A photo of Diane Lease Sammelwitz

Diane Lease Sammelwitz

January 10, 1932 - August 27, 2020

Diane Lease Sammelwitz passed away peacefully with her family at her side on Thursday, August 27, 2020.

Diane was born in Chester, PA, on January 10, 1932 to the late Allen Lease and Doris (Sullivan) Lease. She moved with her family to Collingswood, NJ, where she went to elementary school. The family later moved to Ridley Park, PA, where Diane attended and graduated from Ridley Park High School in 1949. Diane attended the University of Delaware where she graduated with a degree in Home Economics in 1953. Diane worked as a home economist with the Philadelphia Electric Company for 2 years. She then got her teaching certificate and was an elementary school teacher in both St. Georges and Middletown, Delaware.  She was a preschool teacher at Sunnyside Preschool (Newark, DE), Zion Lutheran Church (Wilmington, DE) and at Newark Methodist Preschool until her retirement in 1985.

Diane was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Newark, DE where she served on the altar guild and volunteered with Hope Dining Room. Diane also volunteered with CONTACT, a suicide hotline in Wilmington, DE. She was an active member of the University of Delaware Women’s Club as well.

Diane was an outdoor enthusiast and enjoyed biking, hiking, skiing and gardening. She and Paul enjoyed traveling and participating in Elderhostel programs in their retirement. Diane and Paul moved to Jenner’s Pond Retirement Community West Grove, PA in 2011. They enjoyed many clubs, activities and trips during this time. Diane was an active member of the Landscape Committee at Jenner’s Pond and some of her idea’s for flower beds and paths and benches dot the landscape on the campus.

Diane had a love for New Milford, CT, where she spent a part of every summer at the family farm and the lake house on Candlewood Lake. Diane loved games and played bridge, scrabble as well as many games with her grandchildren while up at the Lake.

Diane is survived by her husband of 58 years, Dr. Paul Sammelwitz; her son, Christopher Moore Sammelwitz; daughter, Ellen (Stephen) Casey; and 3 grandchildren, Deirdre, Niall and Rebecca Casey.  She is also survived by many nieces and nephews and many beloved friends.

Diane is preceded in death by her first husband, Robert Moore; her son, Michael Collins Moore; her brother, David Lease; and her niece, Karen Lease March.

Services and interment will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers the family encourages contributions to St. Paul’s Preschool (Weidman Scholarship Fund) and/or St. Paul’s Ministry for Hope Dining Room. Contributions for both can be mailed to 701 S. College Ave., Newark, DE 19713.


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26 Condolences for Diane Lease Sammelwitz

  • What a wonderful lady. She will be missed, but her memory will live forever on your heart. So sorry for your loss.

  • I will treasure my memories of this incredible woman who was also my dear godmother. Sending wishes for comfort and peace to all of the family

  • Diane was such a joy to be around. Her warm smile let you know she was happy to see you! She was always good for a story about life on the lake. We enjoyed spending time with her when she was visiting New Milford. We are grateful to know her lovely family.

  • To this day, I cherish the memory of your mom taking me to Philadelphia to see the sights before dropping me at the airport. She certainly didn’t have to do that…but I so enjoyed her company and thoughtfulness.

    May your mom Rest In Peace knowing that she brought amazing kids into this world!

    My thoughts are with you all!

  • Paul, Chris, Ellen and family,
    Diane was full of life and love for everyone growing up in our neighborhood.
    Hugs to all.
    Mary Whiz

  • Chris,
    Your mother was a kind and gentle women always with a smile on her face. That is why she and my mother were such good friends. Old Newark lost another one. Even though she is gone, you will always have the memories of what a great person and mother she was.

    Carl and Donna Eissner

  • Dear Chris, We are very sorry to hear about your Mothers passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

  • Paul and family, I send you my heartfelt condolences. Her and St. Paul are strong memories together, that I will with much thanks never forget, as I was with both since its very beginning with Pastor Neumeier.

  • Dear Friends, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers in the lose of your wonderful wife and mother. I wish I could be with you. Love, Joy DeCheser

  • My warmest condolences to your family. Mrs. Sammelwitz was such a kind, warm soul and my grandmother, Shirley, was lucky to have her as a friend.

  • I want to express my sympathies to the Sammelwitz family on the passing of Mrs. Sammelwitz. She, and her husband, have been dear friends of my parents for many years. Although it has been many years, I too remember her very fondly and am saddened to learn of her passing.

  • I first met Diane when I worked at Sunnyside School after graduation from Newark High School in 1965. She asked me to babysit her sons on occasion and I eventually babysat them and her daughter after her marriage to Paul. She was also friends with my parents, Dick and Jane Groo. As I matured into adulthood, I was always happy to see Diane because she was such a lovely person. Her smile was warm and she was always interested in what was going on with me. I can well imagine the joy she brought to the Jenner’s Pond community. My sympathies to Paul, Chris, and Ellen and her grandchildren, all of whom were so blessed to know her. May she Rest In Peace.

  • A wonder and kind women who touched so many lives. Certainty feel
    blessed to have experienced her kind and gentle love.

    With Sympathy, Peace & Love
    Melissa & Craig Stabler

  • I will miss my longtime friend whom I have known since we were 17 as freshmen at the U of D. Since that time we were neighbors, worked, traveled and socialized together through the years. A real classy lady and good friend. My condolences to her beloved family.

  • I am so sorry for your awful loss Paul. To lose a friend, companion and life partner of so many years must be heartbreaking. Dee was always lovely, gentle and very gracious. Her notes to me when I moved were so kind, thoughtful, and appreciated. My memories of her are pure gold now spun with sadness. Please know you are in my prayers. With love and prayers to you and your family. Kathryn Keating

  • Sorry for the loss of this great lady. I grew up in St Paul’s Lutheran Church. Diane was always welcoming and kind and interested in my life. She was a long time friend of my Mom’s, Rose Ann Wells. She will be missed. Prayers for the family.

  • Diane was an incredible woman and will be missed. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and learning from Diane during our time on the St. Paul’s Lutheran School Board together.
    My prayers of peace and comfort to Paul and her family.

  • Paul: Sorry for your loss. Diane was a wonderful person and we miss you both. Pat & George Spae

  • Dear Dr. Sam,
    I am sorry to hear about your Diane. I was your avid student at UD in the early 70s. You were a fantastic professor and have always held a special place in my heart. I am so saddened that you are having to go through this loss. I will keep you in my thoughts.
    As always,
    Carla Trainum

  • Dr. Sammelwitz, I just wanted to offer my condolences. I will always remember the evening you and Diane had me over for dinner when you became my UD Animal Science advisor. I really enjoyed that evening. Diane was so kind and hospitable. May you find some peace in remembering times spent at Diane’s side. Take care 💗

  • So enjoyed my friendship with Diane! There was no stopping her energy. She was a wonderful Mom and raised great children! RIP dear friend!

  • My condolences to the Sammelwitz family. Diane was a wonderful friend to both my grandmother and my mother. She was always willing to help us.
    Love The Tupins

  • Dear Family,
    So sorry to hear the sad news. Diane was such a fine lady. Always had a smile and a story to tell. She was a walking historian of Candlewood Heights. She with be missed. Our thoughts and prayers to you all.

  • Dear Paul,
    My deepest condolences on the loss of your beautiful wife and lifelong companion. How wonderful to have had so many years and memories spent together. I received her obit this week from the UofD and saw the name. It sparked so many dear memories of YOU during the time I spend under your tutelage in the Ag School during the mid-late 60’s. I want you to know, of all the professors and instructors I had during my 4 years there, you were on the very top of the heap. I mean that…..the very top ! After graduating from Delaware, I went on to U of Penn Veterinary School and graduated in 1973, spending the next 30 years in the private practice of small animal medicine on Cape Cod. Over the years I have thought many times of the folks who helped me along my journey, and certainly there stood out Paul Sammelwitz, early on giving me thoughtful encouragement.
    I am sure from reading some of the messages left in the Guestbook Diane was as kind a person as you were to so many. I am sorry I never got to meet her.
    Please, once again, accept my sincere condolences.
    Your friend,
    Bill Laughlin, AG ’69

  • Diane was dedicated to teaching and serving. She taught at Zion Lutheran Church, Wilmington for years before I became their secretary. And throughout the years at St. Paul’s Lutheran, Newark, Diane continued with Contact-Wilmington, Hilltop Neighborhood House as a tutor, and helping at St. Paul’s School. She helped with Hope Dining Room for years. I remember her recycling projects, including her one-person campaign to collect #6 styrofoam and to persuade the collection center to take it! She was a member of St. Paul’s Altar Guild and the Busy Hands hand stitching group, of which I was a part. We met monthly to work on our own projects, have a show n’tell on a current item, work on collective projects (e.g., quilt pieces, crocheted squares, prayer shawls). She invited me on a “New York for a Day” bus trip, and we had such a good time taking in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the FAO Schwarz toy store, Evensong at St. Thomas’ and having time to just talk. So much of her life was church life, and she was an inspiration for endurance, faith, and a good healthy smile!

  • Our condolences to you and your family. May Dianne Rest In Peace!