OBITUARY: Dianne Dockery Lamb


Dianne Dockery Lamb, 72, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, July 23, 2022.

She was born on December 4, 1949 in Springfield, Massachusetts, the first child born to Luther Dow Dockery, Jr., and Constance Emma LaFantasie Dockery, a couple who were part of “The Greatest Generation”.

As a young child, she would move with her parents to San Antonio, Texas where her brother Robert was born, and to Rossville, Georgia where her sister Terry was born. Her formative years would be spent in Chattanooga where she attended Tyner High School, graduating in 1967.

She was a 1972 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University where she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees majoring in Biology. Dianne would enter the teaching profession in 1973 at Central Middle School in Murfreesboro. She began teaching both 7th grade Life Science and 8th grade Earth Science in her early years, but soon settled on 7th Grade for most of her career. Teaching for 22 years, she touched the lives of hundreds of students. A highly respected teacher, her impact is still felt today by the many students that she taught.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988, early retirement came unexpectedly in 1995 due to continuing health issues. Her courage and fortitude in facing cancer would become an inspiration to many as she faced this challenge with the courage of a prize fighter. Always optimistic, she became an advocate for patients advising them on the best treatment program for their individual needs, speaking at local, state, and national symposiums. Dianne would become a “walking miracle” as she beat the odds of cancer for more than 34 years.

Her future became much brighter when she met her future husband, Steve Thomas, on a blind date early in 1995. They were married on October 14, 1995 in Monteagle, Tennessee, and enjoyed almost 27 years together. Over the years, they found pleasure in camping and traveling in their mobile home, touring national parks and historic sites throughout the states and Canada.

Dianne loved reading, travel, gardening, telling jokes, entertaining family and friends, tending to her cats, and simply relaxing in her backyard pool. In other spare moments, she enjoyed participating in all types of sports including volleyball, softball, water skiing and snow skiing. She was an avid fan of the Nashville Predators and, along with her husband, attended many of their home games. Her smile and her laughter seemed to always light up a room. She was certainly the life and light of many a gathering, and when one came to know her, they knew they had found a genuine friend. But it was her grandchildren who were a source of pride and happiness for her. She beamed with pride at the mention of their names.

Dianne was preceded in death by her parents.

Survivors include her husband, Steve Thomas, her daughter and son-in-law Ashley and Austin Ernst, her son and daughter-in-law Wesley and Carly Lamb, as well as four grandchildren, Jackson, Noah, Asher, and Josie. She is also survived by her brother Robert and sister Terry.

The family would like to express thanks to Synergy Home Care, Alive Hospice, Dr. Anthony Greco at Tennessee Oncology, the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, and all of the friends and neighbors who have helped along the way.

Visitation with family and friends will be held on Friday, July 29, 2022 from 2:00-7:00 PM at Woodfin Memorial Chapel in Murfreesboro. At 5:00 PM, a “Celebration of Remembrance” will be held. Burial will take place on Saturday, July 30, 2022 at 2:00 PM EST in Sweetwater, Tennessee at Murray’s Church Cemetery, 468 Murrays Chapel Road, Sweetwater, TN 37874.

Memorials in Dianne’s memory may be made to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, St. Jude’s, Alive Hospice, your favorite charity, or by doing something kind for someone in need.


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