Diana Moore with husband, Richard.
Artist Diana Moore died peacefully, aged 59, at her home in Maungaturoto last month. Her husband Richard, and daughters, Jess and Anna, were by her side and she woke briefly, before passing, to tell each of them she loved them.
Diana was born a twin in a family of nine children in Auckland. She fell in love with an artist, Richard Moore, with whom she would have two children and share 35 years of marriage. She learned to draw and paint from Richard, and became a renowned artist in her own right. The couple taught private art lessons and workshops to more than 18,000 students over 26 years. They held classes in Kerikeri, Auckland, Whangarei and Maungaturoto, and even led art holiday tours to Australia, Fiji, Tahiti and Rarotonga.
Diana lived in Maungaturoto for 15 years, after moving from Kerikeri to be closer to family in Auckland. She made a significant impact in the town. In 2013, Diana and Richard took charge of beautifying gardens in Maungaturoto for the town’s 150-year anniversary. They applied for funding from the Kaipara District Council and were able to do the work on a humble budget, thanks to clever designs and a community that rallied behind them. In 2016, Diana and Richard also planted 60 fruit trees at the Maungaturoto Country Club to provide for future generations.
Diana was always willing to lend a hand. When a neighbour’s house burnt down in 2018, and they were living in their garage, Diana set up a collection box in a local store to help them get back on their feet. In 2019, the Maungaturoto Country Club was under threat of being sold as nobody could be found to replace the retiring committee, despite a three-year search. Six sports clubs and many other community activities would have been displaced. Diana and Richard put their hands up to run the club to ensure the preservation of a community asset.
Diana is also remembered for her bright positivity and her perseverance through difficult times. In 2009, she survived a serious head-on car accident near Te Hana, with her daughter Anna. Diana later battled for four years with stage four ovarian cancer before being diagnosed as terminal. She never gave up hope.
It was Diana’s life dream to have an art studio and gallery. She and Richard had begun this project, but it came to a halt when Richard needed to stop working to care for Diana full time. Thanks to support from generous friends and locals, they were able to begin building a gallery together at their home, and it is nearing completion. It is hoped that their house’s renowned gardens and the gallery will be open to the public to continue to share Diana’s passion.
Friends and family say Diana is remembered as a kind, beautiful soul whose smile and attitude would brighten any room. The Moore family would like to thank North Haven Hospice for its support, especially the doctors and nurses who saved Diana’s life on many occasions.