Cover photo for Diane M. Gira's Obituary
Diane M. Gira Profile Photo
1948 Diane 2024

Diane M. Gira

April 16, 1948 — May 25, 2024

Diane M. Gira, 76, of Wahpeton, ND, passed away at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND, on May 25, 2024, following complications from pneumonia.  She left this world peacefully surrounded by loved ones.


Diane was born at the old hospital on the south side of Breckenridge, MN, on April 16, 1948.  She was the second child born to Alfred Gira and Stella (Mikesh) Gira of Cayuga, ND.  She was baptized at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Mantador, ND.  When Diane was five years old, her parents moved from the farm at Cayuga into Wahpeton, ND.  Diane graduated from St. John’s Catholic School in Wahpeton and moved on to the public school system where she graduated in 1966.


Diane learned the importance of hard work early in life.  During her high school years, she worked for three hours every morning at Cox Bakery before heading to school.  Shortly after high school, Diane moved to California seeking adventures beyond the Midwest.  While living in California, Diane worked for a local newspaper/printing company where she learned the skills of commercial printing.  The desire to be closer to family called Diane back to Wahpeton and her new found skills in printing provided job opportunities once she moved back in late 1967.  Diane worked at various newspapers and commercial print shops in both Wahpeton and Fargo before becoming co-owner of a publishing company in Wahpeton, Prairie West Publications.  Diane finished her printing career as Production Manager at River Valley Printing (later Sir Speedy) in Wahpeton.  Diane worked for a number of years at Imation in Wahpeton before retiring in 2012.


Back in 1975 while struggling to understand her identity, Diane met and fell in love with Valerie Nelson.  From that moment, they started building a life together.   They were thrilled to be legally wed on September 5, 2014, their 39th anniversary.  They would have celebrated their 49th anniversary this coming September.


After a lifetime of wanting to be parents but never believing it might happen, Diane and Valerie were blessed beyond measure in 1998 when a young couple they knew decided they wanted Diane and Valerie to be a part of the adoption plan they were making for their unborn baby.  Diane was a natural at being a mom and fell in love the minute she laid eyes on her one-day old baby boy, Madison Quinn.


Diane truly enjoyed the simple things in life and was the kindest, sweetest soul you could imagine.  And that laugh!!!  She loved reading, feeding the birds, gardening, playing cards and board games, fishing, traveling throughout the United States, visiting historical places, and of course spending time with family.  She was a treasured friend to many.  Diane was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church in Dwight, ND, and was also involved in the local Democratic Party.


Diane is survived by her wife, Valerie; her son, Madison Nelson-Gira (Emily Evarts) of Moorhead, MN; brothers Dick (Judy) Gira of Breckenridge, MN, Mitch (Carla) Gira of Lacey, WA, Randy (Brenda) Gira of Loveland, CO, and Scott (Lisa) Gira of Eagan, MN.  She is survived by sisters-in-law Jacque (David) Forsythe, Camille Nelson, and Sherry (Barry Day) Rapp and brothers-in-law Scott (Stacy) Nelson and Chad Nelson.  Diane is also survived by the following nieces and nephews: Shannon Gira, Melissa Rieber, Jennifer Ray, Lindsey Gira, Allison Neil, Kate Gira, Christopher Forsythe, Sarah Altomari, Joseph Nelson, Samantha Johnson, Katelyn Johnson, and Emily Nelson.


Diane was preceded in death by her father and mother, Alfred and Stella Gira; her father and mother-in-law Donald and Louise Nelson; her brother-in-law Doug Nelson; her sister-in-law Marchell Moderow; and her nephew Shawn Gira.


Visitation will be held at Vertin-Munson Funeral Home in Wahpeton, ND, starting at 5:00 PM, Friday, May 31, with a prayer service at 7:00.  Visitation will continue at 10:00 AM, Saturday, June 1, at Faith Lutheran Church in Dwight, ND, followed by the Celebration of Life at 11:00 AM.  Pastor Terry Hagenson will be officiating.   Arrangements have been entrusted to Vertin-Munson Funeral Home.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, May 31, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Prayer Service

Friday, May 31, 2024

7:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, June 1, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Faith Lutheran Church

, Dwight, ND 58075

Visitation from 10:00 am to 11:00 am

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