Diane Bedlington Workman Bedlington

Profile Updated: January 29, 2024
Residing In Sun City, AZ USA
Spouse/Partner Gene
Occupation Retired
Children David, born 1963; Donald, born 1965; Daniel, born 1968

In the 1961 orchestra picture, the violins are on the left; I am in the next to last row and 4th over.

My life has been rather backwards compared to most students; becoming a Mom at 16 and having my Mom pick out a boy for me to marry so the baby would have a name thus not embarrassing the family, you tend to grow up fast. Fortunately, before that I was able to attend Jr and Sr prom when I was 14 and 15 so I had some fond memories of school.

Being a Mom and having my three sons was the most special time of my life. They were my essence for living and I took the motherhood role very seriously.
The next goal was to get a GED which I did and am so thankful.

In 1974, we moved to Bigfork MT where we lived for 17 years on a mountain that had its challenges with not inches but feet of snow and having to drive the kids to school as we lived on a private road where the buses did not come. It was challenging, but also fun to step out the door and go cross-country skiing.

On occasion there would be black bears roaming through the yard and once in a while a mountain lion would wander through usually to check out what we were building such as the wood shed--they were curious. Sometimes we would just see their paw prints in the snow or mud. We chopped wood, had two gardens, chickens, an orchard, and it was peaceful. One of my favorite past times was to go to the Swan River Mountain Range and pick huckleberries when they were ripe. If you knew of a good patch where the berries were thick, you didn't share that info with others; compare that with a favorite fishing spot. We always carried a gun, but only ran into a bear once in which I ran as fast as my legs would carry me down to the road. Huckleberries are a staple to a bears diet so it's best to give them a wide berth.

It was in MT that I joined Glacier Orchestra and continued to play violin. After two years of studying at Flathead Community College, I received a Secretarial Science and Accounting degree (AAS). Was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the National Honor Fraternity.

One interesting job I had was being an extra for several months in the movie, "Heaven's Gate" with Kris Kristoferson, Jeff Bridges, and Christopher Walken. Seeing the insides of how a movie is made was interesting from the bags of dirt that would be put down so there would be so much dust when the horses were kicking it up during a shootout, to the makeup artists applying packets of what looked like blood to the actors and when it was time for the actors to 'die', they would have a cord to pull which allowed the blood packet to burst and the actor would fall to the ground. In one fighting scene, we extras would be on the ground with our rifles with the actors on their horses making all the dust--it's doubtful that they could even see us through the dust!

During more dangerous scenes when they were using dynamite, the extras were restricted to the buses. Sometimes Jeff Bridges would come with his guitar and entertain us!

After the boys were out of high school, my oldest, David, moved to FL to work, my middle son, Donald, joined the Coast Guard and we with my youngest, Daniel, moved to Bellingham WA. For several years I worked for Cascade Chiropractic as an office manager and chiropractic assistant.

Thoughts of continuing my education were gnawing at me again so I quit my job and went to Skagit Valley College in Mt Vernon WA and received my AA degree in business education. Continuing on. enrolled at Western Washington University (WWU) in Bellingham WA studying Human Services and obtained my BA in 1995. That is why I say much of my life was played backwards:-} Most people finish their education before having a family. Honestly though, with my shyness and low self esteem during much of my life, I didn't have the courage to even try earlier.

While studying at WWU, there were internships to complete; mine were done at a halfway house for the mentally ill which was to prepare the patients for life on the outside. We helped them with cooking meals, cleaning up after themselves, and kept track of the medications and distributed them to the patients. The second year the internship was with The Bridget Collins House which was there to help children who had been abused--most sexually. Most of my job was setting up interviews for the parents and their abused kids along with lots of paperwork. What an eye opener for me when the staff was required to attend a seminar in Bellevue WA on child abuse and pornography put on by police departments. To this day, I still remember some of the slide shows we watched--it was so graphic!

Thinking I might become a counselor, I kept my license for many years, but decided not to go that direction. My dream job came when working for Washington State Department of Ecology's Air Quality Program in Bellevue WA as their secretary. After the interview, my plan was to not accept the job if it was offered to me as there was no way that I wanted to face the Seattle traffic, but it was offered to me and I jumped at the chance! After a year or two a couple of the air monitoring operators started taking me with them into the field when our supervisor was out. Being bored with secretarial work, I relished getting out to learn something more challenging. The two taking me into the field were eventually reprimanded for having me work out of class so we had to curtail our outings. After four years of being secretary there, I was encouraged to apply for an environmental specialist position as an air monitoring operator in Bellevue WA when someone retired. Was there a possibility of me ever getting that job with no science background, but low and behold, I did get that position! I was the first woman in WA to be hired for the State Dept of Ecology as an air monitoring operator and it stayed that way until I was close to retirement. Of course, being the only woman was a double-edged sword as it meant that I would be expected to do what the men did. My worrying was needless as the guys would help me anyway with things beyond my strength or knowledge such as carpentry, electrical work, and moving gas cylinders that some of the instruments required. In return for the help, I was very dedicated to the job working longer hours and on weekends if needed. Of course, there were the hoops to jump through like a three-year training plan to finish which I did in half the time. Chemistry class was required which was taken at Bellevue Community College. There were classes to take on the different instruments and learn about the gas laws. I traveled to Portland OR several times, San Francisco CA, Richardson TX, Rutgers University in New Jersey, San Luis Obisbo CA twice and then to Altanta GA to learn to operate the biowatch instrument which was put on by Homeland Security.

There was much on-the-job training to learn how to maintain the air monitoring instruments, calibrate them, conduct studies such as a carbon monoxide study in downtown Seattle and another in Everett WA. And of course, reports and graphs to show the findings of the study which EPA would determine if the state should continue to do monitoring in those areas. Most of instruments that were my responsibility were located at five different stations in western WA to measure CO, SO2, nephelometer, PM 2.5 & PM 10, meteorological tower, ECOC, and ozone. When another staff would go on vacation, it was part of my duties to run their instruments as well which included toxics, etc.

When it was finally time to retire at age 66, we moved to Whidbey Island WA where up to 14 deer would come several times a day to be fed cracked corn, pieces of apples in the fall. Some deer would eat out of our hands--Meatballs was one of those deer and was given that name by the previous owner of the home, as well as her fawn, and a little buck. They were great entertainment and we relished in learning some of their habits and how they taught their young. For instance, I never knew how deer communicated, but they do through their nostrils. If they are upset, they blow air through their nostrils at the offending deer and if upset with their fawns, they turn their back to him/her. The fawns might try to get their moms' attention, but the mom continued to keep her back to the fawns for several minutes until she thought the fawns have learned their lesson.

Fishing was a favorite past time where we caught salmon usually from Lagoon Point Beach down the hill from our home and right from the beach. The first fall there my husband and I caught 25 salmon between us! You have to have patience, but how rewarding when you feel the tug of a fish! They can put up quite a fight!

We've been fortunate to do some traveling and took two cruises. One to several places in Mexico including Tulum which had some wonderful history; then one to Jamaica and Grand Cayman. Jamaica has so much lush flora and Grand Cayman with Seven Mile Beach could easily call my name again to visit. Other than that we enjoy going to Canada when we lived in the Seattle area and Mexico now that we live south.

After one year we decided that island life wasn't for us and being tired of all the rainy weather, we moved to Ventana Lakes in Sun City AZ. After a year there, I felt that it wasn't a good fit and we moved five miles west to a condo in Sun City West AZ. We've been here one year now and are enjoying life and sunny days. With over 100 clubs in Sun City West you can join and four rec centers with indoor and outdoor swimming you never get bored. If you've been counting, that's three moves in three years--hopefully this is the last one. We rent out our Ventana Lakes home as an investment. Some of my spare time is spent quilting and have made over 30 now. I enjoy swimming at an Olympic-sized pool near our home. My violin is also in use, but rusty. This summer while at an estate sale (there are many every week all year long) I eyed a violin for sale and I bought it. It has better sound than the violin that has been mine since around sixth grade. In May 2023, we moved back to Ventana Lakes as our renters of six years moved to North Carolina. We love being here again.

School Story

My most memorable times at North High were when Mrs. Nelson, English teacher, passed around my homework to show the other students my handwriting. Being a lefty, my writing was sideways and probably difficult to read. That was extremely embarrassing.
One regret I have had is not graduating with the great class of 1965. Not graduating with the class meant not being invited to class reunions and being able to socialize with classmates. Recently I realized that many of those I went to school with probably don't remember me and that life continues so make the best of things and not mourn for something decades past. It is rewarding for me to have friends from Miller Park Elementary School that I still keep in touch with. What a blessing to have friends for over 60 years! Several years ago, we even had a second grade reunion at Miller Park Elementary. The principal gave us a tour of the school built in about 1927 and afterwards we had a fun time having lunch at Nite Hawkes. Great to get caught up and show pictures from back then.

In regards to enjoyable things from North, I remember they used to allow students to bring in records and dance during the lunch hour. That was so fun and a good way to burn off some energy.

My life has had hurdles, but my biggest accomplishments and what I am most proud of are my three sons, obtaining my college degree, and my dream job with WA State. God has blessed me and my family.

Diane Bedlington's Latest Interactions

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May 07, 2024 at 11:04 PM

Posted on: May 07, 2024 at 5:43 PM

Happy Birthday, John. Have a wonderful day!

Apr 14, 2024 at 8:18 PM

Wishing you a wonderful Happy Birthday, Chris! Have a great day:-)

Apr 12, 2024 at 7:23 AM

Congratulations on your upcoming birthday in two days. Have a wonderful Happy Birthday, Chris, with many happy returns!

Mar 25, 2024 at 11:08 AM

An early Happy Birthday to you, Tom. Here is Sonja Rawlings birthday prayer and in her absence, I am sending it to you: Many happy returns on the day of your birth, may sunshine and gladness be given. May God in his mercy prepare you on earth for a beautiful birthday in Heaven. This is the first time I have noticed that Thomes is spelled with an e instead of an a. You are unique.

Mar 17, 2024 at 9:18 AM

Many happy returns on the day of your birth, may sunshine and gladness be given.
May God in his mercy prepare you on earth for a beautiful birthday in Heaven.

Jan 29, 2024 at 1:44 PM

Belated Happy Birthday, Tim; wishing you many happy returns!

Jan 29, 2024 at 1:42 PM

Belated Happy Birthday, Sandy! Wishing you many happy returns.

Jan 29, 2024 at 1:40 PM
Jan 29, 2024 at 1:35 PM
Jan 14, 2024 at 9:48 AM

Posted on: Jan 14, 2024 at 4:33 AM

Diane Bedlington Workman Bedlington has left an In Memory comment for her Profile.
Dec 24, 2023 at 3:00 PM

When I read that Clifford had passed. I was shocked. Clifford always seemed to be resolute and someone you always thought would be there.
Cliff and I went to Miller Park Elementary School together in the 1950s and his mom, Maxine, I believe was her name, was my beautician and a lovely lady.
Cliff attended the 2nd grade reunion at Miller Park that Sonja Rawlings put together in 2013. It was fun to see our old classmates.
He was so in love with Pam that I feel he is happy to be with her again. May our Heavenly Father bless them. God be with his friends and family as they mourn their loss this Christmas season.

Nov 28, 2023 at 7:24 AM

Posted on: Nov 26, 2023 at 8:00 PM

Happy Birthday, Les; it’s hard to believe we’ve been friends since when—1961. We’ve had many life adventures with hopefully more to come. Have a wonderful day, dear friend. Hugs:-)

Sep 16, 2023 at 7:37 PM

Happy Birthday, John; wishing you a wonderful day!

Sep 09, 2023 at 9:41 AM

Happy Birthday, Mary Ann; wishing you a wonderful day!

Diane Bedlington Workman Bedlington has left an In Memory comment for her Profile.
Sep 02, 2023 at 1:19 AM

My condolences to the Penn family.  Although I never met Tim at North, we were friends on FB and played many games of Words with Friends.  It was clear through his FB posts that he adored his wife and family.  There is another angel in Heaven.

Aug 20, 2023 at 8:50 PM
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Posted: Jul 30, 2019 at 3:43 AM
Gene and me when we lived on Whidbey Island WA with a salmon I caught.
Posted: Jul 30, 2019 at 3:45 AM
In the 1962 Yearbook in one of the front pages. I'm in the top left-hand corner in blue gown