Diane M. Zaba

by | May 4, 2023 | Obituaries

NORFOLK – Diane M. Zaba of Norfolk, 73, died at her home on April 7, 2023, just over two months after her husband Joel N. Zaba.

Daughter of the late Nicholas G. Psaki, Jr. and Patricia E. Psaki, Diane graduated from Fayetteville Senior High School (N.C.) in 1967. She completed her B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971, and her J.D. at the Hastings College of the Law in Calif. in 1977. She practiced law in Hampton Roads beginning in 1978, focusing on real estate and pro bono work with children. She married Joel in 1988, and worked with him in the Learning Skills Company.

Diane had a passion for her family, dogs, and roses; she cherished her far-flung family and was central in its constellation of experience, memories, and quirky humor. For as long as she was able, she was involved in the Buddy Brigade, a local pet therapy program, taking generations of her therapy dogs to cheer and encourage hospital patients of all ages.

She loved travel, books, and films; she had an unforgettable laugh, great loving-kindness, and a strong sense of justice. An army brat, Diane delighted in traveling far afield; she and Joel visited France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and Egypt, among many others. They made their Ghent house, where they lived for over 30 years, a vivid collage of places they visited, wonders they saw, and people they met.

Diane is survived by her siblings, Nicholas G. Psaki III, Denise M. Walker, F. Regina Psaki, and Alexandra Eleni Psaki, and their families; her stepmother, Cindy H. Psaki; nephews Nicholas G. Psaki IV and Gary P. Graham and niece Katherine A. Gemme, and their families; and a new generation of great-grand nieces and nephews. Her dear friends Dani Dorresteyn and Tricia Dage were chosen sisters, and Diane wouldn’t want us to forget her four beloved dogs.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. A memorial service will be forthcoming in the summer.