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Diann Marie First – Anamosa

Diann Marie First, age 81 of Anamosa, Iowa, passed away on Monday, August 31, 2020. She was born to the late Edward Mershon and Leona (Holub) Mershon on July 13, 1939.

Diann attended Anamosa Community Schools and entered the workforce immediately after graduation with Iowa Electric Power.  From there she moved to Collins Radio, starting out in Dallas, Texas, and spending most of her career in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Diann started with Collins in the clerical pool and worked her way up, becoming one of the first female profit and loss Managers, leading the Global Rental Exchange Pool for the Business Aircraft Division.  During her 38-year career with Collins, Diann enjoyed traveling the world and made many long-lasting friendships that continued well into her retirement.

She was a lifelong member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, where she served the parish in numerous volunteer positions.  Diann was a member of Wapsipinicon Country Club where she loved to participate in Ladies League activities and was inducted into the Hall of Fame for her volunteer efforts over the years supporting the club.  In addition, Diann had been a past member of Tri-T, Anamosa Pumpkinfest Volunteer and served on the Anamosa Library Board of Directors.

Diann loved to cook and was an avid reader, but family and friends were Diann’s passion and delight. She loved hosting family gatherings and particularly enjoyed the Christmas Holidays and showering the Grandchildren with presents.

Diann is survived by her husband of nearly 60 years, Keith First, her children, Byron First and LeAnn (Tom) Ridgeway of Anamosa, Kevin First of Cedar Rapids, and 10 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.  Additionally, she is survived by her Sister and Brother in Law, Mary Lou & Gene Eldred of Anamosa, Sisters in Law, Carol Mershon of Marion and Betty Gissel of Anamosa, and Sister in Law and Brother in Law, Donna and Fay Oltmann, also of Anamosa.  She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Richard (Butch) Mershon, Sister in Law and Brother in Law, Laura and Paul Rodgers, and Brother in Law, Kenneth Gissel.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, September 4, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, with a private family burial at a later date.  Donations may be made to the Jones Regional Medical Center, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church or the Anamosa Public Library.


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