Diane Kay Nicks, 54, of Columbia passed unexpectedly on Sunday, July 14, 2019. A public visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 22, 2019, at Memorial Funeral Home, Columbia.

A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, at Our Lady of Lourdes in Columbia.

Diane was born Aug. 25, 1964, the youngest of eight siblings. She met Dean M. Nicks in 1982. There was an undeniable chemistry that later matured into love, which endured through good times and hardships.

The two dated while she attended Saint Louis University until they married Aug. 25, 1984.

They both attended Lincoln University in Jefferson City, where Diane received her BS, cum laude, in Biochemistry.

Shortly after, Dean and Diane moved to Columbia, where they started their careers and a family.

Diane began work at the Columbia Environmental Research Center in 1992. She was integral to the Biochemistry & Physiology Branch of the center.

Her expertise in toxicology, including nuclear DNA transfer, allowed her to travel across the United States, as well as Chile, Sweden and England.

Her studies evaluating fish health in our nation’s rivers led to her being featured in A Snapshot of Women of the U.S. Geological Survey in STEM and Related Careers in 2018.

Cooking wild game for family and friends was a passion of Diane’s.

She loved the challenge of improving and expanding on recipes. She often used her cooking abilities to provide for the swimming community, of which she was an avid supporter and volunteer for over 20 years.

After overcoming Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006, Diane developed a fierce passion for communicating her knowledge of both her work and life experience while taking on life’s challenges.

Diane balanced the many roles of lab manager, teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, friend and more recently, property manager of Columbia Homestead Inc.

She saw this project as another way to provide security for her family’s future and “to make life easier.”

Our family always said “Diane was tiny but mighty!” She will be greatly missed by her family and community.

Diane is survived by her husband, Dean; her daughters Eva and Hannah; granddaughters, Hazel and Adella; and six siblings, Carol, Linda, Richard, Jerry, Mark and David.

She is preceded in death by parents, Geradette and Richard Meremonte, and brother, Donald Meremonte.

  • Fall 2019 public life reporter. I am a senior studying international journalism and Spanish.

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