Norfolk—Renee Gartner Diamonstein, 84, passed away peacefully in her home on April 4, 2019.
Renee was born on August 21, 1934 in Ft. Worth, Texas. She was predeceased by her parents, Birdie and Morris Gartner, as well as her brother, Winfield Gartner.
Renee graduated from Westhampton College with a degree in sociology. Patiently awaiting her handsome soldier’s return from the Korean War, Renee and Arthur married June 26, 1955. Making their home, first in Virginia Beach, and then for 40 years in the “round house” in Norfolk, Renee prided herself on being a wife, a mother, and a homemaker. Known for her impeccable taste and aesthetic knowhow, Renee also prided herself on being a dedicated community volunteer, first on the auxiliary board of Norfolk General Hospital and then as a master glass docent at the Chrysler Museum for nearly 40 years. Some of her fondest memories associated with the museum were her trips to New York glass galleries with her friend and mentor, Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. Before long, Renee and Arthur embarked on what would be a lifelong journey of collecting art and glass cultivated through their worldwide travels. Renee’s insatiable desire for travel was legendary. Her voluminous travel diaries were thorough and meticulous and a resource to many future adventurers.
In addition, Renee was very well respected as the lecture chairwoman of the Norfolk Society of Arts, single-handedly bringing world-class art lecturers to Hampton Roads. She contributed to the board of the Irene Leache Memorial and the Norfolk Commission for the Arts, serving for more than a decade on both. She also served on the music committee for Ohef Sholom Temple.
Renee is survived by her husband, Arthur Diamonstein and her three children, Richard (Beth) Diamonstein, Jamie (Carol) Diamonstein, and Anne (Lawrence) Fleder and seven grandchildren, Josh (Cara) and Eric (Callie) Diamonstein; Claire and Alyson Diamonstein; and Emily, Kendall and Audrey Fleder. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Scottie Gartner, and her niece, Sharon Gartner and nephews, Kevin and Bruce Gartner.
Memorial donations may be made to the Renee Diamonstein Glass Purchase Fund at the Chrylser Museum or to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Hampton Roads Chapter.
A memorial service was held at Ohef Sholom Temple. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments. Online condolences may be shared at www.hdoliver.com.