailed with her brother and best friend to Paris for a summer, where she studied at the Sorbonne. She later moved to Boston and worked at Houghton Mifflin Company where she met and married Stuart Hamilton Cleveland, a sociology editor, in 1958. Tragically, he died suddenly in 1963, leaving Diana to care for their two young children. Her husband’s colleagues taught her the skills she needed to become an expert freelance copy editor and proofreader for the next 50 years.

Over a period of many years she loved times traveling with her daughter. More than any other place she loved Florida, where she and her daughter lived for several years, and her favorite city was Delray Beach. After returning to Gloucester in her 80s, Diana loved riding around and going out to eat at the family’s favorite place, Cape Ann Coffees. 

A self-confessed introvert, Diana was an avid reader of all subjects, especially obscure authors and biographies of writers and poets. She loved the New York Times’ acrostics puzzles, sampling foods of all kinds, drawing and watching or reading murder mysteries. Above all she loved spending time with her children. 

After her initial ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment in 1999, Diana enjoyed many happy years of remission until a reoccurrence in 2015, when she generously participated in two clinical research trials at Mass General Hospital. Always gifted with a dry wit and great sense of humor, her oncologist Dr. Penson described Diana as “having a marvelous joie de vivre, a delightful sense of the absurd, and the most resilient spirit.” Her nurse practitioner, Jenny, remembers Diana’s “infectious smile and demeanor; she always brought a smile to my face. Incredibly strong, she was not defined by her illness. A favorite memory is when we sung her Happy Birthday via Zoom and she was dancing in her hospital bed.”

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Gynecologic Oncology Research Fund @ MGH c/o Richard Penson, 55 Fruit St., Yawkey Center, Boston, MA, 02114. A private memorial is planned for later this spring.


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5 Condolences

  1. Chrissy Day on March 18, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    Julie and Ken, I am so sorry for your loss, and know what a wonderful woman your mom was.

  2. Brooke Stone Clement on March 18, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing these memories! What an extraordinary mom you two have… Blessings! Brooke

  3. Martha Reich on March 19, 2022 at 1:24 am

    Dear Julie and Ken,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your mom was such an amazing person whom I’m grateful to have known.
    She will be dearly missed.
    With love and blessings, Martha

  4. Lenore balliro on March 19, 2022 at 12:34 pm

    A beautiful tribute , Julie. Peace .

  5. Jan Bickford on March 24, 2022 at 6:59 am

    So sorry for your loss…..a bird may fly away but we still remember it’s song. I remember visiting Diana, Julie and Kenny in Gloucester and what a ball we had. My sister, Suky, reconnected not too long ago but I was, unfortunately, not there. My condolences to you all xoxo

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