Diane Sardi Final Aloha Oe - (Memorial Service)
The service was held Diane’s office J 1070 Kealoha Rd, Kapaa HI 96746
Date: 8/11/16 4 PM EDT, 1 PM PDT, 10 AM HST
Peter Sardi, (was presented with a lei when he arrived), Keely Williams, Kimie Cabrera, Stephanie Aurthur, Shireen and Roxanne.
Remote via GotoMeeting as they listed their names:
Stephen & Kathy Northcutt
Opening music: Elton John Tribute to Princess Diana
Peter requested we play Imagine by John Lennon. Peter shared this was his favorite song.
Reading of the memorial statements.
Memorial statements from the students are perhaps the most important. There were more than this, but we present a sample of what STI received from the students that worked with Diane:
My condolence to Diane and her family, truly a disappointment that she no longer here with us, she was very supportive and always there when I needed assistance. I never meet her in person, but I am saddened.
I am so very saddened by this unexpected loss. Beyond her phenomenal performance as part of the SANS family, she was very friendly and fun communicate with. She will certainly be missed. Please send her family my most sincere condolences.
I am sorry for your loss. I never met her face-to-face, but she was a huge help over the past few years. She will be missed!
I am very saddened to learn of the passing of Diane. She was a wonderful person and always very cheerful and most helpful to students. My deepest sympathy to her family and the SANS family.
This is devastating news. I was finally able to meet Diane in person and thank her for all her generous help at SANS San Diego. Extremely thankful I had that opportunity. My deepest condolences to everyone at STI, SANS, and most of all her family.
Diane was a wonderful helpful person and will surely be missed. I really wish I had a chance to meet her in real life. Please extend my condolences to her family and friends. May she rest in peace.
Diane was fantastic to work with from the time I entered the STI program and she was always patient and more than willing to help. She will be missed tremendously by myself and many, many others. Please extend my condolences to her family and loved ones.
Memorial statement from an STI representative where Diane worked:
"Diane was instrumental in managing what she referred to fondly as our ‘snowflakes’ - each student and each course enrollment a little different than the last. We had many a brainstorming session working through one complicated registration after the next, a sometimes tedious process made bearable by her company.
Diane was such a source of support to me when I joined SANS and had been ever since. Diane was the original ‘phone list.’ She knew how things worked at SANS and who to contact. In the days and weeks since her passing, I’ve still found myself thinking, ‘I need to ask Diane about that.’
I often talked about visiting the 'Hawaii office'. I’ve yet to make the trip, but you can be sure that I will think of her when I do."
Memorial statements from the staff of SANS, GIAC, some of these friendships and business relationships go back ten years.
Diane was such a steadying and stable force. She always had a great point of view and played an important role in supporting my work with SANS, GIAC and STI for so many years. We often had complicated policy decisions, reworking documentation for GIAC’s ANSI efforts and STI’s accreditation, Diane really brought a great perspective and human element into otherwise tedious work. Before we had a more formal HR department, Diane did such a great job with HR related activities for the Kauai office. As we all know, a lot of the HR facets in a smaller organization can be complicated, Diane was always available to help me through things both with employees and GIAC candidates, STI students, etc. And, she always greeted me with a big smile / hug and that means a lot.
I am deeply saddened by this news.
Diane was one of the kindest, most gentle, calmest person I know. Her voice and demeanor was all it took for you to be relaxed. She had the unique ability to take a "situation" and soothe people, so they could think rationally. She was an old soul, that I recognized and connected with.
At one point, in the early years when you were building SANS, we would have our weekly call and she would say..."Breathe, Deb, breathe. Take a breath." I was either excited about something or nervous about what we were doing to build the company and I've never forgotten that advice she gave..."take a breath, slow down, it will be fine and we can work it out." (We were still less than 50 employees at the time.) That is the memory that sticks in my mind the most.
Remembering how you built the company...you would hire people as your admin, assess their skills, then move them into the department you thought was the best fit. After Diane came on board a couple of years after you moved me into a different department, I asked her what department she was going to move into (based on your previous practice) and she said, "Why would I go anywhere else? This is what I want to do and it suits me perfectly!" Diane was a very special person to me.
I didn’t know Diane as well as many of you. I didn’t live on Kauai, and I didn’t interact regularly with her from a roles perspective.
But I think Deb absolutely nailed her spirit and the essence of her gift of effortlessly calming the chaos around her.
In fact, I don’t know that there would be a SANS today were it not for Diane. Seriously. Many had tried and failed to ‘assist the executive(s)’ and then along came Diane. She just fit right in and started picking up pieces and putting the whole mess back together again. While Stephen and Kathy divided their lives between 32,000 feet and ’72 and fluorescent’, she was the anchor back at the home camp that took care of all the details: from policy management for an infant organization to looking after a couple of senior citizen Northcutts; from uber travel agent to plant waterer; from courseware development to blog manager to startup graduate school wrangler.
A favorite memory is a time when I was visiting. You and Kathy took me to a concert of a member of one of my earlier favorite bands whom I will not name because his concert was so awful. You invited Diane and Peter to go with us. Diane was so touched to be invited, considered as a ‘friend’ and not just an employee. The singer was terrible. We laughed so hard in the parking lot when we finally moseyed out of the venue incredulous at how off key he was. Diane just smiled and pointed out, “Maybe he had an ear infection.”
Diane wore many, many hats. But beneath those hats was that calm sweet smile that Deb shared. Just a little grin. Just a little twinkle.
She is and will be deeply missed. And I know that for those of you who were closer to her and knew her better, your hearts are stricken.
But you know she would have said, “Breathe Kathy. It will be okay Deb. Hang in there Stephen, Katherine, Stephanie, Jeff…. ”
Chris, a young pastor of Calvary Chapel Fredericksburg VA once gave me a bit of advice that seemed to work, so I pass it on to you. “If you ever need an executive assistant make sure to hire someone considerably older than you. That way, they will be mature and handle things well when issues come up and people are less likely to have a salacious view of the working relationship.
Diane was my executive assistant for over five years and she was amazingly skilled at juggling the competing interests in a growing enterprise known as SANS, GIAC, and STI.
She was someone that I trusted completely. I realize in a cybersecurity focused company some of you are going to cringe, but she had access to my email. After all, when I was teaching or traveling, someone had to keep an eye on things.
Most importantly she was my friend, especially when I stepped down from leadership and she did not work for me. Peter and Diane went to a concert with Kathy and I. We attended social events together. They came to the Valentines couple dance that Kathy and I host. We even flew ultralights together.
And that is the memorial story I would like to share. I was crewing on a sailboat and one of the guests turned out to be an ultralight pilot with a company that catered to tourists, but the program is designed to help you earn your license. I tried it, it was a lot of fun, (well except when you hit unexpected turbulence). I asked Diane if you would like to fly and she said yes. The day we went up was one of those really rare crystal clear days with as much visibility as possible. They were flying two planes that day, I was with one instructor pilot, Diane with another. The runway at Salt Pond is wide enough that you can both take off at the same time. After the takeoff, the instructor gave me control of the craft. I looked over Diane’s hands were not on the controls, she had no interest in a flying lesson. She was just laid back watching the island below as calm as could be while I was totally amped up.
End of the memorial statements.
We played the song Amazing Grace. There are many versions of this song. Diane loved music and could usually name the song and artist in the first few notes. When Stephen was present in this office he and Diane had a Pau Hana tradition for Friday afternoons of playing music. Sometimes they would queue up different covers of the same song.
Diane loved the harmony Celtic Woman are famous for.
We honored Diane’s well lived life with a minute of silence.
Many a visitor to the office remarked on Diane’s “cat pillow”. Peter, we thanked you for the loan of it and presented it back.
Those on Kauai stood and faced the East, (beach), to symbolize Diane leaving Hawaii.
There is a tradition in Hawaii of a final Aloha Oe, or farewell to thee,
Played song Aloha Oe
Then the memorial service ended, all present enjoyed pupus.