Amesbury, Peabody — Diane E. (Gagnon) Symmes, 64, formerly of Peabody, beloved wife of David P. Symmes of Amesbury, with whom she shared 44 years of marriage, died unexpectedly on Sunday, August 25, 2013, in Newburyport.
Born in Peabody, she was the daughter of the late Arthur and Madeline (Spence) Gagnon. She grew up in Peabody and graduated from Peabody High School, Class of 1966. Diane was a Worthy Advisor for Rainbow Girls. She then studied at Salem Hospital School of Nursing from where she graduated, Class of 1969. She lived in Topsfield for many years, and lived in Amesbury for the last 10 years.
Diane began her nursing career at Mass. General Hospital. When her son, David, was born, she wanted to be closer to home to spend more time with her family and became a Nursing Supervisor at North Shore Medical Center—Union Hospital in Lynn. She later returned to MGH where she specialized in cardiac nursing. She worked in the Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit (CSICU) for over 25 years. She was a member of the first heart valve transplant team at MGH. Diane served as a member of the nursing transplant educational team from MGH sent to educate cardiac nurses at Salem Hospital as a part of their new Open Heart Transplant Program.
Diane had a special gift of seeing the beauty in the simplest of things, and turning that simple thing into something unique, creative, and special. She had the knack of finding the perfect gift to fit the occasion and person, making that moment the most memorable for friends and family. You could see her style and creativity expressed in her beloved Antique Colonial home in Amesbury, which she opened as part of several community strolls to raise funds for the Congregational Church, Animal Rescue League, or other projects.
She enjoyed boating, was a collector of Andrew Wyeth prints, loved animals and baked dog biscuits as gifts every holiday for family’s and friends’ pets. She also enjoyed spending time at the family camp in Ossipee, N.H., and at Samoset in Rockland, Maine. Her proudest moments were being spent with her three beautiful grandchildren.