It is with the deepest sorrow that the family of Diana E. Boodakian announces that Diana passed away on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at Progressive Care Center in Cañon City at the age of 89 after an extended illness.
Diana was born in North Platte, Nebraska to Aaron DeForrest “Bud” VanNatta and Eugenia VanNatta nee Lofdahl. She met her husband, Gregory “Bo” Boodakian, in Denver in 1952 when he was stationed at Lowry Air Force Base and she was working as a secretary for an insurance company. They married in Denver in 1954 and then moved to Fort Collins. After helping Bo get his bachelor’s degree on the G.I. Bill from Colorado State University (CSU) while she worked as a secretary for the United States Department of Agriculture, they moved to Cañon City in 1961 for Greg’s job as an institutional parole officer with Colorado State Penitentiary’s Pre-Parole. They were married for nearly 66 years.
After moving to Cañon City, she was secretary to the Colorado State Territorial Prison Warden, using her superb skills as a typist and self-taught skills of shorthand to take dictation from the Warden. Diana earned her first bachelor’s degree with distinction in Social Science from the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo and later received her Colorado Teacher’s Certificate and taught third grade at Lincoln Elementary School. Diana’s love of animals brought them into her classroom to teach her students responsibility and kindness; some of the critters included two sweet, friendly rats! She also oversaw her children’s care of numerous critters at home, and she practiced catch and release at home: catching any errant spider, beetle, or what have you that made its way into the house and releasing it outdoors.
She earned a second bachelor’s degree in Social Work from CSU in Fort Collins, and her compassion and attention to detail were a good fit for a career at Fremont County Department of Social Services in Cañon City. She worked her way up and after 26 years at Social Services retired as Adult Services Supervisor.
Diana spent her life helping others, most notably her children and husband who now must carry on without her gentle strength. She enjoyed feeding birds and squirrels and caring for stray cats. She was a lifelong learner, an avid reader with many newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and she enjoyed researching her interests on the internet. She was a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Philanthropic Educational Organization Sisterhood (PEO).
Diana is survived by her husband, Gregory (Bo) Boodakian of Cañon City, and three adult daughters Kristine (Christopher) Fatze of North Field, Minnesota; Margo (Skinner) Boodakian of Walsenburg, Colorado; and Carol Boodakian (James Carillion) of Fort Morgan, Colorado; and her beloved cat Sophia, a Russian blue given to her by Bo for their 50th wedding anniversary. She is predeceased by her parents and her son-in-law, Gordon Skinner.
No memorial is scheduled at this time. In lieu of flowers, her family requests that donations be given to an organization Diana valued greatly: the Fremont County Humane Society at 110 Rhodes Avenue, Cañon City, Colorado 81212.
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