Diane Morgan passed away February 14th, 2022 after a short illness at the age of 89 surrounded by her family at home. Diane was born January 1933, in Brea, California to Lester and Alice (Cone) Dillinger joining her siblings Lester (Bud) and Sharon. She grew up in various cities within the inland empire of Southern California where she cultured and developed a passion for beef cattle. She was encouraged by her mother to attend Fullerton Union High School where she became one of the first female students to enter their Vocational Agricultural Program. She graduated from Fullerton Union High School in 1950.
She purchased her first Shorthorn heifer from William Anderson of West Liberty, IA and was a devoted proponent of the breed ever since. Diane would purchase and exhibit her cattle across the western U.S. Her adventures traveling with her cattle on a railroad box car were recently featured in the book titled "Box Car Boys" by Ronald F. Eustice. She was fearless in traveling from the west coast to the Midwest to purchase cattle that were competitive. She often moved her kids throughout the western U.S. as she worked for large cattle ranches as their livestock fitter and was a frequent sight in many Grand Champion photos.
Once her children were old enough to start showing, she helped them with their various FFA and 4-H beef projects. This continued her lifelong commitment to youth agricultural programs. Through these youth programs she would help the kids that came from difficult backgrounds to instill the important lessons of work ethic, business, leadership, and the livestock industry. Many of these children have grown into successful business owners and credit their success to the lessons they learned from Diane. Her family grew from the unofficial adoption of these children. Her children and grandchildren often describe these unofficially adopted kids as their brothers and sisters. Diane always joked she was the oldest 4-H member. She volunteered her time, knowledge and expertise as an advisor and group leader. She wanted her members to grow and develop through the hard work, dedication, and practice they put into their projects and reinvest for their future endeavors.
Once she settled in Burns, OR, she would continue to spend her time helping young men and women with their ag projects and cooking lunches for the ranch crew. She enjoyed making lunches for the ranch crew, truck drivers and friends that stopped by as it gave her a sense of purpose and contribution to those that continued the legacy of her Shorthorns. She was an exceptional cook, and her lunches were famous to all those that had the opportunity to join in.
Diane is survived by her children: Diane Molt, Morgan (Molt) Strang, William “Bill” Molt, and Louie (Melodi Kaiser) Molt of Burns, OR. Her much loved grandchildren Margaret Strang of Olathe, KS, Melissa (Josh) Ward of Burns, OR, Christine (Jared) Anderson of McMinnville, OR, Cameron Molt of Burns, OR, Keaton Molt of Twin Falls, ID and Mason Daniel Shepherd of Tremonton, UT. There are eight great-grandchildren: Eli, Noah, Finley, Daphne, Cyprus, Florance, Mikey and Dax. She was preceded in death by her parents, Lester and Alice, and her siblings Bud and Sharon. Diane will be greatly missed by her family, friends and her cows.
At her request no services will be held. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Shorthorn Youth Development Fund, American Junior Shorthorn Association, 7607 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City, MO 64151.
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