Diane Staruk Phillips


Diane Staruk Phillips died on November 10 at her home in Parrottsville, Tenn., with her husband, Charles Phillips, and her sister-in-law Nancy Shea by her side. She was 63. After a courageous, 17-month battle with breast cancer, she died as she lived her life, with dignity and grace.

Diane was the twin sister of Joyce Staruk of Vineyard Haven and the daughter of Helen Staruk, also of Vineyard Haven. She was a very special aunt to Joyce’s children, Calla and Ed Staruk Gillies.

She was predeceased by her sister Susan Staruk and her father, Edward Staruk.

Diane was the love and joy to her husband of 35 years, Charles Phillips of Tennessee; her son, Cody Phillips, and his wife, Allison, of Florida; and her adopted son, Tony Phillips of Florida.

She leaves behind many aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends up and down the East Coast, and her little terrier/Chihuahua, Bleu.

Diane will always be remembered for her smile. When she walked into a room, the room would light up, and all seemed well. She was a joy to all of us and our lives are better for having known her.

Leaving Boson in the early 70s, after attending college at Boston University, she lived in Mystic, Conn., the Florida Keys, and the past 14 years in Tennessee. She once said, “Bloom where you are planted,” and that’s exactly what she did.

As she knew her illness was progressing, she lived her final months fully and lived it in the now.

During her last visit to the Island two months ago, we marveled in the double rainbow as we sat at Eastville Beach. And how she delighted in Katama Bay oysters in Menemsha.

Diane cherished her twice a year visits to the Island over the past 40 years. She referred to the Vineyard as the “Magical Island.”

A memorial service will take place here in the spring.

Dear Diane

You are my heart, you are my soul

You are the piece that makes me whole

You’ve been my twin and my best friend

Been with me til the end


I don’t know where, don’t know when

But I know we’ll meet again

Some sunny day.