Diane Hawley Currens D’Almeida, 77

Sep 22, 2023

Diane Hawley Currens D’Almeida, age 77, passed away in Brookline, Massachusetts on September 14, 2023, from complications after a fall in her home. Diane was born at the Richardson House in Boston, Massachusetts on April 19, 1946, to Dr. James Hawley Currens and Helenka Chmielinski Currens. Diane grew up in Newton, Massachusetts with her three sisters, Genya, Tina, and Hawley. The Currens sisters were known for their blond hair, athleticism, and musical talent.

Diane graduated from Wheaton College in 1968 with a BA in French and German and later earned a Masters Degree in Library Science from Simmons College in 1996. She received Fulbright Fellowships to travel to the middle east and interview Arab women writers. Diane loved traveling, the middle east, Arab culture, and the desert. She worked for several local libraries including the Boston Public Library, the Sloan Library at MIT, and finally as the Modern Foreign Language and Linguistics Bibliographer at Boston University’s Mugar Library, where she retired in 2016. During her career and after her retirement, Diane loved spending summers in Marion, Massachusetts, with her sisters Genya and Hawley, playing tennis at the Sippican Tennis Club, and swimming at Silvershell Beach.

Considering her love of traveling and sense of adventure, it was not surprising Diane fell in love and married a Portuguese navy lieutenant and MIT graduate student, Jorge Roque de Pinho de Almeida. The couple moved to Portugal in 1971 and Diane lived off and on for many years in Portugal, learning to speak the language fluently and raising her children.

To her friends and colleagues, Diane was vibrant, enthusiastic, unconventional, kind, and adventurous, with a hearty laugh and generous sense of humor. She had a wide, sly grin, and could not be accused of being mild-mannered or shy. Diane lived stoically, guarding her independence fiercely and standing up for herself in ways that felt right to her. From a young age, she studied classical music on the piano and violin and loved to read. She played in numerous orchestras and quartets during her lifetime and passed on her love of music and reading to her children and grandchildren.

Diane is preceded in death by her father Dr. James Hawley Currens and her mother Helenka Chmielinski Currens. She is survived by her two children, Jaime Currens D’Almeida of Cambridge, Massachusetts and Sofia Currens D’Almeida Mabee of Bainbridge Island, Washington, as well as her five grandchildren: Mia Sibley D’Almeida, Lily Currens D’Almeida, Savannah Almeida Mabee, Jack Lavradio Mabee, and Travis James Mabee. Holidays and vacations will never be the same for them, and for Diane’s loving daughter-in-law Lisa Murray D’Almeida and son-in-law, Daniel Stephen Mabee. A memorial celebrating Diane’s life will be held at the Marsh Chapel at Boston University on October 15 at 3 pm.

In the words of Diane’s favorite musician, Bob Dylan:

Suddenly I turned around and she was standing there
With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair
She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns
Come in, she said
I’ll give you shelter from the storm