Diane Robertson Winn, age 82, a beloved member of the Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville, Maryland, passed away peacefully on April 21, 2020. She had been battling multiple health issues over the years and finally succumb to congestive heart failure when she made her transition.
Diane is survived by her 3 children, Bruce (Kathy) Robertson, Alice (Ed) Rumsey and Gibbs (Tara) Murayama; along with her six grandchildren, Ashley (Bryan) Rutherford, Austin Robertson, Hannah Carden, Lily Carden, David Murayama, and Amanda Murayama; her brother David (Pat) Diehl and their two children John (Ashley) Diehl, Christina (Joel) Baumgartner and their respective families; along with many cousins and lifelong friends across the United States and in Ghana (West Africa).
Born on November 19, 1937 and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Diane attended Cedar Crest College where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and also earned her Master’s Degree in Medical Illustration from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD. She later moved to Bethesda, Maryland to work at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 1962, NIH sent her to Ghana as part of a team of researchers requested by the Ghanaian government. She lived there for four years and returned to Maryland in 1966. During her time in Ghana, she established a close working relationship with Dr. Oku Ampofo, who ran a successful health clinic and was also a leading sculptor. He also pioneered into plant medicines which ultimately became a life-long passion for Diane after he cured her of cancer with one of his indigenous plants. As a result, she established a company to further develop several of his plant medicines. Her passion and love for the country, the people and culture of Ghana drove much of her career interests throughout her life.
An entrepreneur at heart, she helped to establish several companies to include the International Sickle Cell Anemia Research Institute (ISCARI); MediVisuals, a Medical Legal Illustrations firm in Dallas, TX; and Phyto-Riker Pharmaceuticals Ltd. In Accra, Ghana. This career path led her from Maryland, to Philadelphia, PA, Dallas, TX, Richmond, VA and finally back to Maryland. Throughout her career, she traveled back to Ghana multiple times and established strong relations with the Ghanaian Government as well as the Ghanaian Embassy in Washington, DC. Her impact on supporting the medical plant research industry to find cures and remedies for Sickle Cell Anemia and also malaria became the focal part of her career in the later years.
Beyond her career ambitions, her passions also include being a grandmother, a highly skilled portrait artist, and she also loved singing in the church choir. Her artwork collection includes portraits of each of her grandchildren, current residents of the Charlestown Community, the Ashanti King in Ghana, along with several Ghanaian Presidents and their wives.
As she stated recently, the most important possessions in her life are people – first of all her son, Bruce, as well as her two adopted stepchildren, Alice and Gibbs, along with her grandchildren. She was married several times, but her true love was to Daniel “Dan” Winn of Dallas, TX. They were married in 1994 and she spent the best part of her life with him until he passed in 2006. Our memories of their togetherness will last with us a lifetime and knowing that they will be dancing again together brings us peace.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, she will be laid to rest and the family will plan a celebration of life on a date and location to be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made in her name to the Charlestown Benevolent Fund which provides fund to residents who are in need or to Cedar Crest College Scholarship Fund. Donations can be sent to the following addresses - Charlestown Benevolent Fund, Philanthropy Office, 719 Maiden Choice Lane, Catonsville, MD 21228 or Cedar Crest College, 100 College Drive, Allentown, PA 18104
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