Diane & Ed
“We met because I can’t stand litter,” Diane said.
One day in November of 1967, as Diane walked down the stairs in Stilwell Hall, she noticed a yellow flyer on the floor with a dirty footprint on it. Annoyed that someone stepped on it and kept going, she picked it up intending to throw it away. But curiosity told her to see what it was.
The flyer was a notice that a political group on campus was changing its name from the Young Americans for Freedom to the CSU Conservative Union. She thought that she was the only Conservative on campus, so it excited her to know that she wasn’t alone.
The group was having an organizational meeting in Stilwell 200 on November 14, 1967, and Diane decided to attend.
“There was this tall, very serious young man who explained that one of the group’s goals was to work for newly elected California Gov. Ronald Reagan for President,” she said. “I had been chairman of the Reagan campaign in my high school, so I said, ‘I’m in.’”
What followed were three years of friendship and camaraderie as Diane and Ed worked to build the Conservative Union on the CSU campus and campaign across the state for Reagan. By the middle of their senior year, they realized that they both wanted to spend their lives together, building a life and campaigning for their shared ideals.
The couple married a year after graduation, and have now spent over 49 years now building a home, family and careers. They dedicate most of their spare time to campaigning and both have each held elected office.
In the November after their wedding in 1971, Ralph Perk was elected Mayor of Cleveland. State Representative George Voinovich, who was a good friend of the couple, was appointed to replace Perk as County Auditor. Along with Euclid Mayor Harry Knuth, Voinovich worked to get Ed appointed as State Representative, to fill George’s term.
“So at the age of 23 and a newlywed and law student, Ed served as State Rep. from Euclid. Because we were Republicans in a Democratic district, it was a brief but very enjoyable tenure,” Diane said.
Ed went on to be a founding partner in Mazanec, Raskin and Ryder, LPA, and served as Geauga County GOP chairman for several years. Diane taught in the Mentor School District until their two daughters were born, and started a second career as a journalist in 1981. At the age of 7O, Diane published her first book, and has published two more since, with another in the process.
Diane and Ed now have two grown daughters and five grandchildren.
“We are very blessed, and grateful to that careless litterer in Stilwell Hall back in 1967,” she said.
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