Visiting hours will be held tomorrow from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton for Dianna Lee Kane, a lifelong East End resident who died at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset on March 28 following a long illness. She was 61.
Born on Feb. 2, 1950, in Southampton to Hester Lelia Hayes-Graham and Richard Lee Hartwell, Ms. Kane graduated from the East Hampton schools and studied at cosmetology and business schools on Long Island.
Over the years she had been an administrative assistant, seamstress, hair stylist, and home and office cleaner, working briefly at The East Hampton Star and then becoming housekeeper and personal assistant for Tinka and the late Bud Topping in Sagaponack, a post she held for 25 years. According to her family, “She considered the Topping family her very own.”
Ms. Kane was called alternately Di, Diola, and Di-Di. Her children said she was known for “her skillful manner for telling it like it is.” She was an active member of the Calvary Baptist Church in East Hampton, and a funeral service will be held for her there at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Ms. Kane, who loved music, sang in its choir.
She also enjoyed cooking with her children, and going to the beach. Before her illness, Ms. Kane could often be seen on the front lawn of her house on Morris Park Lane working out to Jane Fonda. She also was known for her sewing talent and had made several wedding dresses.
Ms. Kane is survived by four children, Jolyn Renee Hopson of Arlington, Va., Sharmon Lynn Hopson-Allen of Brentwood, Deven Kane of West Islip, and Lorenzo Lee Smith, also of Brentwood. A sister, Marion Hayes-Bruno of Patchogue, also survives.
Her parents died before her, as did a son, Melville Douglas Hopson Jr., a brother, Gregory Graham, and her ex-husbands, Melvin Hopson and Jack (John) Kane. Six grandchildren and one great-grandchild also survive, as do nieces and nephews, other members of her large, extended family, and her confidante, Charlene Walker of Bridgehampton.
“Dianna was a fighter in every sense of the word,” her children wrote. “She fought to overcome many obstacles throughout her life. She fought for what she believed in, she fought for her children, grandchildren, and family members, and she fought for her life until the very end. . . .”