A Tribute To My Loving Wife Diana Schaeperkoetter (a.k.a.  Branson Mom)


What can I say that truly personifies Branson Mom.  I could start with her life and move on from there.  Diana was born in St. Louis on January 18, 1963.  She lived in Florissant, Mo most of her life.  I met her in the Spring of 1983 at Meramec Community College in St. Louis.  She studied for and got her associates degree in Horticulture.  She moved with me to Columbia, Mo in 1984 after getting engaged.  I always wanted to take her to a lake to propose to her but it didnít quite happen that way.  We picked out the ring together and she knew when it would be ready.  We were in my car, in the rain, going to White Castle hamburgers in South St. Louis County for a late night snack when she asked if I got the ring.  I kept changing the subject but she kept insisting.  I didnít want to wait to ask her anyway since I knew she was my soul mate.  She was my better half and I never wanted to loose her, so I asked her right then and there.  I already knew the answer but there I was, asking my one and only to be my wife.  We were married on August 16, 1986.  It was the happiest days of my life. 

The next chapter in out lives was when my son was born, August 11, 1988, the second happiest day of my life.  He is our pride and joy.  We decided early on that Diana would be a stay at home mom and make sure Steve grew up with one of us being there all the time.  I think we made the right decision.  Many kids have love from their parents, but donít have their attention.  I am proud to say that Steve is a straight A student.   I attribute his success to him (of course) and Diana.  She was very diligent about making sure Steve had every opportunity to excel.

We moved to Branson in January 2000.  We had been coming to Branson every open weekend we had and were planning to move here after retiring.  When the neighborhood we lived in started to get bad, it just so happened I lost my job to layoffs.  I had applied to many places for a new job.  Diana suggested applying in Springfield and Branson also.  I got a job in Springfield so we moved.  Best thing we could have done.  The schools are great and the town is filled with people who think everyone is family.  When we first moved here, we did find it difficult to get information about the area, shows, practically everything.  Diana brought the idea of a web site to me and I though it was a great thing to do.  Diana was always a giving person.  She never thought about herself before everyone else was taken care of first.  I fought her just to get her things she needed so a web site to help others was right up her alley.

She would go out of her way to help others.  If anyone asked a question and she couldnít answer right away, she would take a ďstrip tripĒ.  Many a night she would tell me that we needed to find out this or that for someone in need.  After I came home from work we discussed our day apart.  I talked about work, who did what and what computer I had to fix and what show was moving to a different theater Ö and so on.  Dianaís day was filled with Steve, the house, and who was asking what question.  It was also filled with her beloved message board ď www.1branson.com/forum ď. She never asked for anything in return for her help, nor did she ever think about putting ads on her page to help pay for the cost to run it.  She was asked several times to come to a show so she could put in a good word, but she refused to go.  She wanted to make sure that her opinion was unbiased so she remained anonymous till the day she died.

Diana passed away on October 25, 2005.  She woke up on the 24th with her left leg swollen twice the size of the right.  They diagnosed her condition as blood clots and told her not to move from the bed.  The staff took her to her room and moved her from the emergency room bed to the standard room bed and three of the clots broke free, one to each lung and one to her heart.  The doctors worked on her for four hours to stabilize her.  She was in a coma and stayed that way till she passed away.  Iím glad she didnít suffer, but it was way too soon for me.  She will be missed by her family and friends but never forgotten.  I will make sure that her mission to help people coming to Branson will live on in her absence. 

Below are pictures of her.  If Iím not in the picture, I took the picture.  LOL  In the true tradition of Branson Mom (aka Diana Schaeperkoetter), I leave you with these words,

I hope this helps.  Let me know if you need anything else.